Conan the Destroyer and Dune were both produced by Raffaella DeLaurentiis. Dune was being directed by David Lynch.
I secretly drew caricatures of both Raffy and David on napkins during lunch. Then, I cleaned them up a bit and colored them:
David Lynch and I share a lot of the same friends. All of these same friends had been telling me over and over for years, “You gotta meet David; you’re like two peas in the same pod. You’ve got so much in common.”
Since we were working for the same production company, I typically saw David each day in the commissary at lunchtime.
I approached David one day, mentioning our friends in common and how they thought we should get together.
David lit up.
“Let’s have some lunches together!”
We had our first lunch together the following day. I tried to connect with mutual interests.
“Do you like horror movies, David?”
“NO! I hate being scared”
Wha––? The guy who created that terrifying Dennis Hopper character in Blue Velvet hates being scared?!!!
I tried relating to David with all kinds of stuff. None of it connected. I wanted to talk about horror and fantasy; he wanted to talk about the joys of watering his nice lawn. When David began to extol the virtues of his cup of coffee, it eventually clicked that in David’s TV show Twin Peaks, Kyle MacLachlan was playing a dead-on impression of David throughout the series. I used to see Kyle each day at lunch (he was one of the main stars of Dune); I couldn’t have asked him about that, though, because Dune happened years before Twin Peaks. I later took a directing course given by Martha Coolidge (more about Martha later in this series). Kyle was there the day Martha talked about casting, playing some of the different kinds of actors I might run into at a casting session.
I also saw another Dune cast member at lunch: Sean Young. Attractive as she was, she kind of radiated “LOOK AT ME!” crazy, so I avoided her.
I got to explore a lot of the Dune sets. The handiwork and craftsmanship on Dune was astounding. The furniture had fine, intricate wooden inlays — stuff that would never show up on camera. It was better for our skilled Mexican crew to do the inlay work for real, as doing faux inlay work was harder and more time-consuming than doing it for real. Raffaella ended up with an incredible key chair from the film. I wish I had one!