Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Oops! A Twin Peaks Legend is Made by Accident

The role of the fearsome “Bob”, the ghostly serial killer who was responsible for the murder of Laura Palmer, was played to perfection by the late Frank Silva, who was seemingly born to play it. Mr. Silva looked like he literally jumped out of everyone’s nightmares and onto our television sets. Obviously, he was initially chosen to play the murderous “Bob” from the beginning, right?

Actually, Mr. Silva was the set dresser for the “Twin Peaks” pilot, which meant he was responsible for setting up the furniture and props. Perhaps he got the role because producer David Lynch saw him and instantly realized he could play a frightening serial killer? Nope, it was all dumb luck. You see, in the closing scene of the pilot, Laura Palmer’s mother was supposed to be sitting in her living room alone, until she looks off to her left and screams. Everything went according to plan until someone noticed that set dresser Frank Silva had inadvertently stood in the wrong place and could be seen reflected in a mirror behind the actress’ head. A terrible mistake that might have cost a set dresser his job. 

Of course, David Lynch thought about it and saw that the scary looking Frank Silva was the perfect person to play the evil “Bob”. The scene would air as filmed, only now it foretold the appearance of pure evil, and not the mistake of a Hollywood set dresser who should have known better. And that was how television history (and nightmare fuel) was made.