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Photograph: JoJo Whilden

The Hot Seat: Made in Jersey's Kyle MacLachlan

New York actor Kyle MacLachlan sets his sights across the Hudson in Made in Jersey.

By Tim Lowery
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In this week’s Hot Seat interview, actor Kyle MacLachlan chats about Twin Peaks fanatics, Zeppelin love and his new show, Made in Jersey.

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TONY: Good morning, Kyle. What are you up to?
Kyle MacLachlan: I got my son off to school. He’s quite a bug collector. We have a bulletin board and made a bug board, so I put up a couple more pins and butterflies.

TONY: Not a typical activity for a New Yorker. Where do you go to find bugs?
Kyle MacLachlan: Chelsea Piers has areas where there are lots of bugs and butterflies, and we go to the Hamptons during the summer. He seems like he has a scientific nature. That will probably change next week, but at the moment he seems to be into it.

TONY: Made in Jersey is the latest in a long line of TV shows inspired by the Garden State.
Kyle MacLachlan: I know, it’s funny, right? Made in Jersey is not over-the-top, as people sort of come to expect from shows about New Jersey. It’s a really terrific depiction of a wonderful, warm and supportive family from New Jersey.

TONY: Do you think the rivalry between New York and New Jersey has softened in recent years?
Kyle MacLachlan: Maybe. You know, a funny thing about New York is if you’re from the Village or uptown or wherever, people tend to be very patriotic about their environment. I’ve lived in New York for a long time, but I’m from the Northwest, so it doesn’t have the same kind of resonance with me. I think when you live in close proximity to your neighbors, it brings out a little bit more of, “Hey, we’re Seventh Avenue! Go!” Where I’m from, it’s like, “Yay, Oregon, Washington, Idaho!” [Laughs]

TONY: Speaking of the Northwest, you’re hilarious as the mayor on Portlandia. Do Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein give you tips on what bands to check out?
Kyle MacLachlan: They turned me on to St. Vincent. My musical knowledge sort of stops with the ’70s. You love the music you grew up with. I’m open to other stuff, but I always come back to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

TONY: You rocked the bass during Portlandia: The Tour’s gig in NYC. What instruments do you play?
Kyle MacLachlan: I play guitar, and my brother actually used to play bass in a band. We’re all musically inclined. I wouldn’t say I play the bass, but I can fake it enough to make it look like I know what I’m doing. [Laughs]

TONY: There are a lot of Twin Peaks–themed parties in NYC.  Does the show’s cult status surprise you?
Kyle MacLachlan: It is interesting. I’ve seen on Twitter that a lot of people are continuing to lobby David [Lynch] and myself and Mark Frost to revisit that territory again, so it’s obviously made a tremendous impression on them. There’s a woman who takes photographs of someone who looks sort of like me, and then she puts my face or hands on his body; it’s like [Agent] Cooper is appearing in different places in Manhattan.

TONY: Does that type of diehard fandom creep you out at all?
Kyle MacLachlan: No, that’s kind of cool. People are always very polite and low-key about it. Occasionally, a tourist sees me and might freak out a little bit, [Laughs] but that doesn’t happen often. Whatever they say, the people are very friendly here.

Made in Jersey premieres Fri 28 on CBS.

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