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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
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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