The Best and Worst Cameos in ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’

Chris Tilly
TV Horror
TV Horror

Twin Peaks is back, with David Lynch releasing 18 new episodes precisely 25 years after the last one aired. A big difference between the first two seasons and season three is star-power. The original series wasn’t exactly filled with household names, but the new episodes feature turns from a whole host of recognisable faces.

So as the show progresses, we’ll be analysing which of the cameos work, and which don’t. We’ll also update the list as-and-when each episode drops, and update when cameos turn into recurring characters. Because David Lynch is a tricky bugger.

The Good

The Actor: Ashley Judd

The Character: Beverly Page

First Appearance: Part 1

Ashley Judd as Beverly Page.

Ashley Judd – best known for Heat, Double Jeopardy and the Divergent movies – gets the briefest of cameos early in the first episode, playing Great Northern employee Beverly Page. The scene finds Beverly discussing skunks with Ben Horne, making her dialogue beautifully Lynchian. Ben later says he would have tried to seduce her in his younger days, so maybe we’ll see sparks fly between the pair in a later episode.

The Actor: Jennifer Jason Leigh

The Character: Chantal Hutchens

First Appearance: Part 2

Jennifer Jason Leigh as Chantal Hutchens.

Hateful Eight star Jennifer Jason Leigh also makes a brief appearance as Chantal, but it’s pretty memorable. Evil Dale Cooper knocks on her motel room door, orders Chantal to clean up the mess that he’s made with Daria, then says something pretty suggestive. It’s clear what they are about to do, and also clear that she’ll be back as Chantal is needed “in a certain area, in a few days.” We dread to think why that might be.

The Actor: Naomi Watts

The Character: Janey-E Jones

First Appearance: Part 4

Naomi Watts as Jane-Y Jones.

Naomi Watts – who launched her Hollywood career via dual roles in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. – returns to the fold to play seemingly perfect small-town housewife Jane-E Jones. She makes her mark by first slapping ‘Dougie’ in the face, then dressing him without seeming to realise that Dougie’s brain is broken, and finally making him pancakes as if it’s just another average morning. It’s classic Lynch, making the normal and banal disturbingly weird. And Watts nails the role, with Janey-E suburbia personified.

The Actor: Caleb Landry Jones

The Character: Steven Burnett

First Appearance: Part 5

Caleb Landry Jones as Steven Burnett.

Caleb Landry Jones has thus far forged a successful career playing strange, oddball characters in the likes of Get Out, Antiviral and The Last Exorcism. So it’s no surprise to see him flourishing in the strange, oddball world of Twin Peaks. We first meet Steve Burnett when he is being admonished for his poor attitude and résumé at a car dealership. Things get more interesting in his next scene however, with Steve appearing to be both a junkie, and a very bad influence on Becky Burnett (see below). Doubtless paving the way for dark, drug-fuelled drama to come.

The Actor: Tom Sizemore

The Character: Anthony Sinclair

First Appearance: Part 5

Tom Sizemore as Anthony Sinclair.

Movie tough guy Tom Sizemore (Heat, Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan) plays insurance tough guy Anthony Sinclair in the show. He works at Lucky 7 Insurance with Dougie, and covered for him while he was MIA, meaning that Dougie now owes Anthony. He also doesn’t take kindly to being called a liar in a board meeting, and with Sizemore as intimidating as ever in the role, the stage is set for the pair to have an almighty falling out in a future episode.

The Actor: Jim Belushi

The Character: Bradley Mitchum

First Appearance: Part 5

Jim Belushi as Bradley Mitchum.

Jim Belushi briefly pops us in Part 5 as Bradley Mitchum, co-owner of the Silver Mustang Casino, who is none-too-happy with Dougie entering his premises and winning 30 jackpots and a total of $425k. His brother Rodney (played by Prison Break star Robert Knepper) beats the crap out of the casino’s manager, while Bradley tells him to “Leave town. Don’t ever come back.” If this is Belushi’s only appearance, it’s an effective one, though as with quite a few people on this list, he still has beef with Dougie, so we may well be seeing more of the Mitchum brothers.

The Actor: Amanda Seyfried

The Character: Becky Burnett

First Appearance: Part 5

Amanda Seyfried as Becky Burnett.

Becky Burnett initially seems like a good girl, delivering groceries to the diner and chatting with Shelly. But then she leaves the diner, gets in a car with Steven Burnett, and it’s clear she’s very much a bad girl. Becky does drugs with Steven, and Amanda Seyfried perfectly captures her high with an ecstatic smile. Could Becky be going the way of Laura Palmer? Only time will tell.

The Actor: Ernie Hudson

The Character: General Davis

First Appearance: Part 5

Ernie Hudson as General Davis.

Ernie Hudson – aka Winston from Ghostbusters – plays General Davis, working out of the Pentagon in Arlington. Hudson doesn’t get much to do beyond react to news about the possible whereabouts of Major Garland Briggs, but with Davis now travelling to South Dakota to investigate, we’ll doubtless get to know the General better in a future episode. Either way, it’s always good to see Ernie.

The Actor: Laura Dern

The Character: Diane Evans

First Appearance: Part 6

Laura Dern as Diane Evans.

OK we’re updating this one, and moving Laura Dern from bad to good. Because her first appearance was a massive tease. We finally got to meet Diane – Dale Cooper’s loyal secretary from back in the day – who did indeed seem like “an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer.” But then she got just a few seconds of screen time. Part 7 more than made up for that however. Dern’s foul-mouthed Diane reluctantly agreed to meet with bad Dale C, and their Silence of the Lambs-inspired moments together were TV gold. Dern capped it off with a powerful, emotional breakdown outside the prison, and effectively stole the episode.

The Actor: Tim Roth

The Character: Gary ‘Hutch’ Hutchens

First Appearance: Part 9

Tim Roth as Gary 'Hutch' Hutchens.

Tim Roth is ALWAYS good, so it’s no surprise to see him nailing his brief-but-effective appearance in Episode 9. He seems to be the husband of Chantal Hutchens – see above – although the fact that ‘Hutch’ encourages her to make out with bad Dale suggests that he might be brother or cousin. Either way, Gary is a nasty piece of work, and having agreed to kill three people for evil Coop – the prison warden and a double-header in Vegas – we’ll doubtless be seeing this dirtbag again.

The Bad

The Actor: Matthew Lillard

The Character: William Hastings

First Appearance: Part 1

Matthew Lillard as William Hastings.

Scooby-Doo star Matthew Lillard plays headmaster William Hastings in the show, a family man who finds himself arrested early in proceedings. The crime? A double murder. Hastings claims to be innocent, but his fingerprints are all over the crime scene. And he’s even dreamed the murder. Unfortunately, Lillard’s acting histrionics during his interrogation are pretty over-the-top. And while Twin Peaks is known for the odd extreme performance, we’re just not buying Shaggy in the role.

The Actor: Michael Cera

The Character: Wally Brando

First Appearance: Part 4

Michael Cera as Wally Brando.

It feels bad sticking this one in the bad column, as this scene is one of the best in new Twin Peaks. Seeing Michael Cera, dressed like Johnny Strabler in The Wild One, quoting Marlon Brando lines, is AMAZING. But the fact that it’s Michael Cera does somewhat take you out of the moment. He talks about wanting to pay his respects, turning his childhood bedroom into a study, and criss-crossing America, but you aren’t really seeing Andy and Lucy’s kid. You’re seeing Michael Cera doing a Marlon Brando impression. So a great scene. But a bad cameo. That said, we really hope to see Wally return in a future episode.

The Actor: David Koechner

The Character: Detective D. Fusco

First Appearance: Part 7

David Koechner as Detective D. Fusco.

The scene is good – the Fusco brothers interviewing Dougie about his missing car. The expression on Koechner’s face is priceless – looking at Dougie as the rest of us would if we met him. And it’s hilarious watching Naomi Watts’ Janey-E take the policemen down a peg or two, as she has pretty much everyone else in the series. But it’s Koechner doing what Koechner does in pretty much every movie and TV show he appears in. Making it hard suspend disbelief, and not just see Champ from Anchorman popping up in Twin Peaks. Which is awesome, but does kind of take you out of the show.

The Actor: Bérénice Marlohe

The Character: “French Woman”

First Appearance: Part 12

Bérénice Marlohe as French woman.

It feels like David Lynch is jerking our chain with this one. Skyfall star Bérénice Marlohe plays a character without a name – she’s simply called “French woman” in the credits – who is keeping FBI Director Gordon Cole company when his colleague Albert Rosenfield comes to the door. Cole sends her to the bar, and what follows is two-minutes-thirty-seconds of Marlohe drinking her wine, putting on her shoes, showing off her legs, checking her make-up, re-applying her lipstick, drinking more wine, posing, and blowing a kiss. It’s kind-of funny, but also pretty excruciating, most notably when David Lynch’s Cole says “tres chic” while ogling her.

The Actor: Monica Bellucci

The Character: Herself

First Appearance: Part 14

Monica Bellucci as Monica Bellucci.

Another episode, another Gordon Cole encounter with a former Bond girl. In Part 12 it was Skyfall star Bérénice Marlohe playing ‘French Woman.’ And here it’s SPCTRE star Monica Bellucci, playing Monica Bellucci. The bizarre scene occurs when Cole recounts a dream he had that featured the actress. We then see that dream via black-and-white footage of Cole meeting Bellucci in a French cafe. “Monica was very pleasant” he says. “She brought friends.” They all have coffee, then Bellucci says “We are like the dreamer who dreams, and then lives inside the dream.” The exchange apparently made Cole feel uneasy, and seeing the actress, inexplicably playing herself, has a similar effect on the audience. There might be a very good reason for it. But I doubt we’ll ever find that out.

Chris Tilly
FANDOM Managing Editor in the UK. At this point my life is a combination of 1980s horror movies, Crystal Palace football matches, and episodes of I'm Alan Partridge. The first series. When he was in the travel tavern. Not the one after.
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