I was 17. I was sitting in a casting office and he came out of his office, the main office, and said, “I gotta take a leak” and left. Then I was taken into the room where he was and the first thing that struck me so much about him was we never spoke about movies. He never asked me what I’d been in; he wasn’t interested in what I’d done, or what I had to say about acting.
We really just spoke about abstracts, anything from trees to where we were raised to Transcendental Meditation. We covered a lot of subject matters, and I was really impressed by that. That it meant he was exploring what he wanted in the character based on what he wanted from the person. It wasn’t about reading for the part per say. He, luckily for me, hired me for Blue Velvet.
We’ve known each other ever since and worked together over these many years. It’s very, very cool. In terms of an intuitive sense between an actor and a director we just are lucky to have a real connected dialogue since the beginning.