The Return of Kyle MacLachlan (and Agent Cooper)

“Some people have gone as far as to try to defend it as a brilliant movie,” he added. “I’m not so sure, but I appreciate the effort.” Ultimately, he couldn’t bring himself to promote it. “I went into hiding,” he said.

Mr. Lynch didn’t hold Mr. MacLachlan’s frustration against him. “It’s a tough life for an actor waiting for the phone to ring,” he said. “You want to work.”

And at a certain point he did.

In 1999, Mr. MacLachlan went for an appointment with his chiropractor, and spotted a mystery brunette in the waiting room.

Her name was Desiree Gruber. At 31, she was already a world-class connecter who served as a vice president at the publicity firm Rogers & Cowan, with clients including supermodels (Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum) and big companies (Miramax Films, Victoria’s Secret). Mr. MacLachlan talked with her briefly but “didn’t have the nerve” to ask for her number before going into traction therapy.

The next evening, he spotted Ms. Gruber at a Talk magazine party at the Mondrian Hotel. They talked the entire night and decided on an even less low-profile date some 24 hours later: the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Almost immediately, he said, “I couldn’t imagine not being with her forever.” Ms. Gruber was pragmatic and gregarious in a way that brought him out of his shell and motivated him “to do better.”


Burberry coat, $1,895, at Salvatore Ferragamo shirt. J. Crew pants, $250, at Maison Margiela loafers, price on request, at Maison Margiela boutiques.

Eric Chakeen for The New York Times; Styled by Alex Tudela

“She knows more about my industry than I do,” he said. “I like the creative part. As do all actors. The business side is something that I run from. And…

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