It could be said that if David Lynch picks you to work with him on four different projects (and counting), you must be doing something right. We recently sat down with Bellina in the Timber Room at The Great Northern and talked about more than just restaurant recommendations...
Twin Peaks Archive: How did you get the role of Beany in Wild At Heart?
Bellina Logan: I was a recent graduate of The Juilliard School doing a lot of theater and just starting to get film and television roles and I had met David Lynch through Laura Dern who had already done 'Blue Velvet' with him. David was aware of my close friendship with Laura and when it came time to cast the role of Beany Thorne (Lula's best friend), he asked Laura to ask me if I would be interested in playing the part. I was thrilled and jumped at the chance. I hadn't even read the script, but I just knew it would be great. I flew out to L.A from New York, read the script the night before shooting and was fascinated with the script. It was a real page turner and David had adapted it into a screen play from the book beautifully. We shot the scene in a smoky bar that was supposed to be anywhere but it actually was the San Fernando Valley I think.
The scene took place at the beginning of the film the night before Lula is reunited with Sailor who was going to be released from prison. Beany and Lula are drinking and smoking and talking about how excited she is to see Sailor soon, how crazy her mother is and how Beany's husband is a freak too. They are just having a great time together being girlfriends. I remember that both Laura and I had some crazy tight, colorful outfits on and both of us had crazy , BIG hair done exactly the same way. There was a speed metal group playing some crazy music in the back round and at some point Lula asks Beany if she can borrow Beany's car to pick Sailor up from prison. After some hesitation, Beany agrees and that winds up being the car Lula and Sailor use in the film for all their adventures. David was really cool and talked to us in between takes.
He was very focused and knew exactly what he wanted and it was a thrill working with him. The scene came out looking great, but the film had a lot of great scenes like that with other interesting actors and it would end up coming in way too long, so sadly David had to cut a lot of great stuff out and just focus on telling the story of these two crazy love birds. I was of course crushed that my scene was one of the one's that had to go but I understood and David was really sweet about it and wrote me a note and explained why and told me the other great actors that had to be cut too - so at least I was in good company. At the end of the day, I was still really happy that I'd had the experience to work with him and he told me he wanted to work with me again and it worked out because he did indeed ask me to do other projects.
TPA: Did you shoot Twin Peaks or Wild At Heart first?
BL: You know what? It's all starting to blend together now. I'm pretty sure I did WAH first then, Twin Peaks. It's a bit tricky though because I think - no I'm sure David shot the pilot of Twin Peaks before he shot WAH. Then he shot WAH after the first season of Twin Peaks. I was not in Twin Peaks until the second season.
TPA: Were you aware of Lynch's work?
BL: Yes I was very much aware of David Lynch before landing WAH. As I mentioned earlier, I knew him through Laura Dern. I in fact remember when Laura met with David for 'Blue Velvet'. I remember being so excited for her that she would be meeting the director that had made 'The Elephant Man'. A film we both loved and we thought he was a genius. It was not until later that I went out and rented 'Eraserhead'.
TPA: Had you been watching Twin Peaks?
BL: I had been watching Twin Peaks before I got the role of Louie. I was quite taken with the first season as most people were. Very exciting television. I was totally sucked in to the whole Twin Peaks craziness going on at the time.
TPA: How did Twin Peaks come about? What was your characters name?
BL: Louie 'Birdsong' Budway was my character's whole name. David called me on the phone and asked me if I wanted to play her. Told me that she was Mr. Horne's right hand girl. She wants to move up in the world and wants Mr. Horne to give her praise. She's a good girl. No scenes were cut. It's pretty much how it was written. I wound up doing another episode where you don't see me, you just hear me on an intercom talking to Mr. Horne. My time on the show was great. All the cast and crew were happy to be working on such a hit and at the time, it was all so secretive. I remember, that my script was numbered and I was not allowed to talk to anyone about what we were filming because everyone was trying to get the scoop on what was happening on the show.
TPA: Talk a little bit about Piper as Mr. Tajimura.
BL: They were indeed keeping her identity a secret or trying to at least. They were trying to keep it from me by not introducing her as Piper but as this Japanese actor playing the part. She would always walk away really quickly after each take so I wouldn't talk to her and figure it out. I kind of had already figured it out that something was up and that it probably was her, but I also just wanted to concentrate on acting the scene well with her if it was Piper Laurie. She's a great actress.
TPA: What did you think of the set?
BL: I didn't really get a chance to wander around the set. Most of it was in one big warehouse and the exteriors were shot in Seattle I think. I might be wrong about that.
TPA: We loved you on 'On The Air'!
BL: Doing "On The Air " was one of my favorite things. I LOVED playing the 'Woman with No Name'. I worked very hard on the dance that she has to do at the end. The cast was fabulous and the whole experience down to David again calling me on the phone and telling me he had a cute nugget of a part that he figured only I could do and would I do it was great. So so sorry I never saw the light of day in this country, but I hear it was very popular in Japan.
TPA: You work with Lynch for a fourth time on Inland Empire...
BL: Playing Linda was fun. Acting with Laura was fun again. Her performance was without question was an amazing thing to behold.
TPA thanks Bellina for her time!