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Kyle MacLachlan enters his next era: Gen Z-beloved TikTok star

MacLachlan said his son and "arbiter" only thinks a few of his TikTok videos are "cringey."
/ Source: TODAY

Kyle MacLachlan appreciates a damn fine cup of coffee, much like his "Twin Peaks" character.

Ahead of sitting down with, he asks to grab himself a cup, in classic Dale Cooper fashion.

Returning with his mug, MacLachlan — who starred in the TV shows "Twin Peaks" and "Sex and the City," and the movies "Dune" and "Blue Velvet" — responds to finding out Gen Z might just know him best from social media.

The 64-year-old actor posts delightfully charming videos on TikTok, effortlessly achieving Gen Z trends without trying too hard. Almost none of MacLachlan's posts across TikTok, Instagram and X have been deemed cringeworthy by his son, who he calls his "arbiter."

"He says if it's cringey, then I failed, but for the most part, I think he's pretty supportive," MacLachlan says on TODAY.

The nod of approval comes as a notable achievement for any Boomer trying to execute the Gen Z zeitgeist — and he tries, over and over.

MacLachlan turned his TODAY appearance into a moment on social media, using the TODAY show greenroom and stairs outside of Studio 1A to re-create the ending of "Saltburn," where Barry Keoghan dances to Sophie Ellis-Bextor's "Murder on the Dance Floor" throughout the rooms of a massive English mansion.

MacLachlan sat down with to talk about the history behind his TikTok account, his plans for this year's "Twin Peaks" Day and just how those Lorde photos came about.

The Lorde situation

When it comes to Gen Z's obsessions, either you get them or you don't — and MacLachlan does, as he demonstrated in a recent post mimicking, frame-for-frame, one of the singer Lorde's.

The New Zealand singer hasn't released an album since 2021, leaving fans ready for new songs.

"Listening to myself," Lorde captioned two selfies on Dec. 17, the first of her wearing Apple AirPod Max headphones, and the second of her sitting on the floor with the headphones on.

Before his new podcast "Varnamtown" launched, MacLachlan's team approached him about re-creating Lorde's photos to promote the premiere.

"Other than an appreciation, no, we don't know each other at all," he shares. "We just re-created these images — which I love doing. I had the striped shirt — I didn't have the pajamas, but I had the striped shirt, so that was good, and getting the right angles."

After MacLachlan posted his set of photos on Instagram on Jan. 16, Lorde replied on the same day: "I am………. speechless Kyle!"

She also added the photo to her story with the caption, "O KAY Kyle !!"

The singer's enthusiasm came as a surprise, MacLachlan says.

Kyle Maclachlan and Lorde
MacLachlan and Lorde. Who's who?@kyle_maclachlan, @lorde via Instagram

"Then it just kind of exploded in a way that I didn’t expect," he says. "She responded, and she was very funny and gracious. I think she got that it was a fun thing that was not meant to mock or take the piss out of it at all. It was kind of an ... appreciation post? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

MacLachlan adds he has not yet met the New Zealand singer in real life, but that he hopes to one day.

"I think she's very special," he says, before sharing his favorite Lorde songs. "I mean, of course, 'Royals,' knew that, that's a very lovely song and I like 'Green Light' as well. She's a very powerful artist, at a young age. She's really impressive."

His history with TikTok

MacLachlan's first experience with TikTok came when he was filming "Carol's Second Act," a CBS sitcom. His co-star Adam Rose started telling him about the app, then decided it would best to just show him by making a video, MacLachlan says.

"So he put me with Ashley Tisdale and Sabrina Jalees, and I didn't really know what to do. I basically just stood there and they did all the moving around and dancing. And I said, 'Oh,' and that's it. It was like, fine. But that started it," he says.

MacLachlan started posting TikToks on his own account during the Covid-19 pandemic, as it gave him the opportunity to be creative in a time where he couldn’t interact with many others in person.

And while he initially embraced Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, he says his TikTok eventually "just exploded." MacLachlan now has more than 267,000 followers on the app.

"Now I mean, it's overwhelming," he says. "It's almost like I'm trying to merge onto a very fast freeway. And I'm still learning. And it's terrifying to merge."

MacLachlan says he does follow creators on the app, but he also collaborates with his team (as well as his 15-year-old son) to stay on top of the trends.

"I have to get a kind of 'Aha' moment," he says of knowing which ideas to pursue on the app. "I guess sometimes I'm like, 'I don't really know how I fit into this work.' But then there are some things that I'm like, 'Oh, yeah, that makes complete sense.' I have to have a response. I have to go, 'I know exactly what I want to do.'"

The actor shares his dream TikTok collaborator would be to work with Rose again, who now has more than 5.6 million followers. "He's so funny and deadpan," MacLachlan says. "And I feel like the two of us, the combination of those sensibilities, would be kind of funny."

February 'Twin Peaks' plans

Kyle Maclachlan in Twin Peaks, 1990.
Kyle Maclachlan in Twin Peaks, 1990.Alamy

Every year, on a day called Twin Peaks Day, MacLachlan is reminded of the lasting legacy of his "Twin Peaks" character Agent Dale Cooper.

The holiday's date, Feb. 24, was a reference to his character's first appearance in the show, where he uses a voice recorder to take note of where he is and what he's doing.

"Diane, 11:30 a.m., February 24th. Entering the town of Twin Peaks, five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. I’ve never seen so many trees in my life," Cooper starts his monologue.

"Twin Peaks" was filmed at locations in Snoqualmie, Washington, along with the neighboring towns of North Bend and Fall City. Each year, the cities about 30 miles outside of Seattle, host a festival commemorating the special day — a festival MacLachlan says he's never attended.

"Well, I am thinking about going up. I've never attended the festival. So I think this might be the first time that I go," he says, one month ahead of the festival.

MacLachlan says he's thinking about "doing something" at the Salish Lodge, the real-life hotel used for the exterior shots of the Great Northern Hotel seen at the top of Snoqualmie Falls in the show's title sequence.

And in what may be the quaintest Pacific Northwest news, he shares he get his own star — like on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — but in North Bend.

"They might do a star on the sidewalk, in front of the theater," he says with a smile. "So I'm like, 'Well, this sounds like something you have to do.'"