“I’m aware it’s a juxtaposition: I’m 65 but I’m still pretty silly and goofy, or I like to think I am,” actor Kyle MacLachlan says of his newly found social media fame. Taking Lorde-inspired selfies on his bedroom floor and posting lip-syncing TikToks have earned him a cornerstone in Gen Z culture, heart eye emojis, and “soooo babygirl” comments to boot.

(For those unaffected by TikTok brain rot, “babygirl” is to say “a man with a loving chokehold over a fandom.”)

Kyle wears all clothing PRADA

Moniker aside, this fan affection is nothing new for MacLachlan. Gen Z has simply put a word to what fans have felt for decades. To Gen X, he’s heartthrob Paul Atreides from Dune (1984). For Millennials, he’s Special Agent Dale Cooper in 90s TV phenom, Twin Peaks. Ask Zillennials and he’s Charlotte’s almost perfect guy, Trey MacDougal, from Sex and the City. Since his global debut in the 80s, Kyle MacLachlan has made it clear that he always understands the assignment: a starring role in a post-apocalyptic thriller and becoming an internet meme are equally valid endeavors.

I catch up with MacLachlan in between conferences, dialing in from his hotel room in Austin, Texas. He’s in town for South by Southwest as a guest speaker to answer the simple yet existential question of “What Am I Doing Here?”, delving into the disjointed topics of film, investigative journalism, and winemaking. At his core, he’s a storyteller and each medium he’s drawn to becomes a tool to craft a narrative. His latest medium? Podcasting, but not the mic-stand-in-bedroom kind. For this new creative foray, MacLachlan took a more “method” approach, accompanying co-host and investigative journalist, Joshua Davis for boots-on-the-ground research in Varnamtown, North Carolina, a sleepy fishing port where time seemed to stand still for decades, but in true crime fashion, all was not as it seemed.

Kyle wears all clothing GIORGIO ARMANI

For those seeking a Twin Peaks reunion, chew on this: Through a friend who had recently retired to the coastal village, MacLachlan caught wind of a local mystery—the 300 townspeople were rumored to have been embroiled with Pablo Escobar and his blood money during the drug kingpin’s heyday. The 24-month-long assignment was interspersed alongside other projects like flying out to Mexico for a few days to shoot Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut and summer blockbuster, Blink Twice.

His role? “You’ll have to stay tuned.” He’s got this mystery thing down pat.

One project MacLachlan is not keeping under wraps is Pursued by Bear, his Walla Walla, Washington, winery (say that three times fast), and offscreen passion project. “Wine had always been my drink of choice since high school,” he laughs. I was an odd person. In the early 2000s, between days on the set of Desperate Housewives, MacLachlan traveled to his home state of Washington and noticed the region transforming into a vino hub. As with all of his creative endeavors, MacLachlan is hands-on, heavily involved in all things crushing, processing, and storing of his 3,000 case production. So hands-on, in fact, he hosts “Tastings with Kyle”, a meet-and-greet sort of affair at the vineyard for fans to test the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Rosé, and interact with the onscreen titan and off-screen proud Washingtonian. “I want the wine to speak for itself. Over the course of time, it’s done that and I think people have accepted the fact that I’m an actor that makes good wine.” When he’s not being the Internet’s Dad, that is.

Kyle wears all clothing GIORGIO ARMANI / Glasses talent’s own

Important to note: he signs off the Zoom chat with a dramatic air kiss. “Muah!” See? Sooo babygirl.

This story appears in the pages of V149: hitting newsstands on July 10th!

Photography Michelle Gonzales

Fashion Douglas Vanlaningham

Grooming Livio Angileri (Honey Artists)

Photo assistants Bryan Martinez, Andrew Park

Location Vision Studios

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