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-- Tom Bryant (, July 30, 2001


Q. Do you think Betty is Diane's alter ego?

For me, Diane is the reality-based character. That is the truth of the situation. Things are so awful in her life, in this rock bottom place, this horrid state of dementia, that she creates Betty as how she would have liked it to have been. Betty was optimistic and hopeful and pretty and peppy and sweet and everyone loves her and she's in control of Rita. Rita doesn't know who she is and Betty loves this power and this control she has over Rita. So that's the wish, the dream, the fantasy, the projection, whatever you want to call it. It's the reverse when we're talking about Diane and Carmela.

Q. What spurs Diane to create this elaborate fantasy about Rita?

Because it's an unrequited love story. Carmela is a movie star, she's beautiful, a femme fatale, the directors are in love with her, everyone's in love with her. She's a powerful, strong woman. Carmela pulls her friend Diane into her life for a minute but then cuts her off and stops reciprocating any friendship. [That plunges] Diane into this massive psychosis that she can't get out of, and then the worst happens.

Q. It seemed as if Lynch was setting up a relationship in the "Betty" world between you and Adam (the intense Hollywood movie director played by Justin Theroux), but then that shifts into a relationship between you and Rita. Conversely, in the "Diane" world, Adam and Carmela wind up together. How do you think Adam figures into your relationships in Mulholland Drive?

Adam is basically someone who pulls Carmela away from me. Diane is a narcissist, so she sees Adam in the "Betty" world [as being] in love with her. They have a moment. And I think again because she's so in awe of Carmela's life, she just represents everything that Diane wants and doesn't have. So she basically tries to change it all around. That's when she creates Justin's character, Adam, as being someone that wants her, instead of Carmela. I think it's just an obstacle in the way of her love affair with Carmela.

Q. During the "Betty" reality, can you describe what goes through Betty when she's having her sexually charged (and quite disturbing) audition scene with a much older actor?

This whole other character emerges. It comes out of left field, but we've had hints that Betty is not all that good and pretty and perky and sweet and innocent. There is going to be some kind of transformation, and that's where we learn more about her. We see her come alive and undergo a change. The way Betty is set up [in the beginning] seems almost like a cardboard cutout. I thought when I first read the script, "Oh my God, it's so one-dimensional -- she should be on the side of a cereal box in 1952!" But there were moments of release, like when she pulls the [substantial amount of] money out of Rita's purse you think, "Is this person gonna call the police right now? No." You see the fear register on her face but then there's an excitement, too. Then we see her in the audition scene, and it's the same thing. We get a hint that there's a whole other layer about to reveal itself. Again, that's Diane's projection of her complexities, and who she is and who she wishes to be. But then there's this whole other truth coming through.

-- rorty (, November 19, 2001.

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