Touch of Pink directed and written by Ian Iqbal Rashid, produced by Martin Pope, Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, with Jimi Mistry, Kyle MacLachlan, Sue Mathew and Kristen Holden-Reid. 91 minutes. A Martin Pope production. A Mongrel Media release. For review, venues and times, see Movies, page 74. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
On one level, A Touch Of Pink is a fairly ordinary coming-of-age story, South Asian division. A young Indian Canadian (Jimi Mistry) is living in London, far from his family in Toronto, when he's invited home for his cousin's wedding. He doesn't want to go, knowing that all his relatives will want to know when he's going to marry, and he doesn't want to tell them he's gay. Then his mom shows up.
What distinguishes Touch Of Pink is the factthat its central relationship is between the hero, Alim, and his imaginary friend, Cary Grant, played by Kyle MacLachlan, best known as the star of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.
In a suite at the Four Seasons, MacLachlan looks astonishingly youthful; at 45, he could still play 35. He's one of those actors who look in person exactly as they look on the screen. But how did he wind up playing one of the most distinctive movie stars ever?
"Ian (Iqbal Rashid, the writer/director) sent the script to my London agent. She thought it had a lot going for it. I thought it was interesting, but I had no idea as to how the relationship would work. I signed on not really knowing what to expect. It wasn't really until we sat down with Jimi that we figured out how to make his fantasy reality.
"Jimi and I approached it as a real relationship between the two characters. It's a kind of actor reality. We set the relationship, then I laid Cary Grant on top of it."
MacLachlan looked at a lot of different films to get Cary Grant.
"I went to His Girl Friday, not for his movement, but for the clarity of the staccato, pierce-the-air sound of his voice. For movement I went to the later films like North By Northwest and Charade."
It's a really interesting moment in a career that, since his debut in David Lynch's Dune, now spans two decades.
"Twenty years is a long time. About five years after I started working, there was a new group of younger actors, and my friends and I hated them. We thought they were taking roles from us. The latest group? I can play their dad. Or try to play 25."
You can't talk to MacLachlan without talking about David Lynch. He's starred in more Lynch projects than anyone else, and his bland, all-American good looks are an essential anchoring point in the surreal universes of Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks.
In particular, is it true that Lynch didn't think people cared who killed Laura Palmer?
"Absolutely. David loved the investigative element of that show. He thought it was much more interesting to investigate than to solve the mystery. I touched on that when I hosted Saturday Night Live; Agent Cooper liked the investigation so much that he didn't care if someone confessed. David was actually surprised when he found that people did care."
For now, MacLachlan's off to Mexico.
"I get to play a villain in this one. That should be fun."
But he can't, at the moment, remember the title of the film or the name of his director.