American experimentalist David Lynch is certainly known for his eclectic nature, making multiple films over his career that challenge genres and push the definition of cinema itself. From his exploration of the subconscious dream world in blue velvet to his weird monkey interrogation short What did Jack do?, there seems to be no limit to the scope of Lynch’s vibrant imagination.
While his entire filmography is celebrated (perhaps aside from his lackluster adaptation of the Frank Herbert film Dunes), there is a film that critics consider the crown jewel of his impressive career. Released in 2001, Mulholland Drive explored just how deep the fantasy of the Hollywood film industry was, telling the story of a woman embroiled in a bizarre mystery who finds her own sanity questioned.
Starring Naomi Watts in the lead role, the film was celebrated across industry circles, with critics and fans praising it for its innovative storytelling techniques and dreamlike depiction of reality. While Watts was the most famous name, she was joined by Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Ann Miller and, surprisingly, musician Billy Ray Cyrus, father of contemporary pop star Miley Cyrus.
Winning Lynch several major accolades, the film became a critical sensation, changing the lives of everyone who appeared, including Cyrus himself, who credits the project with launching his daughter’s hugely successful career.
Talk to QG in 2011, Cyrus even went so far as to declare, “If it hadn’t been for David Lynch, Miley would never have been Hannah Montana.”
Indeed, bringing the American filmmaker and fictional tween character Hannah Montana together isn’t exactly the most predictable thing in the world, with Cyrus admitting to stitching the two icons together meaninglessly. His reasoning, while tenuous, makes sense, with Cyrus stating that if not for the minor role in his early career, he might never have gotten ahead in the industry,
Holding a great amount of love for the filmmaker, Cyrus adds: ‘I love him, he changed my life’, although he admitted to feeling a bit uncomfortable while filming the film itself. . Recalling his time in the film, he further told the publication, “I felt a bit gloomy,” with the religious family man having issues with his violent persona in the film, saying, “I remember having felt, ‘Maybe that’s not what God had in mind’”.
Take a look at a clip that shows off star Billy Ray Cyrus in the classic Lynch film, below.
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