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Kyle MacLachlan, 65, is a force on TikTok who's connected with Charli XCX and Chappell Roan. Here's what he thinks about his cult-favorite status.

The "Twin Peaks" actor spoke with Yahoo Entertainment about the song and snacks he's most passionate about this summer.

Kyle MacLachlan poses for the camera at the premiere of Inside Out 2.
One of Kyle MacLachlan’s many famous roles is as the voice of Riley’s dad in Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/Pixar)

Kyle MacLachlan’s fans all know him as an iconic character — but which character that is might vary. To some, he’s Special Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. To others, he’s Orson Hodge from Desperate Housewives or Trey MacDougal from Sex and the City.

Newer fans might even know the 65-year-old as an actor who’s not afraid to be a little silly on social media. He has more than 500,000 followers on TikTok, where he’s shared videos of himself dressed as a hot dog singing along to Chappell Roan, and partaking in absurd social media trends to promote his new projects. He knows he’s been branded a “babygirl,” a term of endearment bestowed upon celebrities who inspire a protective instinct.

In addition to appearing in Fallout, Inside Out 2 and his own podcast in recent months, MacLachlan stars in a new ad campaign for the return of a cult-favorite menu item at Arby’s: potato cakes. If there’s one thing he knows how to do, it’s giving his fans what they want. He spoke with Yahoo Entertainment about his whimsical social media presence, his illustrious acting career and which song and snacks he’s most passionate about this summer.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Your social media presence is incredible. What made you decide to have a little bit of fun online?

The whole thing got started when I was making a podcast called Varnamtown. It’s such a crazy story, I thought, “Why don’t we try to promote this online and do some of the wacky stuff that actually existed in the community that we visited?” We did some spoof stuff, and since there was cocaine involved [in the story told in the podcast about a small Southern town that reportedly served as Pablo Escobar’s shipping port], there’s all sorts of strange, crazy behavior. That launched my page into a sort of silly space where we’re having a lot of fun and people seem to really be responding to it. I work with a couple of people who help me with my accounts and bring me ideas, and together we create these things. We started doing some trending stuff, and I really got a kick out of the idea that this is meant to be fun and playful. It’s meant to be pointing to people who I feel are really talented, and they’ve embraced it. Lorde has embraced it. Charli XCX has embraced it. Chappell Roan has embraced it. They’ve all thought it’s fun.

I wanted to ask about your posts about them. Are you a pop music fan?

I like music, and that’s the newest stuff that I’ve been exposed to. I have a 15-year-old son who’s very into music — he’s got great taste, both with stuff that’s current and old stuff. He’s been a big influence on me. I listen to “Von Dutch” [by Charli XCX], and I’m like, “Oh my God!” It just grabs me. She’s got such a great canon of songs. This one in particular, I’m just like, “This makes me want to move, even at my age.” It’s really been a pleasure to collaborate with them by using their music. I find it incredibly fun and whimsical, putting it out there and seeing what happens.

Are you familiar with the concept of “the song of summer”? What’s yours?

“Von Dutch” is pretty darn good. I don’t know why, it just grabs me. It’s something I can listen to all the time.

You have that, and you have the potato cake at Arby’s, which is going to be my something of summer.

Snack of summer?

Yeah. I’m excited about that too. Someone told me that one of the great ways to eat a potato cake is — you know the beef and cheddar sandwich Arby’s makes? — you stick the potato cake on the sandwich so you’ve got beef, cheddar, potato cake and a little bit of Horsey Sauce. Come on! You can’t get better than that. That’s perfect.

Has there ever been a time when you’re playing a new character or promoting a new project — be it a podcast or a potato cake — when you feel like the fact you’ve played so many iconic roles gets in the way of people accepting you as something else?

No, never. These fans are just so focused on the show — they love the show, and use it to express their feelings in a way that means a lot to them. Fans are the reason why Arby’s is bringing potato cakes back too. The fans have spoken.

Fans are, I think, in some cases the reason why so many shows come back — like with Twin Peaks: The Return. Fans kept hammering and hammering and hammering until finally [co-creators] David Lynch and Mark Frost found a way to get back into the story. The power of the fan is really important.

I see a lot of people commenting on your posts and praising the bromance between you and David Lynch, so I want to ask a ridiculous question: Do you think he would ever join TikTok?

Would David Lynch ever join TikTok? That’s a good question. He does post a lot of videos. He’s got a YouTube channel where he posts most of his stuff. I wish he would join. He’d be a lot of fun to have on TikTok.

I would be so curious to see what he would do with the medium, because he loves music, and visually he’s amazing. I’d be curious to see him put the two together. It would definitely be memorable. He’s my creative inspiration. He’s doing something creative literally every day. It’s phenomenal. Apart from being a good friend, I admire him so much. I’m a big fan of the campaign for David Lynch to be on TikTok.

On the subject of Lynch, I would never pit two Dune movies against each other since the 1984 one you starred in is so iconic — but did you see the Dune popcorn bucket from the recent movie?

Popcorn bucket? What does it look like?

It looks like the worm’s mouth.

You put your hand in the worm’s mouth? You have to be very brave. That’s crazy. I predict they will become highly collectible.

I went to a screening of Inside Out 2, and they gave me this. [He holds up a plastic tray made to look like the console where the emotions work in the movie.] You can open it up and put your drink and your popcorn inside. I’m going to put this on eBay and make a million dollars someday.

Are you aware of all the thirst for your Inside Out 2 character?

He’s become ... well, yeah. I noticed an article that pointed out what was happening between my character and the wife character, played by Diane Lane. What is happening between those two? Maybe Pixar should make an Inside Out movie from the parents’ perspective as they’re raising the kid. My son is 15, and there’s a lot going on inside my head. To turn that around would be sort of interesting, but I’m sure Pixar has already thought of that. They’re brilliant and have thought of everything.

If I only had 24 hours left to check out one of your projects, should I watch Twin Peaks or listen to your podcast?

Oh gosh, Twin Peaks is awfully special. If you want a really crazy story about a small town in North Carolina that was a drug hub shipping port for Pablo Escobar’s stuff coming up from South America, then the podcast would be a really good jam.

Sex and the City is having such a huge resurgence right now. I’ve seen it all over the comments on your social media — people literally refer to you by your character’s name, Trey.

When I was working on the show, I was working primarily with Kristin Davis [who plays Charlotte York]. She was amazing — we had really good chemistry together. We had this comedic thing going on, and I think we were believable as a couple handling a difficult topic. There was just this underlying sadness there that made things a little more realistic. They actually really did love each other. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Is there a character you relate to, in the way people will say “I’m a Carrie” or “I’m a Charlotte”?

I’m Trey.

That’s a Carrie thing to say.

I think that was the brilliance of the show — having different points of view represented with different women who could actually come together and have a friendship. I think the greatest lesson there was that we can disagree but still be friends.

Why did you want to work with Arby’s and be a part of their campaign bringing potato cakes back?

It’s a very silly, very tongue-in-cheek campaign. I get to sort of stretch some of my eccentric muscles. In the videos, I come out as the leader of the Order of the Potato Cakes, and I take it very seriously. It’s the kind of humor that I love, and it’s making the fans happy.

I gotta say, I’m a hash brown aficionado and these are very similar to hash browns. Anything that takes a potato and makes it great — I’m in. They’re back for a limited time July 1.