Kyle MacLachlan’s 2001 Oscar Weekend Whirlwind

A glittery love story

Headshot of Richard Horgan

What does a reporter do when an interview subject’s upcoming project, Twin Peaks, is locked up in an NDA? In the case of New York Times features writer Jacob Bernstein, an apology is offered at the very top of the piece, followed by a shift to other topics such as the evolution of actor Kyle MacLachlan’s relationship with filmmaker David Lynch and the way the actor met his wife Desiree Gruber.

In February 2001, MacLachlan had a chiroporactor’s appointment on the Friday of Oscar weekend. That bit of realignment turned out to be life-shifting as well:

MacLachlan spotted a mystery brunette in the waiting room. Her name was Desiree Gruber. At 31, she was already a world-class connecter who served as a vice president at the publicity firm Rogers & Cowan, with clients including supermodels (Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum) and big companies (Miramax Films, Victoria’s Secret). Mr. MacLachlan talked with her briefly but “didn’t have the nerve” to ask for her number before going into traction therapy.

The next evening, he spotted Ms. Gruber at a Talk magazine party at the Mondrian Hotel. They talked the entire night and decided on an even less low-profile date some 24 hours later: the Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Almost immediately, he said, “I couldn’t imagine not being with her forever.” Ms. Gruber was pragmatic and gregarious in a way that brought him out of his shell and motivated him “to do better.”

Fantastic. The twin peaks of two top-tier Oscar fetes, against the backdrop of Russell Crowe and Julia Roberts winning the acting Oscars for Gladiator and Erin Brokovich. For the May 5 NYT Fashion and Style article, Bernstein strolled with MacLachlan on the High Line. When the reporter suggested at that time that the two continue on to the Flatiron district for a quick drop-by visit to Gruber’s Full Picture office, MacLachlan gamely agreed. Those details conclude the article and are equally NDA-skirting delightful.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.