Inland Empire (2006) is presumed to be a low-budget film due to the script, filming on digital video, editing, and music all being helmed by director David Lynch. Despite this, it boasts some great actors who had risen to fame by the time the film was in production. The film is credited as a grand work of art by many reviewers, with Laura Dern’s performance being captivating throughout.
Inland Empire represented David Lynch’s longest film to date at just under three hours and followed the theme of being devoid of a traditional narrative structure from some of his other films, such as Mulholland Drive. Lynch was very hands-on in the making of the movie, doing the filming with a digital video camcorder in his hand and deciding to write the script while the filming took place.
As of the end of 2018, Inland Empire is David Lynch’s latest feature film, with cinematic greats like The Elephant Man (1980), Wild at Heart (1990), and Mulholland Drive (2001) coming in the years prior. Lynch has created many short films in his time, with Six Men Getting Six (Six Times) (1967) being his first. He is also well-known for creating the hit television show Twin Peaks in 1990 and its reboot in 2017. The famed director has also found himself in some acting roles, playing Gordon Cole in Twin Peaks and the voice of Gus the Bartender in The Cleveland Show (2010-13).
Prior to Inland Empire, Laura Dern had performed as an actor on three other David Lynch titles – Blue Velvet (1986), Wild at Heart, and Industrial Symphony No. 1 (1990) – with the 2006 release being her first feature film collaboration with the director in 16 years. During that time, Dern continued her rise to prominence with lead roles in many popular movies and future cult hits, such as Jurassic Park (1993).
Many of David Lynch’s feature films can be considered cult movies, with Dern’s acting ability greatly helping to enhance the spectacle. Jurassic Park is most likely the biggest cult-hit movie of her career, so much so that it even spawned a slew of games, including an online slot game. Many movies that achieve a high-level of cult fandom have seen their material crafted into popular online slot games, but Jurassic Park is the most famous because it went on to spawn an entire dinosaur-movie franchise and a subsequent reboot in the form of Jurassic World.
Jeremy Irons is one of the most esteemed active British actors today, with his talents not being limited to film and television; he’s also done a lot of theatre work. Having performed at the theatre for over a decade, Irons made his first step into film with Nijinsky (1980), going on to play main parts in many cinematic releases, and lend his voice to Disney movie The Lion King (1994), in which he played Scar.
In the years leading to Inland Empire, Irons was very busy. In 2002, he was in Callas Forever, The Time Machine, and And Now… Ladies and Gentlemen. After performing in A Little Night Music on stage in New York in 2003, three more films featuring Irons came out in 2004, which were Mathilde, The Merchant of Venice, and Being Julia. In 2005, Irons played Tiberias in Kingdom of Heaven and Pucci in Casanova, with those parts most likely being filmed while Inland Empire was being created.
Irons won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1990 for his part in Reversal Fortune. He also claimed the Golden Global Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries, or Television Film in 2005 for his role in Elizabeth I.
Justin Theroux has been in films spanning a wide range of genres and production values, including the independent film Below Utopia (1997), psychological horror American Psycho (2000), romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000), comedy Zoolander (2001), and action movie Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003).
Like Laura Dern, Theroux has also featured in more than one David Lynch film, starring in Mulholland Drive (2001) and also Inland Empire. After Inland Empire, he went on to write Tropic Thunder (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010) as well as feature in many movies, including The Ten (2007), Your Highness (2011), Wanderlust (2012), and The Girl on the Train (2016). In 2005, Theroux was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for being in Six Feet Under (2001-05).
The late Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017) worked on many projects with David Lynch, featuring prominently in Wild at Heart and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) as well as being in The Straight Story (1999) and Inland Empire.
Prior to his role in Inland Empire, Stanton had appeared in over 100 films, including Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Godfather Part II (1974), Alien (1979), Red Dawn (1984), Down Periscope (1996), The Green Mile (1999), and Alpha Dog (2006).