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Thread: Why is a part being recast? - (jschroeder)

A different form of revenge

It struck me as odd that Diane would dream that the casting of the lead in the Sylvia North Story was a recasting. What would cause that and did it really happen? A recasting might happen if the original actress cast in the role were to die or simply disappear. Could someone have orchestrated that?

Castigliane brothersWe know from the reality segment of the film that Camilla Rhodes had the lead in the Sylvia North Story. However, we donít have any background on how she got the part. In the dream segment, a "girl is still missing," leads to a recasting where strong arm tactics (somewhat supernatural at times) are used to pressure the director to cast an actress named Camilla Rhodes. Could the dream accurately depict how the real Camilla Rhodes got the part?

This plays directly into one of David Lynchís clues (#8) where the question is asked whether talent alone helped Camilla. The usual interpretation is that Camilla used her sex appeal to further her career but could something more sinister have happened? There is no doubt there was a lot of competition for the role. Diane admitted wanting it at the dinner party. In the dream, the high-powered casting agent whisks Betty for an impromptu audition for the part which she says that Betty "could kill." Interesting choice of words but it was clearly a highly prized role for any actress. So, who could have eliminated the original actress? 

If Diane had arranged it, then it certainly didnít do her any good since she didnít get the part. However, it is consistent that the phone calls about the girl still being missing wound up going to what we later learn is Dianeís phone. And, if thatís the case, then the dream is all about what else could Diane have done to have gotten the role. She eliminated the competition but forgot (or couldnít afford) to strong arm the director. She shot the Sheriff but didnít shoot the Deputy).

Camilla, on the other hand, looks like a better candidate to have "killed" for a part. She DID get the part and certainly had the same motivation as Diane in having it. In Dianeís dream, Camilla/Rita is loaded with money. Although Diane shows Joe a bundle of cash for "dealing" with Camilla in the reality segment, it pales in comparison to what comes out Camilla/Ritaís purse in the dream. Camilla would seem to have more money to buy her way into a role both through contract killing and intimidation.
Rita and Betty Camilla, in the dream, also acts like sheís guilty of something. She's afraid of the cops for no good reason. She reacts to the dead body as if she were responsible for it. Could the dead body be the original lead actress? The "easy" answer is that the corpse is the dead Diane who died of a broken heart (or suicide) after being rejected by Camilla. However, it could also be a corpse from Camillaís past manifested in Diane Selwynís apartment. Now, Diane on the other hand doesnít show any fear or reaction to detectives asking about her. Even in the reality segment, after Diane awakes and answers the door to the Lamp Lady, she shows no reaction to being told two detectives were looking for her. Curiosity should have prompted her to ask "what did they want?" The assumption is that the detectives were looking into Camillaís disappearance or death. But isnít that premature? And, if they were really looking to a disappearance or a death of Camilla, wouldnít they have questioned the Lamp Lady as well? At least asking if she had ever seen Camilla around the complex? Itís more likely that the detectives where investigating an older event. Perhaps, even one that Diane contacted them about in the first place.

If Diane knew Camilla was involved in the disappearance or death of the first actress cast in the Sylvia North role, then it might shed a different light on Dianeís relationship with Joe and how Diane could get revenge on Camilla. Rather than killing Camilla, Diane could expose her. The whole blue key with Joe is strange and overly dramatic if not down right melodramatic. Classically, the blue key is viewed as the way Joe would tell Diane that Camilla had been killed. But, that doesnít make a lot of sense. If Camilla disappears or dies, it would be pretty common knowledge and Diane would be aware of it since sheís in Camilla and Adamís inner circle. Diane does ask what the key opens and Joe just laughs at her. It would be ludicrous for him to give her a key to where he might have stashed a body. That would put Diane directly in line with a murder charge.

On the other hand, in Dianeís dream, Joe is not an assassin. That role apparently belonged to Ed and although it didnít go as planned, he wasnít worried about it. This reinforces the notion that merely insuring a missing actress was enough for whoever paid the bill. Joeís role in the Dianeís dream, is to steal Edís "history of the world in phone numbers." To get it, he shoots Ed (and two others) but does wind up with Edís book. Does this book prove Camilla was connected, ordered, and paid for the disappearance of her competition for the lead role as Sylvia North? Would it prove complicity in strong arming that filmís director into choosing her for the part?
Itís also possible to argue that the actress rendered missing by Ed might have survived. Perhaps she was disfigured from an "accident" and maybe even had amnesia? And, in Dianeís dream, Joe is looking for her; tracking her down as a now bruised streetwalking prostitute.

Another of David Lynchís clues (#4) states that "an accident is a terrible event... Notice the location of the accident." The only accident in the film takes place in Dianeís dream. It appears to take place on Mulholland Drive; supposedly where Camilla had Dianeís limo ride stopped to take a short cut to the dinner party in the reality segment. There is however, a strategic difference. In the dream, there is a street lamp in front of the stopped limo. The lamp looks strangely residential in nature. A lamp more likely to found down the hill rather than on the dark and meandering Mulholland Drive. In fact, the lamp looks suspiciously identical to those seen outside of the Havenhurst apartment building while the two detectives are seen driving by during Dianeís dream segment. This would support the idea that an accident did happen to the original lead actress but that it really didnít take place on Mulholland Drive but rather in a more common area and the actress might not even have been in a car.

Now, in the reality segment, when Diane is "hiring" Joe, he already has a book which is similar to the one Diane dreams he takes from Ed. This doesnít preclude whether Edís books is similar to Joeís or if Dianeís dream merely filled in any book as a needed detail. In all probability, Edís book might be considerably smaller than the one seen in the dream segment.

I do postulate the idea that Camilla is alive and that Diane was only getting evidence to put her away (and out of the way). Does this impact the ending of the movie? Ultimately, no. At its core, this film is a love story. Diane loves Camilla. Camilla does not (or can not) love Diane back. If Camilla is "the one" for Diane, then Dianeís future is empty and lonely. I believe this is Dianeís inherent conflict. And, throughout the film, she is confronting it and seeking ways to avoid it. Whether she has Camilla killed, whether she turns her into prison for life (or a death sentence), or simply does nothing, Camilla will not be the part of Dianeís life she craves.