Mary and Tim Reber never know who might show up at the door of the Rucker Hill home they bought in 2014.
So far, visitors have included director David Lynch, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper and a steady stream of “Peaks Geeks” from all over the world.
What’s up with that?
The Rebers live in the “Twin Peaks” home of fictional murdered homecoming queen Laura Palmer in the cult classic show.
The white Dutch colonial with the wide front steps was used in the 1990 pilot episode of the mystery drama “Twin Peaks” when the discovery of the teen’s plastic-wrapped body brought the devilishly handsome, cherry-pie-loving Agent Cooper to town. The show lasted two seasons. The home also was used in the 1992 movie prequel “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.”
Fast-forward 25 years. The home, complete with iconic creaky ceiling fan, returned for a spell in the limelight for “Twin Peaks: The Return,” a new 18-episode series on Showtime that concluded last month.
The Rebers landed a spot in the grand finale of the revival TV series. In the scene, Mary opens the door of the former Palmer house to find Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).
“There were about 300 people watching,” Mary said of the crowd on the street, which was blocked off for the nighttime scene.
It only took two takes on Mary’s part. Not bad for her first ever acting job.
She was coached by the master, Lynch himself.
“He told me how to open the door and extend my arms out. Slow movements and waiting,” Mary said.
Tim’s voice can be heard in the background.
Sorry, I can’t tell you more. I don’t want to spoil the end of the 18-hour surreal experience that culminates with this epic scene that teases the imagination before it fades to black.
As Tim sums it up: “It is David Lynch’s screwing with people.”
The “Twin Peaks: The Return” DVD and Blu-ray with 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes material will be released Dec. 5.
The Rebers have much more behind-the-scenes material than that.
It started when Lynch first came to their house on New Year’s Day 2015 on a scouting mission for the new series of the show he created with Mark Frost.
“David Lynch walked in and said, ‘I love this house, they don’t make them like this anymore,’ ” Tim said.
He said Lynch had Mary on his radar from the get-go. “He was watching her,” he said.
When Lynch came back a few months later for a second look, he recruited her. “He said, ‘Have you ever acted?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Would you like a small part?’ I said, ‘Absolutely,’ ” she said.
The director and his crew returned in October 2015 and spent about two weeks filming in Everett. The day of Mary’s scene, she was outfitted in a plain button-down shirt in the wardrobe trailer parked down the street.
Lynch sent her to her own closet. “He said, ‘I want you to wear what I saw you wearing on the first day I met you, a ruffly blouse,’ ” she said.
The couple were impressed with Lynch.
“It’s fun to watch a mind like that work,” Tim said.
“That mind is always going,” Mary said. “He is very kind and attentive. Very artistic.”
She said Kyle MacLachlan, a Yakima native who plays Agent Cooper, was charming. “Kyle talked to people in the crowd about the Seahawks. He made a real point in talking to the fans.”
The Rebers attended the premiere of the first two episodes of the series in California in May. Mary had no idea where her scene fell in the scheme of the series. She had to wait in suspense until the final episode aired Sept. 3.
The couple weren’t avid “Twin Peaks” fans before buying the house. In the early 1990s, Mary was a stay-at-home mom, busy home-schooling their three now-grown kids. Tim is a businessman who invented a filtration system for dental offices that removes mercury from vacuum systems.
The “Twin Peaks” legacy didn’t influence their purchase of the four-bedroom Everett home for $500,000 in September 2014.
“We were just buying a house,” said Tim.
“We thought it was cool,” added Mary, “but that wasn’t the deciding factor.”
It was the first home purchase for the couple, who wanted a place to own.
“We thought we’d get a little more bang for our buck up in Everett,” Tim said.
Did they ever.
It started out being the Rebers’ house, not the Palmers’ house.
That gradually changed. The house has tributes to the show. Coffee is served to guests in “Twin Peaks” mugs. Laura Palmer’s photo is on an end table, next to a green candy dish that replicates the one in the show. An effigy of Bob, the demonic entity, lurks upstairs.
The house, especially the living room, was used in scenes throughout the “Twin Peaks: The Return” series.
“They painted the room pink and put down carpeting,” Mary said.
The crew put it back to the way it was, except for the white tie-back curtains with nicotine stains which the Rebers opted to keep up.
It is through those curtains that they see the strangers on the sidewalk.
“We get people almost daily,” Tim said. “They pull up and then they just stand outside and just stare.”
Some come to the door or request a tour. So far, they’ve had visitors from 18 countries, who often bring a token of appreciation, such as wine, pie and teacups.
A recent guest: “He had a blonde wig, he was trying to be Laura Palmer. He was from Denmark,” Tim said.
“We’ll let people come in because we really like talking about it,” Mary said. “Their enthusiasm makes us enthusiastic.”
As far as her screen fame, Mary has only been recognized once, at the Pancake House in Edmonds.
“A worker saw her and checked his phone and said, ‘Man, I thought that was her,’” Tim said.
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.
Visit the house
Want to see the house? The best way to do it is by messaging Mary Reber at www.facebook.com/mary.reber.9.
Fun facts about “Twin Peaks”
The exterior of a Monroe home was also used on the TV show “Twin Peaks.”
The show was partially filmed in Snoqualmie and North Bend as well as on Hollywood sets.
Agent Cooper is played by Kyle MacLachlan, 58, who was born in Yakima and went to the University of Washington.
Funko sells Pop! bobble-head figures of “Twin Peaks” characters, including a new boxed set of Agent Cooper and Laura Palmer.
Tim and Mary Reber purchased the Everett home in 2014 from Marilyn Pettersen, a widow who raised five children there with her husband, Peter. Marilyn Pettersen retired from The Everett Clinic as a nurse practitioner. She skied, golfed, gardened, flew airplanes and was an active volunteer at charities in Everett. She died several months after selling the home.
Learn everything you always wanted to know about Twin Peaks at http://welcometotwinpeaks.com.