The Twin Peaks star surprises fans with a new role and quirky TikToks
kyle maclachlan

Kyle MacLachlan didn't exactly plan on embracing TikTok. It was Ashley Tisdale who showed him the way.

"I learned about it when I was working with Ashley on [the CBS sitcom] Carol's Second Act," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I was inadvertently in an Ashley Tisdale TikTok."

"She was on the cutting edge of all this stuff," says the actor, 62. "I was just walking down the corridor and suddenly there I was and asked, 'What am I supposed to do?' She said, 'Don't do anything, just stay there.' And that was my first TikTok."

The Twin Peaks star, who played Special Agent Dale Cooper in David Lynch's twisted fantasy, often posts winks to fans of the cult show on the social media platform. Lots of cherry pie — and coffee.

"There's so much you can do with it," says MacLachlan. Whether posting odes to his noir past or telling "Beary Tales" about his wine line Pursued by Bear, he notes, "It's very playful."

kyle maclachlan
Credit: Kyle Machlachlan/Tiktok
kyle maclachlan and ashley tisdale
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

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MacLachlan has always been comfortable trying the unexpected. He now finds himself stretching in a more traditional way playing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in upcoming PBS Masterpiece series Atlantic Crossing, which premieres Sunday. 

The series details a little known story of Roosevelt's close friendship and flirtation with Norway's Crown Princess Martha. "It was an amazing opportunity," MacLachlan says of the role. "Once I read the script, I thought, 'I'm in.'"

kyle maclachlan in Atlantic Crossing
Credit: Courtesy Masterpiece

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In the past year, the actor has savored "slowing down" at home with his wife, producer and entrepreneur Desiree Gruber, and their 12-year-old son, Callum. More time for father-son basketball, family Monopoly, outdoor grilling — and TikTok. "That's been my creative outlet," he says. "I love creating little stories."

And while known for a certain kind of edgy cool, he admits his son wasn't very impressed.

"He's embarrassed by my TikToks," says MacLachlan with a laugh. "He says 'Dad, please don't.' Once in a while he'll give me a thumbs up but more often than not it's the cringe Dad post."