Freddie Howard (Harry Dean Stanton) is Kingsley Stewart's assistant. He is the first person in Nikki's sphere to learn of the curse. While he is a loyal assistant and an expert information-gatherer, Freddie seems to be in financial difficulty.
Things That Happened Edit
Freddie is almost always at Kingsley's side. Freddie is extremely valuable to Kingsley because he is "purposefully" out and about gathering information for the director, and information is "indispensable." Kingsley praises Freddie as an assistant who can hold his liquor with the best of them (Freddie adds, "Somebody's got to do it. Gable's dead").
When he and Kingsley arrive for the first day of rehearsals on Stage 4, Freddie seems somewhat out of it. He and Kingsley have just had a particularly bad cup of tea at the commissary ("Terrible isn't an adequate description of it," Freddie laments). Freddie interrupts the run-through of Scene 35 when he sees someone else on the soundstage. Kingsley then reveals to Nikki and Devon that Freddie has learned of the curse.
On the soundstage one day, during down time, Freddie pathetically and unprofessionally asks the films stars, Nikki and Devon, for money after Nikki good-naturedly asks if he is enjoying himself:
Well… There’s a vast network, right? An ocean of possibilities. I like dogs. I used to raise rabbits. I’ve always loved animals. Their nature. How they think. I have seen dogs reason their way out of problems. Watched them think through the trickiest situations. Do you have a coupla bucks I could borrow? I’ve got this damn landlord. … I got a lot of nerve, I know. Seems like only yesterday that I was carrying my own weight.Nikki guiltily gives Freddie money, and after some hesitation, Devon does as well. Nikki later notices Freddie giving some crew members the exact same sob story.
- Harry Dean Stanton has portrayed more David Lynch characters than any actor other than the late Jack Nance. He starred as Slim in Lynch's short The Cowboy and the Frenchman, played Johnnie Farragut in Wild at Heart, played Carl Rodd in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (a role he reprised in the 2017 Twin Peaks: The Return), starred as Moe Boca in the Lynch-directed Hotel Room episode "Tricks," and played Lyle Straight in The Straight Story.
- The role of Kingsley's assistant was originally to have been played by Freddie Jones, who costarred with Harry Dean Stanton in "Tricks," and also appeared in Lynch's The Elephant Man, Dune, Wild at Heart, and Episode 4 of On the Air. The Lynch 2 documentary shows Lynch on the phone explaining that Jones was flying to America to play the role when he experienced vertigo in Heathrow Airport and went to the hospital because he could not stand up. The documentary also shows Lynch discussing possible replacement actors, still apparently committed to making the character British. The documentary also shows Harry Dean Stanton's first day of shooting, when Stanton and Lynch still apparently planned to use a British accent for the character, a concept that was ultimately abandoned.