The nearly unrecognizable Malkovich, assuming the role made famous by John Hurt, plays real life “Elephant Man” Joseph “John” Merrick in the pivotal scene where the deformed man quotes Psalm 23 of the Bible, which convinces doctors to allow him to remain under hospital care.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want,” Malkovich mutters under a thick mask of makeup and prosthetics. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
Over the course of the past week, Malkovich breathed new life into beloved Lynch characters like Twin Peaks‘ Dale Cooper and the Log Lady, Blue Velvet‘s Frank Booth, Eraserhead‘s Lady in the Radiator and Henry Spencer and Lost Highway‘s Mystery Man. The project helped raise money for the filmmaker’s David Lynch Foundation, which aims to teach people who suffer trauma about transcendental meditation.
The videos also featured music courtesy of longtime composer Angelo Badalamenti, Lykke Li, Zola Jesus, Sky Ferreira, the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd. Those songs, compiled on The Music of David Lynch, is available to purchase through the Playing Lynch site.