Since getting her big break as diner sweetheart Shelly Johnson on David Lynch‘s cult classic 90s series “Twin Peaks,” actress Mädchen Amick has remained a television favorite, snagging roles on “Gilmore Girls,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Californication” and “Damages.” She recently reprised her role as Shelly in Lynch’s 2017 “Twin Peaks” reboot, and currently appears on “Riverdale,” Greg Berlanti’s adaptation of the much-beloved Archie Comics. Untitled chatted with Amick about her theater beginnings, working with David Lynch at only 20-years-old, her role as the Cooper family matriarch on “Riverdale” and upcoming projects.
Untitled: Can you tell us a bit about the beginnings of your career in acting? How did you originally get started?
Amick: I studied theater with Roberta Fluke at McQueen High School in Reno, NV. I toured nationally with the theater department and debate team. I left home for Hollywood at the age of 16 and finished high school at Hollywood High. I continued studying acting with Howard Fine and started auditioning for films and television.
One of your most iconic roles was playing Shelly Johnson on Twin Peaks and its recent revival. How did you get involved with the show?
Johanna Ray, who was David Lynch’s casting director, brought me in to read for him. I originally read for the character Donna Hayward, brilliantly played by Lara Flynn Boyle. [Co-creator] Mark Frost told me some years later that after that audition, he and David Lynch wrote the part of Shelly Johnson for me.
Twin Peaks and David Lynch have huge cult followings. What’s it like being involved with a project that has such a legacy and enthusiastic fan base?
It’s wonderful. We have an avid and loyal fan base. Our fans are true artists themselves. I’m constantly blown away at their talents and their love for our unique and intelligent show that broke the mold of television almost 30 years ago.
You currently play Alice Cooper on Riverdale, a TV series based on the Archie Comics. Did you read Archie growing up at all?
I have to confess, no I didn’t. I was more of a Sunday Funnies fan—Snoopy, Garfield and Beetle Bailey!
Can you give us a bit of insight into what to expect from the third season of Riverdale?
The writers are just now conjuring up all of our storylines for season three but I’m really hoping that Alice Cooper will finally find happiness—and some much-longed for #falice shenanigans.
What typically attracts you to a role?
The complexity and strength of the female character. Whether she’s in the right or wrong, a victim or villain, I love to explore all of her layers, obstacles and complications.
Do you have any other projects in the works that you can tell us about?
I’m currently in production on a docuseries called “Behind the Curtain” that I wrote and am producing and directing. It will intimately explore mental health in America. I’m very excited about it!