Before long, brand new episodes of “Twin Peaks” will grace TV screens once again, thanks to its revival on Showtime.
In the modern landscape, riddled with spoilers, co-creator David Lynch has somehow managed to keep a veil of secrecy around the new season, and the stories he plans to tell. And given that he’s directing each of the 18 new episodes, and the return of most of the original cast, there’s a lot to be excited about.
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One of those cast members, Mädchen Amick, graced Screener with a visit recently to talk about returning to her role of Shelly Johnson — waitress at the Double R Diner — and she’s already saying all the right things about the show’s return, 25 years after it first ended on CBS.
“It was absolutely mind-blowing to go back. Really, to be honest, just mind-blowing hearing we were coming back,” she says. “I never thought we would… How could you ever do that again? My thinking was, It was hard enough to have ‘Twin Peaks’ on network television back when it was!”
Amick isn’t wrong. In the early 1990’s, viewers were far from even imagining Peak TV — and many still find it surprising that a series as surreal and off-the-wall as “Twin Peaks” found the audience it did. In the years since, it’s gained an even bigger cult following — thanks especially to its arrival on Netflix several years ago, when a whole new generation discovered it for themselves — and now that high-concept TV is pretty much the norm, it’s the perfect time to return.
Of course, returning on a premium cable network like Showtime helps. “[There are] no boundaries that David Lynch has to live within,” she says of the show’s new home. “They’ll embrace anything and everything, [wherever] he takes us.”
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And wherever Lynch does happen to take them — the actress herself is as secretive about the plot as the creator — the opportunity to go back to “Twin Peaks” is a nice full-circle moment for Amick, who also currently stars on The CW’s “Peaks”-tinged “Riverdale” as Betty Cooper’s mom Alice.
“Going back on set, getting back into Shelly’s waitress uniform, seeing my initials in the same uniform I wore 25 years ago, was so moving and touching. I fought tears the whole time I was filming, because it was an amazing experience back in the day,” she remembers.
“I was fresh to Hollywood — a 16-year-old girl from Reno, Nevada that had stars in her eyes. My first real experience was working with David Lynch.”
When the show — and that experience — came to an end, Amick had to confront the fact that Lynch, and her experience, are unique.
“It was a blessing — but it was also a curse, because he showed me a way that you can be creative, and that you can tell a story, at such a high level… And then I went from the ‘Twin Peaks’ experience into the real world — the big, bad world of show business — where you’re constantly hit with, ‘No, we can’t do that. Oh no, there’s no way. The audience won’t understand that…’”
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According to Amick, it took five years of the entertainment industry trying to put her in the “perfect category or box” to fully appreciate what working with a mind like Lynch’s was like: “I kept saying, ‘Well… Yeah, you can. I’ve done it, and it works.”
Now, 28 years after her first credited appearance — an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” in which she played the role of Teenage Girl Anya — reuniting with Lynch and her “Twin Peaks” cast proved to the actress “How special [David] is, and how special a set he creates.”
“There’s so much flow of energy. Every single person on set is valued and every single one of them is invited into the creative process,” Amick says. “It’s this really beautiful environment that, now that I’ve worked in the business, I appreciate it even more for how unique and special it was.”
“Twin Peaks” returns Sunday, May 21, on Showtime.
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