Ten Minutes in the Mind of Mdchen Amick
par Steve Beard
Mdchen Amick

Best known as the waitress Shelley in Twin Peaks,
Mdchen Amick stars in the latest Stephen King adaptation Sleepwalkers, out this month

What attracted you to Sleepwalkers?

Ive always been fascinated with vampire movies and Sleepwalkers was an interesting twist on things. I thought, "If Im going to do a scary movie I should do it with the leader of the pack - which is Stephen King." I wanted to play one of the sleepwalkers until Id seen the rest of the cast in three hours of make-up, and I thought it was fine that I was one of the victims.

Your character in Twin Peaks was a victim too. Ever afraid of being typecast?

I can do other things, although I have had a lot of scripts for victims. But I think every woman does.

Would you be happy to play a serial killer?

Yeah. It would be great fun to strike back.

What is your favourite Stephen King novel?

Ive never read any, although Ive seen plenty of movies based on his work. It was certainly nice to have him involved in Sleepwalkers. He came on set and met everyone and did a little cameo.

So is he as weird as David Lynch?

Before I met him I expected David Lynch to be very strange, because of his movies. And I met him and he was just the nicest normal guy. But then you work with him and you see his quirky ideas in action and you realise that deep inside theres some sort of strange guy. As for Stephen King, he seems very normal to me too. He had a real good sense of humour.

So whos the weirdest person youve ever worked with?

Usually, its actors actually.

What was it like going back and doing Twin Peaks the movie?

We shot in Seattle, where the original pilot for the series was made. It was fun. The first time we were there, everyone was real suspicious, but when we went back, they embraced us. These Japanese tour buses were touring all the sights of the series. It was amazing. Suddenly it was a big production. to get to the set.

Who is your favourite Twin Peaks actor?

Andy. He was funny. He would walk past the camera and he would be hilarious.

Is there much competitiness among the Twin Peaks actors?

That could easily happen. I personally feel that Im gonna do what I`m gonna do when Im gonna do it. Im not in a race. Im gonna be here for many years. I want to work with as many good people on as many good projects as I can. A lot of actors are just looking for the parts that will make them look good, but Im not obsessed with being one of the ten most beautiful women in the magazines. I dont feel that pressure.

Do you get fed up with people asking you what your name means?

No. It doesnt bother me. I answer to basically anything that starts with an "M". My parents say that it means "pretty maiden", although a guy from Germany tells me that its now slang for "chick".

Who is your favourite actor?

Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, De Niro. I admire the actors who can really become different characters, rather than just play themselves.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I dont think anyone would want to film it. A few people have said that Rosanna Arquette and I talk exactly alike; and shes quirky too. So maybe her.

What was the last book you read?

What To Expect When Youre Expecting, which is the bible for every pregnant woman. The baby is due in mid-July and we know it will be a boy. Were going to call him Sylvester Time Amick-Alexis. I enjoyed having an interesting name, so I decided to do something different for him too.

When was the last time you got high?

Ive never gotten high. Ive never smoked - except "pretend" in Twin Peaks - Ive never been drunk and never tried a drug. Ive just never had any interest in it.

What would you do if you were president?

Well, theres a lot of things that need to be dealt with - like racism, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, the environment. But Im afraid I dont know if anyones gonna do it.

If you were a man, what would you do?

I dont think I could be a man. I like being a woman too much. Id probably be a transvestite.

How important is appearance to you?

I try not to pay too much attention to it. Whether somebody wants to hire me for my acting ability is up to them. If they dont like the way I look, then thats too bad. They can hire someone else. If theres one thing about my appearance Id like to change, its getting this big round belly off.

When you married five years ago, did you sign a pre-nuptial agreement?

No. Were gonna be together, so theres really no reason to. Thats like looking at the end before youve begun. When I first came to Hollywood and was going 20 calls a day, David was living on the other side of the street from me. It was interesting. I wasnt gonna date anyone; I was there to have a career and go after it. And I met him and just fell in love.

What is the worst come-on line youve ever heard?

Im a bad person to ask because I never went through a dating period. Even when I was at school - where normally you have a boyfriend every other week - I was strange. I was very choosy. When I did have a boyfriend, we had a relationship for over a year. So Ive always been more adult in that aspect. I never had an interest in sharing any part of my life with someone who was just gonna come and go. I suppose I have hurt some guys, but probably not as many as most women.


Mdchen Amick was talking to Steve Beard

Steve Beard
The Face july 1992.