Best known as the waitress Shelley in Twin Peaks,
Mädchen Amick stars in the latest Stephen King adaptation Sleepwalkers, out this month
What attracted you to Sleepwalkers?
I´ve always been fascinated with vampire movies and Sleepwalkers was an interesting twist on things. I thought, “If I´m 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 I´d 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?
I´ve never read any, although I´ve 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 there´s 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 who´s the weirdest person you´ve ever worked with?
Usually, it´s 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 I´m gonna do what I`m gonna do when I´m gonna do it. I´m not in a race. I´m 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 I´m not obsessed with being one of the ten most beautiful women in the magazines. I don´t feel that pressure.
Do you get fed up with people asking you what your name means?
No. It doesn´t 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 it´s 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 don´t think anyone would want to film it. A few people have said that Rosanna Arquette and I talk exactly alike; and she´s quirky too. So maybe her.
What was the last book you read?
What To Expect When You´re Expecting, which is the bible for every pregnant woman. The baby is due in mid-July and we know it will be a boy. We´re 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?
I´ve never gotten high. I´ve never smoked – except “pretend” in Twin Peaks – I´ve never been drunk and never tried a drug. I´ve just never had any interest in it.
What would you do if you were president?
Well, there´s a lot of things that need to be dealt with – like racism, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, the environment. But I´m afraid I don´t know if anyone´s gonna do it.
If you were a man, what would you do?
I don´t think I could be a man. I like being a woman too much. I´d 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 don´t like the way I look, then that´s too bad. They can hire someone else. If there´s one thing about my appearance I´d like to change, it´s getting this big round belly off.
When you married five years ago, did you sign a pre-nuptial agreement?
No. We´re gonna be together, so there´s really no reason to. That´s like looking at the end before you´ve 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 wasn´t 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 you´ve ever heard?
I´m 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 I´ve 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.
Mädchen Amick was talking to Steve Beard
The Face july 1992.