Actress Mädchen Amick is going from one story about a town back to another familiar one.
Tonight, Showtime is reviving David Lynch’s chilling, atmospheric, and sometimes very weird Twin Peaks after 25 years off the air. The original series featured a number of well known actors, some early on in their careers; one of those people was Amick, who played Shelly Johnson on the series.
Now, the Double R Diner is open again, and the damn good coffee and pie there may taste even better than Pop’s over on The CW’s Riverdale, where Amick plays Betty Cooper’s mother Alice and often gets many of the best lines of the series.
We spoke with Mädchen Amick earlier this year about what it’s like to go from being one of the “younger generation” on the original Twin Peaks to being one of the “grown-ups” on Riverdale — and surprisingly, the comparison between the shows didn’t cross her mind at first until the first reviews of the pilot were coming out.
“I didn’t realize it until after the pilot was released, and the reviews were coming out, and they were comparing it to Twin Peaks,” Amick recalled. “It’s fun, because I think that the adult storylines are as deep and interesting as the younger storylines, which is very reminiscent of Twin Peaks.”
Like Twin Peaks, Riverdale started with a murder mystery — though this one wasn’t dead, wrapped in plastic. “I do agree with the comparison between Riverdale and Twin Peaks, in that yes, there’s a murder mystery and you do want to do know, [but] you get so invested in the characters and their relationships and their drama [that] the murder mystery becomes a backdrop, and it’s not so driven around who killed Jason Blossom,” she promised, which was indeed how things panned out for viewers of Riverdale; Jason’s murder was only a small part of the story.
“What I read a script, I’m more interested in ‘what is happening with the Coopers?’ Where we left them before. What’s going to happen now? Even more than ‘oh, what new clue are we going to find in the murder investigation’?” she recalled.
The world of Twin Peaks once boasted a Sheriff named Harry Truman; the name “Alice Cooper” is also familiar to pop culture enthusiasts as a musician. Did the name give Amick a double take when she first did the audition?
“Yes!” she exclaimed. “I didn’t understand it. And then I had heard that Alice Cooper the rock and roll star, it was funny that he was going to take this suburban housewife’s name to become a rock and roller, so I’m really, really campaigning to have the rock and roller Alice Cooper on the show, and I want some really good, juicy scene between Alice Cooper and Alice Cooper,” she said.
Which Alice Cooper is more fierce? “This one right here,” she said proudly.
With Twin Peaks back tonight, it was unavoidable to ask about another series from Amick’s past that had amassed quite a following – Witches of East End, the series on Lifetime that was cut short after only two seasons. Is that a world that the actress might also like to revisit? Is there a chance we could ever get a revival of that project?
“I hope so,” she said enthusiastically. “The actors that are involved in it – we were heartbroken when it was cancelled, and we’re all willing to go back and do it again. We’re just trying to figure out how we could revisit it. We’ve decided that we at least, as actors as friends – even if it’s shooting a spoof version of where everybody ended up – because we loved each other and we loved filming it. It was a big disappointment. It was such a good show.”
Twin Peaks premieres tonight on Showtime. Riverdale will air on Wednesdays this Fall on The CW; all of Season 1 is now available on Netflix.