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‘Twin Peaks’ Star Sherilyn Fenn Talks The Show’s Ending & Her Character Audrey’s Ties To ‘Mulholland Drive’

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by Charlie Schmidlin
January 23, 2014 11:05 AM
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"Twin Peaks"

Communication has proven itself somewhat scrambled lately at “Twin Peaks” HQ—or at least as mysteriously messy as befits the David Lynch/Mark Frost-created show. The occasion of a new Blu-ray box set in the works prompted rumors of Lynch shooting a new promo, a claim which Frost deemed as “baseless” and actor Ray Wise then touted as not only accurate, but already completed. Yesterday we learned from Lynch that a new Blu-ray release is in fact coming but that’s it, and now actress Sherilyn Fenn has relayed some choice memories from her two seasons with Lynch & Co.

As Audrey, the rash and sultry femme fatale with a penchant for tying cherry stems with her tongue, Fenn riveted “Twin Peaks” fans with her character’s shifting alliances and inimitable style. And in a recent retrospective over at the AV Club, Fenn credits Audrey as primarily Lynch’s creation: “[S]he was defined by David. She was who she was because of him. What you read on a piece of paper is one thing, but when I got there, they couldn’t find saddle shoes, and he’s like, ‘You have to have saddle shoes!’ “

Although a commitment to “Of Mice and Men” prohibited Fenn from starring in “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," Lynch’s 1992 prequel to the series, she described how Audrey was supposed to lead her own spin-off—one that failed to accumulate but still planted the original idea for 2001’s “Mulholland Drive”.

“[It] was either in between the first and second season or after the second season, but they were like, ‘What if we did a movie, and it’s Audrey in California?’ “ she said. “And they talked about an opening scene of her driving along Mulholland Drive, and how she’s a little bit older…I was young, and I thought it sounded weird, because no one ever really did that. I was, like, ‘Okay, but do people do that? Go from TV to a movie as the same character?’ Then all those years later, David made the other one, and I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Audrey was also known in the show in terms of her unrequited love for Kyle MacLachlan’s FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, and according to Fenn the reason the two characters never got together? Some behind-the-scenes drama. “What happened was that Lara [Flynn Boyle] was dating Kyle and she was mad that my character was getting more attention,” she said. “So then Kyle started saying that his character shouldn’t be with my character because it doesn’t look good, ’cause I’m too young. Literally, because of that, they brought in Heather Graham—who’s younger than I am—for him and Billy Zane for me. I was not happy about it. It was stupid.”

Whatever the case, the role of Audrey still firmly marked Fenn’s name down in TV’s history books and the minds of “Twin Peaks” fans, and you can read up more on the actress’ long career in her full interview.

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More: Twin Peaks, Sherilyn Fenn, Television, TV News

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