INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Before headlining this year’s Twin Peaks Festival in Washington state next week, TV and film actress Sherilyn Fenn is making a stop in Indianapolis for the first time.
After recent stints on CBS’ S.W.A.T. and Amazon’s Goliath, Fenn is appearing at the Days of the Dead convention this weekend and is looking forward to visiting with her fans.
“I’ve had amazing connections with people. I always call them my sacred family. As an actor, you hope your work touches them,” she says.
While working in TV and being a mom, a recent catastrophe sent Fenn’s family reeling. Just a few months ago, they lost everything in a fire at her apartment complex.
“You go through all kinds of weird stuff emotionally. At the end of the day, just have really strong faith in God. And you just have to be strong and grow from it, from everything that life brings.”
Fenn believes that it’s not good to be too attached to material things, but admits it was hard letting go of her kids’ baby pictures and Christmas ornaments.
“I did get depressed a little bit, but I decided to snap out of it. There’s nothing I could do. I mourned it, it’s done.”
With a sense of humor about it all, Fenn shares an interesting anecdote about literally walking through fire.
“My oldest son Miles and I did this Tony Robbins course Unleash The Power Within. So on Thursday night we were walking over burning hot coals, and on Sunday the house burned down,” she says with a laugh.
Fenn got her big break in television as Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks, the David Lynch and Mark Frost production that aired on ABC in 1990. The show became a pop culture phenomenon and Fenn became a household name, gracing the covers of New York, Rolling Stone and Playboy magazines.
“The role of Audrey was actually written for me, so it was really special. What a gift to have been a part of Twin Peaks. It makes me really happy to be a part of something that touched people like that,” she recalls.
Today, Fenn has appeared in a slew of series on Showtime: Ray Donovan, Shameless, and of course, Twin Peaks: The Return.
Twin Peaks came back to the small screen in a big way, though not without controversy. Beginning with public grievances between director David Lynch and Showtime over production issues, and its final presentation being experimental and divisive, Twin Peaks made another mark on TV history in 2017.
“With David, you don’t walk to the pool and jump in. You run as fast as you can and dive in, because you know you’re working with someone you can trust and is tuned into truth,” she says.
Fenn and longtime show fans were thrilled about the return of Audrey Horne, but she explains that it got off to a rocky start.
“The script pages, honestly, were really disappointing and really upsetting. I believe it was the story that (co-creator) Mark Frost tells in the Final Dossier novel, like Audrey has some lame hair salon or something. It was just bad, there was nothing to do.”
She then had to tell David Lynch a personal truth that brought her to tears.
“I told him I can’t do this. This is crazy. I don’t even know what this has to do with who Audrey was. I don’t understand any of this and I don’t like it at all. So I left crying and he got really mad at me because he had to rewrite it.”
The confrontation paid off for Fenn, who whispering ideas into Lynch’s ear during production, and the Audrey Horne vignette became one of the most talked about subplots of the entire series.
“After we shot it, David said he was sorry and that I was right and that he was so glad that he rewrote it. And that made me happy,” she reveals.
Audrey’s story, however, doesn’t have such a happy ending in Fenn’s interpretation.
“She’s really unhappy, she’s really bitter, she’s really sad. I think that when people are hurt, they retreat into themselves and try to be in a place where they can not be hurt anymore. That’s where little Audrey ended up, it’s not such a great thing.”
Fenn, however, will arrive in Indianapolis with feelings of love and optimism about her family’s future.
“It changes every day — auditions and meetings come up. Right now, what I need to do is get my family into our house, into a real place. I’m taking care of business like that.”
You can meet Sherilyn Fenn at Days of the Dead in downtown Indianapolis starting Friday.