[Warning: General spoilers in interview and episode preview.]
Y’all know from my Get with the Program piece last year, that MÃ¤dchen Amick was my hook for starting Witches of East End, so it was a thrill to chat with her this week about what’s up with Wendy in season two, and celebrating the silver anniversary of Twin Peaks.
Amick is in the unique position of creating a role written just for the series that isn’t grounded in the books. “It’s definitely freeing. They hired me to do the guest role for the pilot, and the whole point was to kill a major character [to show] that’s how high the stakes are,” she says. “I went into it free-spirited and wanted to bring as much life to Wendy as I could, and it would be a quick thing. [When they asked me to stay on], it was so great to be asked to be a part of it. It was unexpected and it makes you feel appreciated.”
She shares that yes, they are having exactly the ball it looks like they’re having. “I have been having so much fun with the character, and working the ladies. They’re amazing and we connected immediately and we have so much fun together,” she says. She also loves that she gets to run the emotional gamut as Wendy. “I enjoy that one minute, they give me something emotional or hard to go through or something really, really challenging and the next minute, she has something quick witted and funny to say. I enjoy never knowing where Wendy is going to come from and keeping her grounded. Having that variety of stuff to sink my teeth into has been so much fun.”
Wendy has a distinct style that was set with her estrangement from Joanna and the girls, and Amick says it’s a collaborative effort to create the look. “Maggie [Friedman] wanted her to have an edge. There’s always going to be a little bit of rock and roll in Wendy because of [her time in New Orleans],” she says. “The costume designer is so great. We constantly play off each other and come up with ideas and build outfits together.Â It’s a lot of fun.” Amick has also added a few kitty cat touches to the wardrobe. “I was really insistent she wears dangly things and feathers,” she says. “And the fans responded to the fact that she’s wearing her [cat] trophies. I love that they’re paying attention to that.”
While Amick has the feline moves down, she’s actually allergic to cats in real life. “I love them but I can’t live with them,” she says.Â “As soon as I left home, my mom got a bunch of cats. I do always keep the idea of the feline characteristics [in mind] but I don’t want to do it too much.”
I asked about Wendy always being served milk after she’s shifted, and she laughed that Julia Ormond came up with that and it just stuck. “We were all supposed to be pouring scotch and Julia said, ‘no I’m going to give her some milk,'” she recalled. “I had just shifted, and since then, I make sure to run for the milk.”
We saw in last week’s episode that Frederick is up to something, but we don’t know what that is yet. “Wendy distrusts him and is the one holdout of the family. He works his way in pretty good and he gets everybody going on his side, but she doesn’t trust it or like it and I think we need to follow Wendy’s instincts,” says Amick. She adds that Wendy will realize pretty quickly that Frederick’s worked some sort of spell on her. “She’s pretty quick-witted. You can’t pull too many things over on Wendy. She sees it all.”
Wendy’s other challenge this season is that she’s on her last life, and Amick says that will alter some of her freewheeling ways, and it will affect her budding friendship with Tommy. “She’s pretty much coming to terms that this is her last life, so she’s approaching this season with a completely different mind. It’s hitting her that she’s got to make this last life count,” she says. “She’s got a soft spot for that EMT. We’re going to see more between them. And she’s going have to a different attitude toward that relationship. There’s more at stake. She’s gong to take that a little more seriously.”
Although the family starts off this season with no secrets about witchcraft, Amick warms that the Beauchamps aren’t a completely open book with each other. “Even in family dynamics where we’re all on the same page, things go down that you don’t admit to. There are still secrets in the family itself,” she says. “It’s better in some ways, but there’s still some stuff that people aren’t talking about.”
We’ll also get to see a Wendy-focused flashback episode. “Around every corner, there’s something crazy going on that Wendy has to deal with. There’s a lot of fun stuff [this season],” says Amick. “Around episode six, you get to see some flashbacks and a past and you realize why she’s so negative about relationships and love. You get to see she’s been hurt and to experience that with her.”
She echoed what the producers said at ATX about the network support for the show. “Lifetime has really been encouraging the team to push the envelope,” she says. “[They] want it edgy [and] shocking. Usually a network is pulling the reins. It’s great to have them be so encouraging.”
Amick is on Twitter and it’s a whole new world for her. “I’ve been really resistant, and I’m really, really late in the game. I started it to promote Witches. My indoctrination into the business was with David Lynch and he doesn’t like to talk about the magic behind the scenes, he wants to leave it magic and I love that. I want to be lost in what I’m seeing onscreen,” shes says. “It was hard for me to come into it. I started lightly and promoting the show and little by little, I’m warming up to it. I’m find my own boundaries and rules where I’m comfortable. It’s all been positive feedback. It encourages me and it’s all been really good.”
During the hiatus, Amick traveled to the London Film Festival for Twin Peaks,which also just had a 25th anniversary party in Los Angeles for a new Blu-ray release packed with every episode of the series, the film, extra footage, interviews, and even the commercials. “It was so much fun [and] great to see everybody,” she says. As for the series launching 25 years ago, she and I were on the same page when she laughed that she wasn’t admitting that much time had passed.
She also revisited a character she’s played on Longmire in an episode that aired last week. “I had done a guest arc and they asked me to come back again this season,” she says. “They shot it out of sequence because I was coming back to Witches,Â but it was an important story point to Lou Diamond Phillips‘ character. I love that show and that character they created. She’s just a mess and really fun to play. And [there’s a] really great dynamic between their characters.”
Other than that, she just enjoyed the time off to gear up for the second season, which is in production now. “It’s a lot of fun but it’s a lot of work. We’re doing gigantic shows in the amount of days we have to film it,” she points out. The cast gets together to watch the show live every week, and she says that’s been a great bonding experience.
Witches of East End airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Lifetime.
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