Mädchen Amick on Witches Of East End
Lifetime has long been a popular network in the United States, seen as one of the primary sources of television for women for nearly three decades. Finally this year, Lifetime expanded to the UK, launching their own TV channel in the UK and bringing their own unique flavour to our shores. With the network comes one of their original productions Witches Of East End, alongside other shows such as The Client List.
We had the chance to talk to one of Witches’ main stars, Mädchen Amick, to hear about Lifetime’s plans for the show and her journey from Twin Peaks’ infamous waitress Shelly Johnson to the mischievous witch Wendy Beauchamp today.
With shows like Witches, and launching a UK channel last month, do you feel Lifetime is moving into new territory to compete with other channels?
They certainly want to expand their original programming. I think it’s a great decision to embrace female characters along with the CGI and something a little different. The show is more lighthearted rather the daytime dramas that you might have come to expect from Lifetime. It’s definitely an interesting time for them.
How have you found the response to the show on both sides of the Atlantic?
I’ve not really had the chance to hear the views of people here at the moment but I’ve been told it’s going down well so far. Back home it’s doing really well and we’ve been picked up for a second season already which is great news, especially in such a tough environment.
Well I think it brings in the sci-fi and fantasy audience and those interested in witchcraft. There’s a really strong family dynamic that everyone can relate to, not just women. It’s all about the four women and what they bring to the table. We really enjoy working together and it’s such an enjoyable cast.
What is the character of Wendy like to play? The role seems really fun and different.
Inviting me to join the show in the first place was amazing. It’s both challenging and exciting at the same time. Playing Wendy allows me to push the envelope and go further because she’s a troublemaker but good at heart. She’s really the Ying to the Yang of Joanna [her sister]. Wendy isn’t as subtle! She’s a character that is always testing people and she really makes Joanna embrace the witchcraft. Wendy can do anything. One second she could be throwing a fit and the next laughing. She’s completely unpredictable.
Taking you back to the beginning of your career, how do you feel about the cultural impact of Twin Peaks and the influence it has to this day? Did you know at the time just how important it was?
It really is amazing to have so many fans. Whether it’s those who watched it live or those learning about it in film school. Even with sites like Netflix now, the show is out there more than ever. You can never tell it would blow up like that. You have an idea of it being interesting and special but no idea of how it would end up.
Of course on Twin Peaks you had the chance to work with David Lynch. What was it like working with him?
David was amazing to work with. At the time I didn’t know how different he was, but I look back now and see the creative atmosphere that he gave us. You would study a certain scene and then he’d change it and ask you what you wanted to do. He taught us to be responsible for the characters and encouraged opinion. Since then, most projects have wanted me to say the lines and do my job. He taught me to follow my heart and put my own understanding into the performance.
Having starred in so many shows over the year, are you always looking to challenge yourself with a variety of projects?
I do look for interesting roles but we’re all ruled by network difficulties. I want strong female roles but certainly it depends what’s available and then you just work with what we are given. Lifetime are embracing the show and investing in it and supporting it which helps a lot, and it’s nice to be on board!
Witches of East End airs Tuesdays at 10pm on Lifetime (Sky 156 / Virgin 242).