There was something intimidating about the thought of interviewing Sherilyn Fenn. A big part of that intimidation surely came from the fact that ever since I was a teenager Sherilyn has been the woman of my darkest and most bizarre pop culture fantasies. From the moment I first discovered her in the role of poor little rich girl Audrey Horne, on the cult favorite Twin Peaks, there was something about Sherilyn that captivated my imagination. With those dark piercing eyes, lush lips, pale skin and mane of dark hair, Sherilyn had a classical, almost retro style, which was both sexy and sensual, and mixed together the best of both good girl and bad girl pinup art. She was like a 1950s starlet in an Eric Stanton illustration. Sensual, mysterious, mischievous, and sexy, Sherilyn personified the kind of girl that I desired, but was too frightened to meet.
Beginning her career in B-movies and low-budget teen comedies, Sherilyn Fenn first hit the pop culture radar in the 1988 film Two Moon Junction. An erotic drama bordering on the sexplotation genre, the film gained a cult following, but Sherilyn was uncomfortable with this career direction. Shortly after Two Moon Junction was released, Sherilyn would meet two men who would change the course of her career: acting coach Roy London and cult film director David Lynch. She soon found international stardom in the role of Audrey on Twin Peaks. As one of the series’ primary characters, Sherilyn became an instant fan favorite, and was nominated for an Emmy award for the role. She was chosen by both People and US Magazine as one of the “most beautiful women in the world” in 1991 and 1990, respectively. Sherilyn would go on to appear in such high profile films as David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, the 1992 remake of Of Mice and Men, the controversial thriller Boxing Helena, and the NBC miniseries Liz: the Elizabeth Taylor Story, where Sherilyn took on the title role of the beloved Hollywood icon. But just when she seemed to be everywhere, suddenly she seemed to disappear. By the end of the 1990s, Sherilyn was barely on the pop culture radar. There was a guest appearance on Friends here, and a couple of Gilmore Girls episodes there, but as the pop culture journey struttled on, Sherilyn was strangely absent.
I tried to make contact with Sherilyn for years, but was met with little success. No matter how much networking I did, it seemed that Sherilyn was always seemed just out of my reach.. I knew she was out there somewhere, but nobody I knew seemed to know where. It wasn’t until the summer of 2012 that a strange series of coincidences allowed me to connect with Sherilyn’s people. After what seemed like years of elusiveness, Sherilyn had become a part of the autograph show circuit, and for the first time in her career, she’s been stepping out to connect with fans and admires. Sherilyn also has a brand new film on the horizon, Josh C Waller’s new horror-thriller Raze, starring Zoe Bell.
When the phone rang on the morning of our interview, I knew it was going to be her on the other end, but my heart still skipped a beat as her familiar voice asked for me by name. As I choked on my own tongue, I once again felt like that shy schoolboy talking to the most popular girl in school. I guess that’s what happens when you’re interviewing one of the most beautiful women in pop culture history. Untying the knots in my stomach as quickly as I could, I decided that I might as well admit why I was in fear of instantly turning into a stuttering fool.