Wendy Robie [Interview]

Hello Folks! I am as usual very excited to showcase today’s amazing guest interview. Especially so, as we are breaking new ground right at the end of our 10 year run here. Today’s guest is Wendy Robie, Everyone! Wendy is a brilliant performer, who absolutely shined in my personal favorite dramatic series of all time, the amazing Twin Peaks. The OG run, of course. Well, also the third season as well. Wendy played the infamously eye-patched Nadine Hurley, and was a personal favorite character of mine.

Wendy is actually the first cast member we have had from the OG run of Twin Peaks. We’ve spoken with some folks who appeared in the most recent third season, but this marks our ability to add Twin Peaks performers to our roster. And seeing that we are a month out from shutting our digital doors, I am very happy that Wendy was able to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.

So Folks, please enjoy some amazing words from an exceptional performer of screen and stage, the brilliant Wendy Robie!


What inspired you to get into the world of performance? Was it something you have wanted to do since your youth, or did you happen to find yourself in this world one day?    

I’m sorry this will be a boring answer to an interesting question, so I’m glad to get it out of the way. I was one of those kids who put on plays in the back yard for relatives and neighbors.  I was very bossy.  However, opportunities were limited.  Without going into detail, I’ll just say that my route into show business was circuitous indeed. 

What was your first paid gig in the world of entertainment? And were there any sort of lessons learned from this project that still affect your work to date?    

I played Helena in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Monterey Shakespeare Festival in’82. I learned how seductive laughter can be, and how easily one can hurt oneself doing some pratfall one thinks is just hilarious. On that first job, I observed the professionalism of the actors I admired.  I’ve followed that work ethic ever since. 

You were absolutely incredible as Nadine Hurley in the seminal classic TV series Twin Peaks. I am curious to know what drew you to this insanely original series? What was it about the world that David Lynch created that made you want to live in it for a while?  

In the fall of ’89 when David Lynch and Mark Frost came to Seattle to shoot the pilot for Twin Peaks, I was one of several local stage actors called in to audition.  When I met David and Mark, they told me about Nadine and her eye.  I slapped my hand over my left eye and asked, “This one?”. David laughed and Mark said, “Yes.” Lucky guess. I loved playing Nadine, and I hold her secrets close.  I respect her — her innocence and pain, her yearning and courage.  She never gives up.  She’s like an unstoppable, inconvenient, unwanted puppy.  Her outlandish behavior makes her an easy target for mockery.  Meanwhile, she wanders in a firestorm of loneliness. In Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost created a dreamy world of mystery and menace.  Nadine lives there in her own mystery, broken and beautiful where she is broken. 

And how was the return back in 2017 for the latest installment? Was it like old times, and just jumping right back into the proverbial saddle? How was this experience?  

The Return was just astonishing.  I can’t even describe it except to say that it was our Twin Peaks but so much more.  I’ve watched those 18 hours three times since it first aired on Showtime.  Every time I just take the epic ride.  My personal experience was different.  I was so happy and grateful to see these people again, these people that I adore and have missed.  We were so lucky to have shared this experience. When Nadine jauntily marches up that road with her shovel over her shoulder she is earning her own redemption.  How great is that! 

The fandom revolving around Twin Peaks is one of wild devotion and extreme loyalty, I have come to notice. At least that is my perception. But as somebody obviously more well informed, I am curious to know what you think? How have your fan interactions been over the years?

Most of the Twin Peaks fans I’ve met are filmmakers and artists themselves. I’ve met Twin Peaks fans from all over the world.  Agent Cooper is much loved in Finland, you’ll be pleased to know.  The fans know more about Twin Peaks than I do. 

While you have worked in just about every genre imaginable, one of them happens to be one of our all time favorites around here. And that would be the world of horror. I am curious to know how you enjoy working in this world? What do you believe it is that sets it apart from other genres?    

It’s true.  I’ve appeared in a few horror movies.  But I’m not really knowledgeable.  If I had to say what sets the genre apart, I’d say blood, lots and lots of blood. But that can also be said of Greek Tragedy.  I’ve played Clytemnestra in The Oresteia.  She gave her husband a bath and hacked him up with a battle axe.  Trust me: he had it coming.  I’ve played Lady MacBeth a couple of times. Now there’s a play with terror, murder, ghosts, and witches. But we don’t call it Horror.  That’s classical theatre. That’s Shakespeare.  Here’s the secret:  it’s fun.  But there’s a great story and glorious language and profound human truths underpinning all that bloody, frightening skullduggery.   I think that’s true in horror movies, too.  There has to be a human truth and a structure or it just isn’t going to matter.  Wes Craven knew that.   

If you were handed the opportunity to create and/or appear in the biopic of any legendary figure in American history, who would it be?   

This one is easy. Since I was 8 years old my idol has been Amelia Earhart! I would love to write that, to gather all the information available and just see if there’s more her story has to tell us.  Thank you for that question. 

What else does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers?    

Watch for Michael Smith’s latest film, Relative ( www.whitecity.com ). We start filming in Chicago this summer.  Yes!  It is time to begin again. 

What was the last thing that made you smile?   

The headline in today’s New York Times: “Chauvin Guilty in Floyd’s Death”. Smile isn’t really a strong enough word.  A prayer of thanksgiving is more like it.

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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