Sheryl Lee came to international attention playing the dual roles of murder victim Laura Palmer and her cousin Maddy Ferguson in David Lynch's acclaimed television mindbender Twin Peaks. Lee is in Auckland tomorrow night with other cast members for the Twin Peaks - A Conversation with the Stars event at ASB Theatre.

You're on the road with your cast members what's that like?

It's one of the best parts. They're such talented actors, and such warm, kind humans. And fun to be around, they all have such delicious senses of humour. We've known each other for three decades now.

There was 25 years between Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and last year's Twin Peaks: The Return, was it difficult to get into the headspace of Laura Palmer again?


In some ways it was as if no time had gone by at all, in others it was as if it was nine lives ago. It was very strange. It was both of those things at the same time. That character was a part of my life for so long so the essence of her is very easy for me to get in touch with again.

But it's interesting, creatively, doing it 30 years later now that I've lived 30 years. I'm a mother now, I'm older, my perspective has broadened and widened. The thing that really gets me is that Laura's story is a story on TV and in a movie, but in real life the statistics of how much this [sort of sexual abuse] is still happening even 30 years later, aren't going down. It's not getting any better. That's the hard part to deal with.

Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks (1990). Photo / Supplied
Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks (1990). Photo / Supplied

Would you say that Twin Peaks is about the pain humans inflict on each other?

I recognize an element of truth in that. Twin Peaks is a very mysterious, complex, multidimensional world. It's so many things. I certainly think that's part of it. But there's also this amazing sense of humour that's part of Twin Peaks, and the dream world, but there's certainly something in there that mirrors back to us as humans. If there's anything I've learned in 30 years, it's gonna keep surprising us.

Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks (1990). Photo / Supplied
Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks (1990). Photo / Supplied

You have one of the most iconic screams in all of television history. What do you do to prepare for a scream like that? Does it shred your vocal chords?

There's a way to scream that is less harmful than other ways. You sort of have to learn. Usually one learns the hard way how to not do it...

Any hints of future instalments?

I wish I could. I wish there was, I hope there is. I haven't heard anything. They've been very quiet.


But you think there's more story left?

I thought it was over after the four days I shot the pilot. And then there was more. And then I thought it was over after that then I came back as Maddy. Then I thought it was over after Maddy but then we did Fire Walk With Me. And I thought it was over after that, but then we did The Return!

So who knows? I don't know. I never know.