Sherilyn Fenn's Quotes

1 Boxing Helena was... not perfect, but I think for the story that we were trying to tell, it turned out pretty good. What it signified was really powerful to me: how society puts us in boxes one way or another.
2 Society, Hollywood, some men... they want to wrap women up in a neat little package.
3 I was disillusioned with acting after the pilot of Twin Peaks. I'd been doing low-budget films. I didn't want to walk through movies being a pretty ornament. At 25 I didn't know if I had it. I questioned if there was depth, if there was integrity to me. I was longing to go inside, to do deeper work.
4 I don't get considered for a lot of those big fat movies. The studios have their list of five actresses and whether they're right or wrong for a role doesn't matter. It's how much money their last movie made, Not that I necessarily want to do them anyway. Because there's very few that are big budget that have any substance or any depth or any integrity.
5 The difference between working with a man and a woman... is immense.
6 I'm contemplating moving to London for a period of time. I've been in Los Angeles for 15 years and I'm really tired of it. I'm continually uninspired by what's being sent to me. Even by huge films that they're doing there. They're just awful.
7 All are one and yet here we appear to be separate and therefore truth has many faces. And they are all relevant.
8 [in "Haircut & Style", 3/91, on her role in Wild at Heart (1990)] David [ David Lynch ] told me, "I envisioned this broken China doll, all bloody, and ranting and raving, and it was you".
9 [in "The Boston Herald, 8/1/98, on being categorized] People think, "She's not funny. She's a sex kitten". And they don't sit with you in a room. I spent a lot of time being sort of angry and bitter about that, and now I feel it's people's loss. It's sad. You'd think in a business with so much creativity, people would go beyond what they've heard or what they think they know about somebody, and meet with them. But if they don't, it's not meant to be, in a way. The doors that are open are the doors we walk through.
10 [in "Democrat & Chronicle", 10/29/92, on Kyle MacLachlan 's decision to end the Audrey/Cooper romance in Twin Peaks (1990)] Kyle didn't want it to continue. He thought Audrey was too young for Dale; and then they brought in an even younger girl! I think Kyle blew it, because Dale and Audrey were so great together. When I complained, David Lynch asked me if I was falling in love with Kyle. I said, "No! Of course not! But Audrey's in love with Dale Cooper!"
11 [interviw in "The Boston Herald", 4/25/93] I see people giving me looks because I'm so opinionated. That hurts my feelings, but at the end of the day I have to live with me and respect myself. And I've done enough things in my life where I was confused and didn't respect myself that I will not do it any more.
12 People who think they know me would be surprised that my whole life doesn't revolve around sex. [The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 21, 1995]
13 [in "Exposure" magazine, 9/90] I try to keep myself centered. I don't go to parties and all that. I don't think being seen or being in the right place is going to make me a better actress. I care about my work and try to do what's right in my heart.
14 [in "Detour" magazine, 5/95] I don't know why people see the things that they do. I wouldn't pay to see them, they don't touch me or move me in any way.
15 [in "Sky" magazine, 7/92] The world has certain rules - Hollywood has certain rules - but it doesn't mean you have to play by them, and I don't, or I'd be a miserable person.
16 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on Twin Peaks (1990)] I think it's just basically that on the surface things seem all one way, this nice little small town. But underneath there's a lot of dirt and a lot of sadness and deprivation. Two girls in plaid skirts and sweaters, smoking cigarettes and talking about murder in the girl's bathroom! That's my kind of movie; I loved it!
17 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on starring in Darkness Falls (1999)] I loved the script when I read it; it's a wonderful character piece. I saw [ Ray Winstone 's] work, like Nil by Mouth (1997), and I saw [ Tim Dutton 's] work, and I just was really excited to be a part of it.
18 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on Boxing Helena (1993)] I liked "Boxing Helena". I think it was an almost impossible story to tell. Although it has some flaws, I think it's neat. I think it's a really neat story; it's a beautiful story.
19 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on guest-starring in Friends (1994)] Matthew Perry was darling and very funny. All my scenes were with Matthew, basically, so it was fun. I like the show. I was happy to be a part of it.
20 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] I think there's an anxiety in life when we automatically tend to look to the next thing or we're complaining about the past; like somebody recently said to me, d"Well, is your show [ Rude Awakening (1998)] going to get picked up? Aren't you concerned about that?" I said, "I don't care. I don't want to worry about that because worrying is not going to make it happen or not happen". I want to trust that if it does, then that's what's supposed to happen and if it doesn't get picked up, then that's okay, too. It's just a more peaceful way to live. Right now, in my life, I'm really striving for peace and more of a calm outlook.
21 [on her movie debut] I remember blowing my first scene. I said 'Cut!' I didn't know the director was supposed to say that.
22 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97] My grandpa [jazz musician Art Quatro] would always ask, "What instrument do you hear when you listen to music?" I'm like, "All of it!" He's like, "Well, then you're a singer!" And I love to dance. But I don't like being up in front of tons of people. I didn't have that in me to do it, the desire to be performing in front of a lot of people. If there's a lot of people on a set, I get nervous. So music just wasn't something I ever seriously considered.
23 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] I wanted to be a marine biologist, then I wanted to be a stewardess. Then I met this lady that was really neat, and she cut my hair once; so then I wanted to cut hair! But by far my biggest dream when I was young was to have the perfect home and the picket fence, and babies crawling around, and I'd be cooking food in the kitchen.
24 [on her Playboy bunny experience] I worked there for two months when I was 19. I needed rent money and they were paying more to stand at the gift shop than I'd have got working at a clothing store. And I thought the costumes were cute.
25 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on playing Curley's wife in Of Mice and Men (1992)] I'd never read the book in school or anything. So when I read the screenplay I just cried my eyes out. I couldn't believe - it was just a beautiful story. When I met with Gary Sinise , he just said, "You know, she's always played - and she was written - as this horrible vamp". And he didn't want her to be that way. He said, "I see her as a sad angel, and lonely". She just wants attention, she wants to be loved, she wants people to talk to her: "What's the matter with you? Why can't you talk to me?" So I was glad that he wanted to do that. He actually added a scene that was never written where she's crying because Curley broke all her records. The only thing she has in life is her little records. So that was a wonderful experience for me, making something like that.
26 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99. on playing Billie Frank in Rude Awakening (1998)] I liked the hardcore truth of "Rude Awakening". But when I first read it, I was scared of it. Part of me was, like, "It's so unattractive! Does she have to vomit on herself? Does she then have to fall in it? God, what's going on here?!" But I liked that it didn't glamorize alcohol. And what's admirable about Billie is that she's a straight shooter. She doesn't have a lot of pretense. It's like, "Take me as I am. You like me, fine! You don't, I don't give a damn!" There's something quite empowering about somebody who doesn't care what other people think. Billie is learning about herself. She's recognized that she has a problem with drugs and alcohol, and she's trying to straighten it out.
27 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on the differences between working with David Lynch and Jennifer Lynch ] Man, woman. Night, day. It's a really huge difference. It's completely different to work with a woman that is my age, maybe younger. David's encouraged her, through his example of exploring dark places within oneself, but she's less abstract. I was blown away by the script of Boxing Helena (1993). I had heard all the stories and I didn't want to read it. Then my agent said, "It's a dream. Just read it. It's pretty interesting". I was shocked that a 19-year-old girl had that perspective on relationships, that understanding. Then I met with her and we just clicked. Because we didn't really meet - just one or twice, very briefly - on the set of Twin Peaks (1990).
28 [in "Sky" magazine, 6/92, on playing Candy Cane in Ruby (1992)] I always thought it would be fun to play [ Marilyn Monroe ]. But who could play her, you know? You can't do it right out, you can't do her story without letting yourself in for all kinds of criticism. Candy Cane is like a lot of women were in the '60s when Monroe was a star and a role model. She comes from a small town, she's in a bad relationship, but she's fighting to get out of it, to change, and she enters this fantasy land. She has the bleached blond hair like many women had at that time and she thinks it would be fun to be like Monroe. So she follows the fantasy in her own small way and she finds out, guess what, that glamorous life stinks! She sets herself up to be abused and destroyed like Monroe was.
29 [in "The Face", 12/90, on playing Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks (1990)] I think David Lynch really adored the Fifties - the simplicity, the conservative attitude - and I think the show, though it has a timeless feeling, is kind of Fifties also. The saddle shoes are part of that - Audrey knows she can be daddy's little girl in her saddle shoes, and she puts on her red pumps, smokes cigarettes and sashays down the hall. Maybe it's not her personality so much as the need not to be daddy's little girl.
30 [in "The Face", 12/90, on posing for "Playboy" magazine] Everyone was a little concerned when I announced I was going to do it. But the people who've seen the pictures have said, "That's it?!", as if they were expecting something horrible. It's an actor pictorial; people who want to see girls spreading their legs and doing kind of crude things are gonna go to the centerfold, they're not gonna look at an actor's pictorial. Well, they can look but they're not gonna get what they want. The pictures are really beautiful, but they just make people look at you in a certain way.
31 [interview in "Playboy", 12/90, about playing Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks (1990)] Audrey's been great for me. She has brought out a side of me that's more mischievous and fun that I had suppressed, trying to be an adult. She has made it okay to use the power one has as a woman to be manipulative, to be precocious. She goes after what she wants vehemently and she takes it. I think that's really admirable. I love that about her.
32 I got into acting by a complete fluke. I was 17 and it was like, "I don't wanna go to high school, what will I do? I don't know. Let's see . . . I'll act!" So I was doing films before I had even taken an acting class.
33 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] I was told once that I didn't play the Hollywood game, and that's why I wasn't a big star. What they meant when they said that was that I don't go to parties, and when I go to an audition and I don't like the script, they know it. I don't flirt and I don't play the people that I'm meeting with. In the next breath, this person said to me, "When you're passionate about a role, there's nobody that can touch you, but you have to learn to do this also . . . " But I don't know how to sit there and pretend I love something when I don't!
34 [on silent-era star Clara Bow ] Clara Bow's an interesting actress because back then she was real honest. She was this Brooklyn girl who didn't have a whole lot of class, she'd come right out and say what she wanted. And she ended up leaving Hollywood when she was 26 because all of that had transpired. She was fun, she was just who she was and she got badly criticized for that. When she arrived out here she was like the Madonna of the Twenties: people started dressing like her and doing their hair like her and the whole bit. But then the studios did what they do even now, they started making formula movies - the It (1927) girl pictures and never allowed her to do anything else.
35 [[interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on director David Lynch ] I'm sure you've heard that description, "Jimmy Stewart from Mars". Yes. Because a part of him is really so sweet and pure and innocent. He'd tell me my take was "Jim-dandy", or "Doggone it, Sherilyn, that was cool". His direction is abstract. He doesn't ever say "Go do this" or "Go do that". He'll just tell you some weird story, or when I did Wild at Heart (1990) David's direction was, "Only think of this: bobby pins, lipstick, wallet, comb, that's it". He's very creative and unafraid of taking chances. We'd sit down and, "Oh, I don't like this scene". In Twin Peaks (1990) he rewrote this entire scene and had me dance in the middle of the room for like three minutes. "Just groove, honey. Just keeeep moving". I was like, "Oh, okay. I feel like an idiot. What am I doing? Okay". Then you see it and with the music, he's set this whole world up, this whole mood. I really respect him, he's wonderful.
36 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] My acting has always been about doing things that I can grow from, that say something, or should be heard.
37 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] When I was a kid I saw Kansas City Bomber (1972), and I remembered thinking how beautiful and how strong Raquel Welch 's character was. So I went home and dressed up my Barbie like her character. I borrowed one of my brother's little toy plastic football helmets and I made Barbie a "Kansas City Bomber" outfit.
38 [interviewed by M.J. Simpson, 10/1/97, on portraying Elizabeth Taylor in Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995)] I fought to keep the integrity of the story because the producer was bringing in a writer that was making it very soapy. They wanted many scenes of her when she was very overweight. I said, "I'm not doing that. I'll do one. That's not this woman's life". For me it was just, I didn't want to make an impression. I just tried to play the truth of the woman. Not the legend, not the stories that we hear about her. Because even when she was a child, you were seeing a version of her that was manipulated by the studios, so you didn't really see her. I thought the closest she ever came to revealing herself was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), and she lost herself in that role. It was cathartic for her to do that in a lot of ways, to let herself be that wild.
39 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] I'm honest. I say what I feel. I try to be tactful, but I can't not say what I feel. I have a really big problem with that.
40 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99] I've never wanted to do the same thing twice. If a script doesn't surprise me in some way, I simply can't commit to the project.
41 [in "Orange Coast", 1/99, on the subtext that attracted her to the role of Helena in Boxing Helena (1993)] Women do feel like they're in a box. Society, Hollywood, some men . . . they want to wrap women up in a neat little package.
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