How David Lynch helped ‘Riverdale’ star Madchen Amick in her directing debut

Novice directors don’t usually get advice from the legendary David Lynch — unless you’re “Riverdale” star Madchen Amick, who makes her debut behind the camera for Wednesday night’s Season 4 finale.

“David [Lynch] actually sent me a really sweet email the night before my first day of directing,” Amick, 49, tells The Post. “He said, ‘Just keep your eye on the doughnut, not the hole.’ I had his message printed out on my monitor every day to remind me to stay focused and get what I want and have fun with it.”

Amick, who got her start playing Shelly Johnson on Lynch’s cult ABC hit “Twin Peaks,” currently co-stars as Alice Cooper on “Riverdale.”

In Wednesday night’s episode, “Chapter Seventy Six: Killing Mr. Honey” (8 p.m. on The CW), the teens of “Riverdale” conspire to get revenge against their principal, Mr. Honey (Kerr Smith, “Charmed”) for all the ways he’s ruined their senior year of high school. His crimes include interfering with the cheerleading team The River Vixens, suspending Alice’s daughter Betty (Lili Reinhart) from school, banning Kevin (Casey Cott) from performing a musical number and canceling the prom.

It’s the nineteenth episode of a season that was originally slated to be 22 episodes — but after the production lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plotline for the season’s planned final stretch will be merged into Season 5 (after filming resumes at an unspecified later date).

“I didn’t know what episode I would get, but I was lucky enough to get 19, which just happened to end up turning into the finale,” says Amick. “We get to learn through the episode that the voyeur who’s sort of haunting the town sending people tapes has been upping their game. At the end of the episode, the stakes have risen higher, so it ended up naturally becoming a cliffhanger [for Season 4].”

Amick says that her ambitions to direct took a back seat to her acting career but started to come into focus in the last decade.

“It’s always been something I’ve had in the back of my mind throughout my acting career. I’ve been in the business since 1987,” she says. “It’s really in the last five-10 years when I was like, ‘I really want to step behind the camera and put my stamp on things and bring my vision to life.’ So I was really excited and appreciative of the opportunity that ‘Riverdale’ gave me.”

Amick, who also appeared on the 2017 Showtime revival of “Twin Peaks,” says she considers David Lynch a mentor.

“I was really introduced to Hollywood and television through David Lynch, so that gave me a completely different lens to view how you film and what you film,” she says. “He just broke every rule, and I saw that and was inspired by it. I’ve always been able to approach things with a much freer mindset. It was really after we were done filming ‘Twin Peaks’ and I kind of went into normal Hollywood that I realized how special the opportunity was, and how differently he approached filmmaking.”

“I just kept hearing people saying, ‘Oh, you can’t do that,’ and I was like, ‘We can — I’ve been on a show that did it, that broke all the rules, and it worked.’ It’s how I approach characters and, now, stepping behind the camera.”

“I don’t have much fear, because I got to see a master just be so free in the way that he directs and the way that he depicts things.”