Kelly Lynch and Harry Treadaway

LOS ANGELES -- Many Hollywood actresses will insist they spent their childhood as ugly ducklings. That list includes Kelly Lynch, who graduated from Golden Valley High School to star as big-screen beauties in "Road House," "Drugstore Cowboy" and "Charlie's Angels."

But the 58-year-old actress now has a chance to take on characters informed more by her awkward teenage years than her time as a professional model.

In "Mr. Mercedes," debuting Aug. 9 on AT&T Audience Network and DirecTV, she plays an alcoholic having an incestuous relationship with her son, who turns out to be a sociopath.

"You’ve got to put vanity aside," Lynch told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour. "As an older actress, I love when people were, like, 'You don’t have to be pretty.' The makeup artist said, 'You’re not going to wear makeup.' And I thought: Oh, god, this is going to be really, you know, challenging as a girl. But it was freeing and wonderful to play someone who is a human being for once. Many times in my career that wasn't asked of me."

The series was based on a novel by Stephen King, who makes a cameo in the project that also stars Brendan Gleeson and Mary-Louise Parker.

"I’m a Stephen King freak," she said. " 'Carrie' changed my life as a nerdy high school kid who was afraid of the popular girls and was, like, the theater geek who left the school half the day to attend the Children’s Theatre Company. I was always a weirdo. And then I started having older boyfriends because kids didn’t like me. So immediately I identified with that story and 'The Stand' and 'The Shining,' which I have to say was a brilliant film, but I liked the book a lot better, just like Stephen King does."

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