A night like any other 39 years ago, the figure of a man with a burned face filtered into our dreams. His name, as we hear in a gloomy children’s song, was Freddy. Freddy Krueger.
In November 1984, it was released in theaters. Nightmare in Elm street (Wes Craven), the letter of introduction to the diabolical child murderer Freddy Krueger, under whose mask the endearing actor hid robert englund. The success of Nightmare in Elm street spawned eight sequels, a series, several documentaries and, of course, the de rigueur Indian remake, titled The monster (1993).
Robert Englund has dressed Freddy’s holey fedora in seven of the movies that followed Nightmare in Elm street. In one of them, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994), Freddie’s claws turned against the saga’s own actors, who, during a filming, begin to be stalked in their dreams by The Springwood Stabber.
Freddie Krueger in the Millennium Falcon?
in the documentary Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story, which will arrive on the Screambox platform on June 6, the actor remembers how he became an icon of horror cinema. And, as is usual when one goes back to the origins of a successful career, the boundaries between success and failure are blurred.
As a good Californian, Robert Englund knew how to surf, so he auditioned for the role of Lance, the young surfer from Apocalypse Now (1979). At thirty, however, Englund was too old to play an up-and-coming wave rider, so he tried his luck at another casting call down the hall. The role offered was that of Han Solo.
‘George Lucas was my hero, so I thought’Damn let’s go‘” Englund said in an interview with Guardian. The actor was never close to getting on the Millennium Falcon: after taking a couple of pictures, they let him go.
As he tried to find his way out, Englund glanced around. one more audition, although in this case he did not even try to introduce himself, since the actor they were looking for must have been much younger than him. If the candidate met all the requirements, he could play true Luke Skywalker in the new George Lucas space movie.
On this point, the versions differ: According to Englund, he was the one who convinced mark hamill, after a long afternoon in front of a pack of beers, to try to opt for the role of Luke. Hamill then called her agent and pressured her to get him a test in the George Lucas movie.
However, according to Mark Hamill, Englund was only “one of many actors” who told him about Star Wars. In addition, his “agent had already gotten him an audition for the character of Luke and still angry with which he (Robert Englud) HE take all the credit”.
Robert was 1 of several actors who told me about #StarWars-When I told my agent-She’d already set up an audition & still gets annoyed he takes the credit. Sleeping on his couch is nonsense! I’d been a working actor for over 6 years & had my own Apt. #SettingTheRecordStraight https://t.co/XktCLDEQ9V
—Mark Hamill (@MarkHamill) October 20, 2018
The nightmare of pigeonholing
After his failed attempt to board the Millennium Falcon, Robert Englund acted under the orders of Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) in Mortal trap (1976) and in the galaxy of terror (1981), directed by Bruce D Clark and produced by “the man who made hundreds of movies and never lost a penny,” Roger Corman.
Englund’s big break will come with Vthe popular series about rat-eating reptilians, where he appears in 19 episodes.
His character, however, was very similar to those he had played up to then in other low-budget series and movies: “the best friend, the colleague, the weirdo”, Englund said in an interview with gamespot. So when he heard that the director of The Hills Have Eyes was looking for an actor for an absolutely detestable character, Robert Englund did not think twice and stepped forward.
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