Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: Robert Englund Almost Didn’t Play Freddy Krueger

‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’: Robert Englund Almost Didn’t Play Freddy Krueger

Although he has been known as one of the most terrifying actors in Hollywood over the past 40 years, Nightmare on Elm Street star Robert Englund almost didn’t get his iconic Freddy Krueger role. 

According to Collider, Englund wasn’t the first pick of Nightmare of Elm Street mastermind Wes Craven. The horror film legend actually almost lost the part to English actor David Warner, who appeared in another horror film, The Omen, in which he played photo Keith Jennings. He also appeared in Tron, Time Bandits, and eventually Titanic. 

However, Warner ended up not going for the Nightmare on Elm Street role. This was even after he had been through make-up tests. Although Warner would have been a great nightmare-inducing villain, the character would have been different. This is due to Warner’s approach to acting being more serious and less mocking, ill-humored-like. Thankfully, Englund was able to impress Craven all those years ago and made the role his.

Nightmare on Elm Street first hit theaters in 1984. The film follows teenager Nancy Thompson as she uncovers her small town’s dark past. This is all while she and her friends are hunted down by a serial killer with a bladed glove. Unfortunately for the teenagers, the only way to fight the killer is in their dreams. 

Robert Englund Opens Up About Playing the Terrifying ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ Villain Over the Years 

While promoting Hollywood Dreams & Nightmares earlier this year, Robert Englund spoke to the Daily Beast about being a part of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise for so long. 

“Here’s my proprietary fix on Freddy,” Englund explained when it comes to him protecting his iconic role. “For many years, I didn’t want to wear the makeup in public because we couldn’t light it like we do theatrically on sets. I wanted to protect it that way.”

Englund also said that he didn’t want the audience to be disappointed seeing Freddy out of context. Especially in a Nightmare Before Elm Street film. He shared his thoughts on the franchise eventually being rebooted as well.  “I am a Hollywood kid, and I certainly understand that other people are going to play Freddy. I’m not an idiot—my momma didn’t raise no fool—and I understand that it’s far too successful a franchise to not remake it again at some point.”

In regards to any Nightmare on Elm Street reboot plans, Englund had some thoughts. “ He could be taller than I am, he could be heavier, stout, like a little fire hydrant. He could be emaciated and cadaverous. The burns could just be on half his face. He could have hair. We don’t know.