I just watched Robert Englund in “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter” and it made me wonder, what scares him?
—Michael Bradley, Oakland, Calif.
Despite being best known as serial killer Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” film series, Englund, 65, isn’t much different than the rest of us when it comes to scary movies.
“There are films that scare me,” he says. “I just got a jolt the other night watching ‘Cabin in the Woods.’ And I remember the original ‘Alien’ got me several times—and I was a grown up when I saw that.”
The Glendale, Calif.-born actor tells a funny story about filming the original “Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984). One night, he was in full-on Freddy makeup and he fell asleep while waiting to be called to the set. When the assistant director knocked on the door, Englund bolted up, forgetting where he was or what he looked like.
“I rolled off of my cot in my tiny, honey-wagon dressing room. And there in the recesses, in the forced perspective of my makeup mirror, opposite my bunk, surrounded by dim light bulbs, I saw this old bald man with scars and burns all over him looking back at me. I went, ‘Oh geez.’ I put my hand on my head and so did he. So it became this sort of nightmarish Marx Brothers routine. It literally took me about the count of five or six to kind of come out of the semi-conscious state that you’re in when you wake up real fast.”
Englund, who is a classically trained actor, says he has never regretted taking the Freddy Krueger role, even though it led to his being funneled into genre films.
“I’m about to start my 77th feature-length film,” he says. “I think literally if you added up all my horror movies, it’s less than 20. So there’s another 55 films that I’ve done.