While Freddy Krueger and Luke Skywalker couldn’t be more different if they tried, Robert Englund, who brought the iconic killer to life in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, was somewhat responsible for Mark Hamill becoming a Jedi.
Speaking to Role Recall (via Yahoo! Entertainment), Englund recalled how he became aware of the role in the George Lucas film after unsuccessfully reading for Han Solo.
Mark Hamill And Robert Englund
A young Hamill was crashing on his couch at the time, and after returning from the failed audition, the Freddy Krueger actor told his friend about the movie Lucas was making.
Since the protagonist was a teenage boy, Hamill, who was a very youthful 20-something, was intrigued. So Englund encouraged him to look into the role and read for the part.
Hamill contacted his agent and arranged a meeting with Lucas, and the rest is history. Mark Hamill became indelibly linked to Star Wars‘ Luke Skywalker and reprised the role in the original trilogy films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
In later years, he appeared in Disney’s sequel trilogy and made cameo appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
Later Robert Englund Is Freddy Krueger
The Elm Street veteran also recalled how Hamill would share behind-the-scenes details with him.
When he got back from Star Wars, I got all the gossip,” the Freddy Krueger actor said.
“Not only did he have a huge crush on Carrie Fisher, but I heard all the stories. He knew always that it was going to be this amazing, iconic thing.”
About ten years later, Englund landed the role of Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare On Elm Street after David Warner exited the project due to scheduling conflicts.
Wes Craven Considered Others
Director Wes Craven then considered Kane Hodder, later known for playing Jason Voorhees in the Friday The 13th franchise. However, Hodder was not a suitable fit.
Englund brought a unique interpretation of Freddy Krueger to the project. Although he didn’t match the physical presence Craven had in mind for the character, the cunning, rat-like villain Englund created was enough to land the role.
Krueger became an instant horror icon alongside characters like Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface.
Eight Nightmare Films
Englund portrayed Freddy Krueger in eight consecutive films over three decades. The only exception is Jackie Earle Haley, who took on the role in the 2010 remake.
Much like Luke Skywalker is to Mark Hamill, Freddy is the character most closely associated with Englund. However, unlike Hamill, the actor retired from the role 20 years ago, with his last portrayal in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason.
A Nightmare on Elm Street, directed by Wes Craven, has become a cult classic for introducing the iconic Freddy Krueger.
The story revolves around a group of teenagers in the fictional town of Springwood who are haunted by nightmares, featuring a mysterious and disfigured man with a glove equipped with razor blades.
The catch is that if Freddy kills you in your dreams, you die in reality.
The film’s protagonist, Nancy (played by Heather Langenkamp), becomes determined to uncover the truth behind Freddy Krueger and find a way to stop him.
The movie’s blend of psychological horror and supernatural elements set it apart from other slasher films of the time.
With Freddy Krueger in his distinctive striped sweater, fedora, and razor glove, A Nightmare on Elm Street is often considered a landmark in the horror genre and has left a lasting impact on popular culture.