Many years later, when he saw him become an international horror movie star, his father forgave him. But Robert Englund’s youth (California, 1947) was not at all easy: he resigned from Stanford for the cinema, lived almost outdoors, went on the stages of theaters all over the United States and ended up terrorizing half the world hidden behind an infinite makeup layer in the role of Freddy Krueger.
Gary Smart and Chris Griffithas collected Robert Englund’s eventful and exciting film career in the documentary Hollywood dreams and nightmares. The story of Robert Englunsscreened in the Documenta section of the Sitges Festival.
The legendary Freddy Krueger entered the competition to support the film and took the opportunity to speak with reporters.
How he disappointed his father
-How do you remember the moment you told your father you weren’t going to study law?
-It was very difficult for me to express my feelings to my father. I had been admitted to Stanford University, one of the most prestigious in the United States, had excellent grades in reading comprehension, even though I did not do well in math and science.
In any case, my father was very impressed. Until I told him memorizing nonfiction stuff like the law was not for me and I wanted to be an actor. We had a tremendous fight. I threw the car keys at his head. I left the house and while I was dressed, in shorts, I got on a friend’s bike. We went to Hollywood. It was the exciting 60s.
-How did you survive in the streets of the Mecca of cinema?
– I got a job in a theater on Sunset Boulevard. During the first year he lived in the basement of the club and I lived exclusively on coffee and chips.
-But it was also a learning moment …
-I enrolled in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The faculty was London-based and very traditional and contrasted with Peter Brook, whose way of doing theater was revolutionary if not revolutionary. I learned in the morning with the masters of tradition and in the evening I performed with Brook.
-I guess the next stop was Broadway …
-I used to go to the theaters of Chicago, Cleveland or Atlanta until finally, yes, I arrived in New York. But once there I found that my beloved theater was as politicized as cinema. I was very naive, very innocent and I thought, if I had to put up with this I better go back to Los Angeles because I already know and there is more money there.
The role that consecrated him
-He has worked in a dozen films, lent his fantastic voice to another film and was one of the stars of the famous “V, Alien Invasion” series. How did Freddy Krueger become?
-I heard Wes Craven was casting for Nightmare deep in the night and I introduced myself. But when I got to the test I realized my physique didn’t fit the role, because at that time he was surfing a lot and was muscular and tanned and also had long blond hair. Nothing to do with Freddy.
So I went back to my car, took out the engine oil and smeared my hair so it got stuck to my head. Since my hair is very fine, it was almost transparent and you could see the scalp. Then I took a cigarette butt from the ashtray, mixed the ash with the saliva and put it under my eyes. When I finally saw Craven I played his eyes without batting an eye and didn’t say a word. he gave me the sheet.
-What has Freddy meant for your career after eight films and one series?
–It was the most important thing in my career, because it gave me international fame. Wearing all that makeup so many times was liberating, because it gave me the opportunity to change my voice and allowed me to exaggerate my movements and dance a bit using some Bob Fosse choreography.
Also, Krueger fueled the horror film revival and I am proud to have participated in that second life like that.
Source: The avant-garde