Freddy Krueger – a.k.a. Robert Englund – has been tearing up the interview circuit as of late due to the upcoming 30th anniversary (yes… you hear that right, 30 years!!!) of A Nightmare On Elm Street. Some of his anecdotes have been compelling to say the least, but one that sticks out in our minds is the revelation that he helped Mark Hamill secure his Star Wars gig, playing the role of Luke Skywalker. As it turns out, getting drunk and passing out on Krueger’s couch isn’t necessarily a bad thing.Here’s how it went down. Robert Englund went to audition for a role in Apocalypse Now and he didn’t get the gig. However, this led to him being invited to audition for a little known film titled Star Wars. This could have turned out to be a serious case of good luck for Englund (can you imagine, Freddy playing Luke Skywalker?), but unfortunately for him, he didn’t get the part, saying that George Lucas was looking for someone older at the time. Englund returned home to a hung over Hamill, sprawled out on his couch and mentioned that George Lucas was looking for an adult who could portray a teenager in his new space film (this was roundabout this time that Hamill was playing teenagers on TV). Speaking with Yahoo, Englund elaborated:
And then I went home and told a little kid that was sleeping on my couch, after a six-pack of Heineken, all about [Star Wars], and his name was Mark Hamill. I said, ‘Hey, Lucas is doing this space movie. Maybe you’re right for it. The lead guy’s like a teenager.’ So Mark got on the phone to his agent and I think he went up the next day. He nailed it, and the rest is history.
Hamill thanked Englund for the part by offering all the latest news and gossip from the set of Star Wars:
When he got back from Star Wars, I got all the gossip. 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.
The irony here is that Englund always comes across as such an endearing and kind dude, but he will forever be remembered for playing the part of a badly maimed, dream-taunting, child killer – literally, the stuff of nightmares!!
Interestingly, there is a connection between one of Krueger’s 80’s foes – Halloween’s Michael Myers – and another Sci-Fi legend. Little known fact: during pre-production on John Carpenter’s Halloween, the prop department had to use the cheapest – and most freaky – mask they could find a costume shop. They ended up using a $2 Star Trek Captain Kirk mask made in 1966. Then they spray painted it white, pulled out the hair, and enlarged the eye holes. For years, William Shatner didn’t realize that his face mask was used this way, but when he found out years later, he said he was honored by the gesture.
So there you have it folks, two legendary horror movies connected with two epic Sci-fi franchises. Some wouldn’t dare fall asleep in Freddy Krueger’s house, let alone on his couch, but for Mark Hamill it paid off, landing him one of the biggest roles of his career. Turns out Freddy isn’t such a mean guy after all.
Source: Uproxx, StarTrek.com