Robert Englund, the iconic actor known for his portrayal of Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, believes he is too old to reprise the role of the infamous child killer.
Englund, 75, has played the character in eight films. And he’s now expressing his concerns about his age and physical limitations during an interview with Variety before the release of the documentary Hollywood Dreams and Nightmares: The Robert Englund Story.
“I’m too old and thick to play Freddy now. I just can’t do fight scenes for more than one take anymore. I’ve got a bad neck and bad back and arthritis in my right wrist. So I have to hang it up, but I would love to cameo,” Englund states.
While ruling out his return as Freddy, Englund suggested that Kevin Bacon would be suitable for the role in a future Nightmare on Elm Street project. Englund praised Bacon’s physicality and expressed his belief that the actor would bring an exciting dynamic to the blade-fingered villain, stating, “I know he respects the genre, and he’s such a fine physical actor. I think that in the silences and in the way Kevin moves – it would be interesting.”
Robert Englund’s Thoughts on Modernizing Freddy Krueger
Although Englund may not reprise the role himself, he shared his ideas on bringing Freddy Krueger into the modern world. He suggested incorporating technology and culture, proposing scenarios such as haunting the subconscious of an influencer and exploiting her followers.
“You’d have to deal with technology and culture. For instance, if one of the girls was an influencer, it would be interesting to somehow haunt her subconscious and manifest himself, perhaps exploit everybody that followed her,” Englund remarked.
Reflecting on the enduring popularity of the horror genre, Englund also acknowledged a cultural shift in appreciation for horror since he first portrayed Freddy Krueger in 1984. He compared horror to punk rock in its unique cinematic appeal.
“There was a recognition of pulp as a great ingredient in our cultural world. There’s room for pulp and melodrama, and the door opened wider for horror.” Englund states.