Nightmare On Elm Avenue’s Robert Englund is not afraid of snakes, however cops nonetheless freak him out

Robert Englund (Picture: Jun Sato/WireImage/Getty Pictures. Graphic: Nicole Antonuccio.)

“Good. I’m sick of answering questions on how lengthy my make-up takes,” Robert Englund says upon being advised that we’re going to do a distinct sort of interview. Not that Englund isn’t grateful for the celebrity that taking part in Freddy Krueger within the Nightmare On Elm Avenue sequence has introduced him over the previous 4 a long time; fairly the opposite. It’s simply that Englund has loads of different issues to speak about. With a profession than spans the whole lot from the ’70s impartial movie scene to voice-over work for Cartoon Community and Grownup Swim to his standing as a horror film icon, Englund has finished one among the whole lot—or three of the whole lot, on the subject of big alligator motion pictures.

We spoke to Englund simply earlier than the discharge of his latest movie, Nightworld, a type of “Van Helsing roles” that he joked about in a latest interview with Leisure Weekly. (It’s out now on demand.) We didn’t speak about vampire looking, however we did discover Englund’s tastes, which lean towards houseboats, wonderful wine, and the English stage, to be downright erudite. He additionally advised us about how a lot he likes the phrase “ass wipe” and the way tucking an albino python in a sweat sock into his armpit cured him of a childhood concern, although, so it wasn’t all subtle cocktail-party chatter.

1. For those who might spend the remainder of your life inside one film or TV present, what would it not be and why?

Robert Englund: Oh, gosh. I imply, one of many clichés can be It’s A Great Life, that final nice second of American innocence. But when it was a TV present—a very long time in the past, there was this nice TV present referred to as It’s A Man’s World on NBC. It was three bachelors residing on a houseboat, and after I was a child, it simply appeared to me to be the good factor on this planet. That may most likely be the TV present, and nobody will bear in mind it however outdated individuals. However it was only a place I believed appeared nice and the place I needed to be.

It’s A Man’s World residing that candy houseboat life.

The A.V. Membership: Have you ever ever been on a houseboat?

RE: I’ve, truly. It was rented by Susan Sarandon, for a celebration on a film I did again within the ’70s. She was my main girl in a movie referred to as Final Of The Cowboys. It was a type of trucker motion pictures, but it surely had a terrific solid: Henry Fonda, Eileen Brennan, Susan Sarandon—actually good solid. Susan was additionally the affiliate producer on that film, and he or she rented a houseboat up in Northern California, and we had a giant celebration on a lake one weekend. Oh, and my father-in-law used to have a houseboat down in Sausalito.

AVC: Was it the whole lot you dreamed it will be?

RE: It was Sausalito, that’s most likely one of many 10 finest locations on this planet. My father-in-law lived up there for years. I feel houseboats are cool. They’re most likely damp and horrible when you have a hangover, since you’re shifting a bit of bit on the water. Like a waterbed. However I feel they’re romantic.

2. Do you may have a favourite swear phrase or phrase, and the way typically do you utilize it and in what circumstances?

RE: Swear phrases do change over time. However my actual favourite can be in reference to anyone that’s simply type of taking over house, getting in the best way. It sounds such as you’re making enjoyable of somebody who has halitosis from a sure a part of their anatomy. I feel I heard it after I was very younger. It’s very humorous to me. It’s like, third particular person, like “don’t go to that seaside, it’s filled with…”

AVC: Wait, what’s it?

RE: Properly, one is “ass wipe,” and the opposite is “ass breath.” Once I was youthful, I heard my mates use it—cooler, older guys, you recognize. They’d say, “Nah, Englund, you don’t need to hang around with that man. He’s an asswipe.” It simply at all times made me chuckle. It’s sort of nasty, but it surely’s additionally fairly humorous.

Everyone knows what Freddy Krueger’s favourite swear phrase is.

three. How did you spend your final birthday?

RE: Oh, it was horrible! I screwed up my foot. I obtained these fancy summer time footwear within the village the place I reside. I ended up getting a half measurement bigger than I usually put on, and I believed, “They’re summer time footwear, no huge deal.” However the first day I had them I went out to feed the canine, and I slipped on a step in my yard, and I broke my fifth metatarsal. I spent from the center of Might to the center of July in a type of Velcro boot issues. Every thing sticks to it—it seems filthy. So I used to be hanging round with my boot on, hobbled and out of fee. Not a lot to do however drink wine, watch baseball, and decide the burrs out of my Velcro.

AVC: The primary two sound fairly enjoyable.

RE: They had been. Particularly since my Dodgers had been doing nice then. They nonetheless are.

four. What’s the worst skilled recommendation you’ve ever obtained?

RE: I’ve largely gotten good skilled recommendation, truly. However you recognize these Eight-by-10 photographs all actors are imagined to have?

AVC: Head pictures?

RE: Yeah. All people does that on a regular basis, and all people desires to have no matter the brand new fashion is. Are they composite? Are they black and white? Is there a body on it? I ended utilizing these way back. I used to be fortunate that I used to be established and didn’t need to do it. However poor actors lay our a fortune doing these each six months [and they don’t really have to].


The opposite recommendation that I obtained that was dangerous… I wrote a ebook. I used to be pleased with it. It was loads of work. I had an excellent writer. However this was proper when print was beginning to take a giant hit. Newspapers had been folding and publishers had been in hassle as a result of everybody was utilizing the web. So I completed my ebook in the course of all that, and I had been promised all this publicity. I obtained a bit of bit. I went to New York, and I went to London, and there have been big traces on the few bookstores I did go to.

However I used to be advised to not get my very own publicist, as a result of the corporate—it was an enormous firm that shall stay anonymous—was supposed to offer the publicity. However publishing was taking an enormous hit, financially, and the corporate was simply starting to really feel it. I ought to have employed my very own publicist for my ebook. Then I might have finished all of the speak exhibits, and perhaps it will have gone right into a second printing.

5. For those who had been a medical physician, what sort of physician would you be and why?

RE: Oh, this one’s simple. I’ve considered this. I’d be a pediatrician, as a result of kids are so resilient. It’s only a greater success charge. I do know you do lose the occasional baby, however you’re probably not coping with most cancers. That’s an oncologist. As a pediatrician, you’re largely curing kids and birthing infants, and that’s all constructive and hopeful and life, you recognize? And sure, there’s the occasional child that dies, and sure there’s an occasional baby that will get very sick, however that often goes on to a specialist. With a pediatrician it’s extra about therapeutic and life and infants and the long run and hope, and I feel if I used to be a physician that’s what I’d be.

AVC: You actually have considered this.

RE: Yeah, I’m an outdated man, and typically this stuff cross your thoughts.

Not precisely what the true Robert Englund would have finished.

6. What’s your good Sunday?

RE: I prefer to play catchup on Sundays. So I’m often within the movement with no matter my favourite new present is on HBO or Showtime. I like Ray Donovan, and I’m watching The Deuce. Sport Of Thrones was my Sunday present for some time. That, or I’m taking part in catchup on motion pictures, or bingeing on Netflix. I feel final Sunday, my spouse and I binged the entire third season of Narcos. It was nice. I like studying the Sunday paper. I’m nonetheless that man. In order that’s what I love to do on Sunday. It’s actual relaxed.

AVC: Is there a film you noticed just lately that you just actually cherished?

RE: I simply noticed The Form Of Water by Guillermo Del Toro at a movie pageant. It was completely phenomenal. And I used to be actually impressed by A Ghost Story, with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. It made me suppose loads. There’s loads I haven’t seen but that I must atone for—my buddy Robert Patrick has a violent little thriller out that I must see, and the director of Bone Tomahawk has a brand new film out, with Vince Vaughn.

AVC: Brawl In Cell Block 99.

RE: Yeah, I simply missed that one. I had simply come out of The Form Of Water. It was the second film that night time, on the movie pageant in Barcelona. Everybody was there. I obtained to inform Vince [Vaughn] that I prefer it when he’s imply, I obtained to tweet about Guillermo, I obtained to fulfill William Friedkin and inform him how a lot I really like his film Sorcerer. It was nice. We had been having lunch collectively, and I obtained to inform him my favourite second in that. I feel he felt the love.

Englund’s first horror film, 1977's Eaten Alive

7. What do you get snobby about?

RE: Properly, I don’t like standing in line. I by no means have. It has nothing to do with being self-important. It’s simply that after I was rising up, you didn’t actually have to face in traces. For those who did, they had been quick. Even at Disneyland, the road was at most 15 to 20 individuals, and that was on the Matterhorn or one thing. And if you went to a film, you simply walked up and obtained a ticket and walked in everytime you felt prefer it. So now, it drives me loopy. I feel a part of it’s the weekend warrior mentality. So I attempt to keep away from [going out on] weekends and depart them to everybody else.


What else am I snobby about? Once I was a university child, I drank the whole lot. I partied. However then that second occurs the place you may have a very good glass of wine, and it’s important to find out about it, and there’s no going again from there along with your palate. I’m not snobby about cheap wines, however you do begin to recognize issues finished proper. I’m a bit of bit that manner with wine.

Eight. What ebook have you ever learn probably the most?

RE: I don’t re-read loads. Once I was little, I used to be a precocious reader. I truly skipped a grade due to my studying skills. Actually not my math or science skills. However I used to be far sufficient forward in my studying comprehension that I skipped half of the fourth grade. The purpose of that isn’t to brag, however to say I learn some issues too younger. So I ought to most likely re-read Catch-22, and I ought to most likely re-read The Sound And The Fury by Faulkner. However I don’t often re-read. Life’s too quick, and there’s an excessive amount of good things on the market. I can’t wait to learn the brand new Jennifer Egan ebook, Manhattan Seashore.

9. Right here’s a query I wager you may have been requested earlier than: What are you afraid of?

RE: I was once afraid of snakes, and it was due to a scene in a film after I was very younger. I unintentionally noticed the grown-up film one weekend as a result of I went to the matinee too late, and I noticed The Bare And The Useless, the Norman Mailer war-novel adaptation. There’s a scene the place a GI will get bitten by a snake on a tropical island within the South Pacific and simply has a horrible loss of life. It freaked me out for years.

I additionally bear in mind operating down a hill as soon as in Griffith Park, and there was a rattlesnake on the backside of the hill—you recognize if you’re a child, and also you get operating quick and you may’t cease your self?—and I leaped over the rattlesnake. He took a swipe at me, however he didn’t get me.

That’s Englund within the white go well with.

AVC: Oh, my god.

RE: Yeah. However like each good horror actor, I ultimately did my big snake film [2000’s Python]. Eventually, you do your big alligator film, and your killer bee film, and your big snake film. I’ve finished all three of them—in truth, I’ve finished three big alligator motion pictures! However after I was doing my big snake film, I used to be taking part in the snake professional, you recognize, the outdated scientist within the white go well with. And so they gave me a child python in a sweat sock with a shoelace that I’d put on below my armpit.

AVC: In a sock?!

RE: Yeah, in a sock. They like the heat and moisture below your arm. After which I’d take it out throughout scenes and play with it. I knew it appeared cool. Ooooh, I knew it appeared cool. I’d have it coil round my hand and the whole lot. It was a bit of child lady albino python. So I’m over snakes. Now, I suppose the factor that’s most unnerving to me is that I nonetheless think about myself as a sizzling rod child, so after I see a cop automotive behind me within the rearview mirror, my coronary heart actually does race. I nonetheless have that factor.


We had been in a taxi that nearly rear-ended anyone the opposite day. The man went berserk, and there was an undercover cop that simply occurred to be behind us and he turned on his lights, and I believed, “We’re in hassle,” however he went after the man that was yelling at us. However my coronary heart… It’s that Alfred Hitchcock factor, the cop within the rearview mirror. It at all times freaks me out. It at all times works in motion pictures, too.

10. What are you a giant fan of that we wouldn’t essentially guess that you just’re a giant fan of?

RE: Right here’s what I really like, you possibly can select what’s unusual. I really like journey. Italy is my favourite nation. I’m a giant fan of browsing. I used to be a surfer. I want I had one thing actually opposite like ballet or opera, however I’m an enormous theater fan. I suppose that is about as uncommon and on the market as you may get for Freddy Krueger, for a man who’s had my profession. I’m an enormous fan of English theater. I like it. Each time I can recover from to London, I see exhibits on the West Finish and on the Nationwide Theatre and off-London.

11. What recommendation would you give to your youthful self?

RE: Most likely to not fear a lot, and likewise to be extra free and belief your individual instincts extra on auditions. I’ve labored loads—I’m near 80 motion pictures now, and a whole lot of hours of tv. However I hate to audition, and I don’t ever like my auditions. My finest auditions by no means obtained me components, and I’ve gotten components with my dangerous auditions. I don’t perceive it. Once you audition, it’s by no means with one other actor—it’s with a secretary. They’re not actors, and that’s a really totally different expertise for an actor, in a really susceptible second. So yeah, I’d be extra unfastened and fewer nervous about auditions and simply freer with my instincts.


12. Bonus 12th query from Daniel Radcliffe: Do you want your title?

RE: I do, however my spouse’s maiden title sounds even higher as my final title.

AVC: What’s that?

RE: Sales space. Robert Sales space. I identical to the best way that sounds. However I like Robert Englund. If I needed to do it another time—my title’s Swedish—I may need put an “a” in there as an alternative of a “u.” As a result of I skilled a bit of bit over in England. However apart from that, yeah, I like my title. Once I was younger, I used to be “Bobby” and “Bob” and “Robbie” for a very long time, although.

AVC: Did you want that?

RE: I did, till My Three Sons got here out, after which I couldn’t stand being referred to as “Robbie” anymore. Older administrators nonetheless name you “Bobby” typically, though I’m the outdated man on the set now.

AVC: What would you prefer to ask the subsequent particular person, not understanding who you’re asking?

RE: Because it’s me, right here’s a terrific one. It’s basic, but it surely’s coming instantly from me. Ask them what their nightmares are. Have they got a recurring nightmare, and what’s it?

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