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Why Robert Englund refuses to reprise his role of Freddy Krueger

Englund reflects on his iconic horror movie character.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 08:  Actor Robert Englund arrives at the 2nd annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards held at Club Nokia on April 8, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Frazer HarrisonGetty Images

The fictional serial killer Freddy Krueger has become a staple horror movie character alongside the likes of Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers.

Robert Englund has played the character in eight ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ films since 1984. His last portrayal of Krueger was in 2003′s ‘Freddy vs. Jason’ and Englund has no plans to reprise his role in the future.

“I know who icons are,” Englund said. “I’m not an icon. Maybe Freddy Krueger is, but I’m not. I’m just a character actor, a utility actor who’s been very lucky.”

Englund went on to state that he doesn’t think his version of Krueger would work well in the modern day.

“You’d have to deal with technology and culture,” he said. “For instance, if one of the girls was an influencer, it would be interesting for Freddy to somehow haunt her subconscious and manifest himself, perhaps exploit everybody that followed her.”

However, his main reason for retiring from the role is his age.

“I’m too old and thick to play Freddy now,” Englund said. “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 on Jackie Earl Haley’s Krueger

Jackie Earl Haley took over the role in the 2010 remake of ‘Elm Street’. While many horror fans remain loyal to Englund, the 75-year-old only had positive things to say about Haley’s portrayal.

“Jackie’s just so good, a wonderful actor, so I don’t think it was that,” he said. “’I’ve always thought that Freddy is described as a child killer.

“So when they made Freddy a child molester [in the remake], that’s not what Freddy is, I don’t think. By taking it to such a dark, dark place, there’s no room for the personality of Freddy to be exploited.”


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