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A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

A New Freddy Krueger Is Born
Three, four, better lock the door…

With a charred, disfigured face, an unforgettable voice, and a wicked sense of humor, Freddy Krueger is both a physical and psychological predator as he invades the dreams of suburban teenagers and kills them in their sleep. The sense of palpable danger and genuine horror rests in the embodiment of the monster at the film's core: Freddy Krueger, played by Jackie Earle Haley.

Haley recalls that fans of the original "Nightmare” filled the internet with speculation about him portraying Freddy after the project was announced. "My immediate reaction was, ‘That's kind of cool!' And then when the producers called and actually offered me the role, I was pretty flabbergasted. It's such an amazing, iconic character. It was just an absolute honor to be offered the role of Freddy.”

"Jackie embodied everything that we wanted for this role,” states Fuller. "The fans were aware of him, and he's a brilliant actor. We knew we wanted to make a seriously scary movie, and it would be impossible to tell this story without an actor of Jackie's caliber. We're not trying to replicate what was done in the past. Jackie made Freddy Krueger his own.”

Haley plunged into the mythical aspects of the character to internalize what it was about him that resonated so universally. "Getting to play Freddy was exciting and challenging because, as this mythical boogeyman that we all love to be frightened by, there's a lot that makes him tick,” the actor says. "It's fascinating that what's scary on screen has triggers in outside life, and Freddy encompasses so much of what terrifies us.”

Haley also credits his predecessor, Robert Englund, for giving the role such power and wicked humor. "It was a very cool process for me, trying to figure out how to make Freddy my own,” Haley reveals. "Robert did an amazing job portraying Freddy over the years. He made him who he is. What we're doing with Freddy with this new approach is still trying to be true to those things that fill him with rage, and the specifics that make him the malevolent villain that he is. But I think we're trying to capture him in a new that's darker, and a little bit more serious, less jokey and, hopefully, more scary.”

Bayer has nothing but praise for Haley's work. "This is definitely Jackie's take. He created a character that you're going to hate and be scared of, but, at the same time, you're going to have empathy for him—it's all what Jackie brought to it.”

At the suggestion of the filmmakers, Haley researched serial killers in preparation for the role, but ultimately chose to take Freddy out of the realm of fact and into the realm of myth. "I realized I wasn't playing a serial killer,” he affirms. "I wanted to be true to who Freddy Krueger is and yet still bring a little bit of realism to his back story and what it was that turned him into this.”

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