For someone like Robert Englund, whose character of Freddy Krueger became legendary in the pop culture lexicon, you’d think he’d relish the opportunity to step out from behind the mask (or make-up) in the FEARnet web series “Fear Clinic.”
However, despite his long career, the actor still gets apprehensive about using his own visage on film.
Englund said, “What’s really funny for me is that most people think that the makeup is restrictive for me (or even Kane), but it really isn’t. In fact, I almost prefer being creative in makeup as opposed to just being myself on screen.”
“I can do so much more with a character like Freddy than I can with a normal-looking guy in a suit. It’s like the makeup brings out the character inside you and just pushes you beyond what you normally do when you’re performing. I can change my voice and move differently. Out of the makeup, I am a completely different person. I am almost boring,” Englund joked.
Getting to enjoy such a lengthy career means one thing for any actor in Hollywood: Age starts to creep up on you no matter how much you try to fight it. Englund, however, is embracing his age and all the nuances that come with it.
“You know, it’s 2009, and I am looking my age for the first time in my life,” explained Englund. “I am no longer this boy I always saw in the mirror – I am now a man. With growing older, I find myself playing doctors, fathers, and psychologists; and honestly, it’s really fun for me to do something different now. I never imagined as a young actor that I’d be playing these types of roles. I always thought I would keep being the bad guy.”
So as Englund continues to move forward in his career, where does he see the future of horror? In the past – but not like the remakes we are seeing these days.
Englund said, “Look, we’ve recently gone through the splat-stick, retro-horror, and even torture porn subgenres, so I think it’s time for us to start investing in measuring the scares out in the right doses and take a look at going back to classic literature-type horror.”
“As a horror fan, I’d love to see films based on Poe’s work or even Jack the Ripper, but do it seriously. I thought the Mummy movies were a lot of fun, but I’d love to see a serious mummy movie. We should be exploring the literature of the 19th Century rather than remaking every single movie that has come out in the last 30 years. There’s so many great stories out there just waiting to be rediscovered,” Englund added.
Something else Englund would like to see in the future is the return of Dr. Andover and his “Fear Clinic.”
“When I signed on for Fear Clinic, I always saw the potential for more than just these five webisodes,” explained Englund. “There is so much going on in Fear Clinic, I definitely think there are more stories to tell, and I’d love to come back and continue my work as Dr. Andover. I’d even love if a cable channel like Showtime picked it up and ran it like they did with the Masters of Horror series. I guess it all depends on how it performs.”
One definite project on the horizon for Englund is The Vij.
“The Vij is based on a story by Nikolaj Gogol, and I would be playing the God of Purgatory that is after a Snow White-like character. I am still playing with the design of my character, but I want him to be a Tony Soprano-type with stunted wings that seems like a dumbed-down angel,” Englund said.
Englund added, “He doesn’t know how to do anything but guard this town which he thinks is Hell, and it’s got a great Gothic, creepy feel to it. There is so much interesting weird stuff when you have great source material like this. We are hoping to start shooting soon in Italy.”
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