As a result of playing Freddy Krueger, I can remember having to look at some medical books, and at some of the disfigurement that fire can cause on people, because they were the source material for some of the prosthetic makeup that I wore. That aided and abetted this fear of death by fire. Which is sort of what happened to Fred Krueger.
I actually am grateful for Freddy Krueger, because the big surprise to me - with that sort of double punch of science fiction TV series and then the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' phenomenon - was that I got an international celebrity out of it.
I'm scared by the enormous amount of bottled water being consumed today, instead of people drinking filtered tap water. Did you know that nearly 90 percent of those plastic bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose?
I sat in the barber's chair in David Miller's makeup shop, hours and hours of trial and error. While David poked at me with his crusty brushes, I grew more and more profane. That's how I started to find the voice of Freddy.
Horror does better when it's bubbling under. It's a niche. It doesn't like the limelight.
I have very liberal parents. People forget that Fidel Castro was on the cover of 'Time' magazine, and the one that I remember the most - it's not necessarily my favorite - was when they dressed me as Castro when I was eight years old. I was in fatigues, camouflage hat, beard and cigar. I don't think I did that well with candy that year.
I'm a Hollywood kid, and I know that there are only so many stories. Only so many tales around the campfire that we have to tell. Then we have to regurgitate them. Our grandparents' movies were all remakes of silent films - we forget that, but it's true.
When I was a boy, I read a terrible article in a big weekly American magazine called the 'Saturday Evening Post.' In the middle of this family magazine on my parent's coffee table was an article about this family that was camping, and they were all mauled by a grizzly bear in their sleeping bags.
I was on the cusp - or thought I was on the cusp - of celebrity, the result of starring as an adorable curly-haired alien in the miniseries 'V' on NBC. 'V' was a hit, and then got green-lit as a series. During the hiatus, the only job I auditioned for that fit my schedule was 'Nightmare on Elm Street.' That's the real reason I said yes.
When you see Robert Englund in a movie, you think he is the bad guy, but if I'm not the bad guy, and I'm supposed to just kind of fool the audience, it makes it a lot easier for whichever actor is the bad guy. So I find myself doing a lot of those, I think they're called red herring characters, faking out the audience.
The last time we had Freddy in reality was part two and Freddy sort of went out on his own.
If they do something like that, maybe a Freddy Krueger fan, a girl, a really sick goth girl starts killing kids herself and Freddy has to put a stop to it, or they have to fight it out.
And in Freddy vs. Jason I like when Jason and I double team Destiny's Child.
You're going to have to surrender a little bit to the contrivance of how Freddy and Jason get together.
Had I not done Shakespeare, Pinter, Moliere and things such as 'Godspell' - I played Judas in a hugely successful production before I did 'Elm Street' - I'd probably be on a psychiatrist's couch saying: 'Freddy ruined me.' But I'd already done 13 movies and years of non-stop theatre.
I never played Freddy as real. In the true bible of Wes Craven's outline for the films, Freddy only manifests himself in dreams. And a lot goes into a dream, not the least of which is imagination. So Freddy is secondhand information. Freddy is an urban legend that's been handed down to these teenagers over the years.
I'm basically a movie actor now, and my big roles are mostly horror movies - unless I'm doing a guest star or something - and occasionally I try to get back into television.
Sometimes jobs are jobs, and when you guest star on television, you're also working with a guest director. You're the new kid on the block, because everyone else is already in the ensemble.
My dad worked as an executive at Lockheed Aircraft and worked on the U-2 and things like that. My mother was a homemaker, and she was vice-president of the Democratic Council of California back in the '50s.
I didn't make good money on 'Nightmare' until part three. I eventually got some nice merchandising checks.