A quick chat with the new Freddy. Interview by Neil Macdonald
“Ohhh, I’ll tell you, that’s as good a solution as I’ve heard to all the money problems,” says Jackie Earle Haley, the man who plays the infamous Freddy Kreuger in the new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street . “I’d like to stick Freddy Krueger in a few of the key players’ dreams around the world and see if we can’t fix a little something up. That’d be some fun for sure.”
Of course, if you need a few quid, you could do worse than ask the sharp-fingered one for a loan after the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street – out on DVD and Blu-ray next Monday – hoovered up millions at the box office. Horror fans virtually sleepwalked into the cinema to see Jackie replace Robert Englund in the famous fedora and striped jumper, but at the same time, many of them were mentally smashing the film-makers through the screen or turning them into fleshy string puppets for daring to lay a razor-gloved hand on the originals.
“I can understand that,” said Haley, whose top-drawer performance was the one thing everyone who saw the film agreed on. “Everyone has a different relationship with the original franchise, so you had one group who said, ‘You can’t touch it!’ Others were saying, ‘This is great, a real Nightmare on Elm Street film.
“Our intention was to pay homage to the originals and get back to the darker style of the first few, while introducing them to a new generation. I think that worked and I was really pleased with the film. It was a hell of a ride.”
So much so that with Halloween round the corner, having a big screen horror icon living next door must have ramped up expectations among trick or treaters around the Haley’s neighbourhood.
“Ha, so I guess the pressure’s on again, eh!” says Haley. “We’ll get some candy for the kids, but I have to tell you now, I’m incredibly lazy about Halloween. I’ve got a dressing gown with a pipe in the pocket that I’ve had for years. I just throw it on and I’m Hugh Hefner – it’s the easiest outfit ever. Am I lazy or what?”
Haley also reveals his Halloween costume won’t include a fedora or knife-tipped glove this year – “I didn’t get anything from the set and I’m kicking myself about it” – but he can put that right if he gets to make a sequel.
“I’d definitely do that and I think it would be a good thing,” he says. “I haven’t heard anything yet though, but I guess I’ve read the same rumours as you have. For now I’m filming season two of Human Target in Vancouver. It’s a great gig and I’m having a blast, man. I feel really fortunate to come back into this career and play these iconic roles like Freddy and Rorschach, while it is incredible to work on this show too. It's been five years now, but dude, I’m still pinching myself.
“I’m living the dream right now.”
Check out a clip from one of the DVD extras here .