How Freddy Krueger Led To Mark Hamill’s Star Wars Role
Before he was known for wielding unforgettable scissor gloves as Freddy Kreuger in the “Nightmare On Elm Street” franchise, Robert Englund was just another working actor caught up in the New Hollywood scene of the 1970s. During an interview with Daily Dead, Englund even recalled how he would often encounter legends like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese at parties early on in his career. “All this was an exhilarating and exciting beginning for an actor; you couldn’t ask for anything better, and in fact if anything this spoiled me. I was spoiled, not by my father and my mother, no, but by ’70s American cinema,” the “Nightmare on Elm Street” actor said.
Around the same time, Englund’s friend, Mark Hamill, was similarly emerging as an up-and-coming actor. The future “Star Wars” actor began his career playing small roles in shows like “The Partridge Family” and “The New Scooby-Doo Movies,” and spent his first several years as a professional screen performer slowly but surely accruing various film and TV credits. Of course, Hamill’s career skyrocketed in the back half of the ’70s, and it turns out that Englund had something to do with that.
Here’s how Hamill not only found the part that defined the rest of his career, but also the role that none other than Robert Englund played in making it happen in the first place.
Robert Englund told Mark Hamill about Star Wars
Robert Englund did, in fact, play an important role in Mark Hamill getting cast as Luke Skywalker. In an interview with Inverse, Englund revealed that he briefly took some audition photos for “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” while he was auditioning for “Apocalypse Now.” It was during that quick moment that Englund noticed the name “Luke Skywalker” written in the “Star Wars” audition scene. When he came home later that day to find his friend, Mark Hamill, drinking a beer on the couch and watching television, Englund told him about the movie and the role.
“I told him about it, but I didn’t get him the part or recommend him. I told him, and his agent got him in there,” Englund told Inverse. The actor went on to add that both he and Hamill were already fans of George Lucas at that point, having seen his previous movie, “American Graffiti.” Hamill, of course, landed the role of Luke Skywalker, and the rest is, as they say, history.
A few years later, Robert Englund also found himself cast in a legendary movie role when he played Freddy Krueger in the 1984 horror film, “A Nightmare On Elm Street,” which went on to spawn several sequels over the next two decades.