Robert Englund says Stranger Things role was not inspired by Freddy Krueger

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Robert Englund and Ludacris
Robert Englund and Ludacris

No season of Stranger Things is complete without some acknowledgment of the influences that inspired the show. Heck, no minute of Stranger Things is complete without that. But it’s also why Netflix’s sci-fi hit has attracted so many guest spots from the stars of yesteryear. Sean Astin, Cary Elwes, and Paul Reiser have all made appearances over the show’s four seasons, but Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, might be the Duffer brothers’ biggest get yet. Interestingly enough, despite the obvious allusions to A Nightmare On Elm Street on the show, Englund tells The Hollywood Reporter that Freddy didn’t inspire the character; Treasure Island’s Billy Bones did.

“I was using was a character from Treasure Island named Billy Bones, who tells a huge story to Jim Hawkins about Long John Silver,” Englund said. “It had nothing to do with Freddy Krueger or Nightmare. It was just one of those weird images that come to you.”

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However, just because Englund didn’t inhabit Freddy for the role, that doesn’t mean that he’s giving up the fedora entirely. The show also featured a reference that felt like nails on a boiler room rusty pipe. But that wasn’t Englund’s idea. It was Free Guy director Shawn Levy’s idea, and if Free Guy proved anything, it’s that this guy loves references.

Wish it was me because everybody loves it, and it worked so great, but that was [episode director] Shawn Levy who came up with that. I don’t know whether he came up with that earlier or whether he came up with it on the spot. We just thought it was a great thing because it says Victor is threatening, it says that he is troubled, and it also has a little Nightmare On Elm Street echo.

Read the whole interview at The Hollywood Reporter.