Stranger Things ups the horror in terrifying new ways for season 4, drawing comparisons to classics like Silence of the Lambs and Halloween. One of the biggest influences for the season was undoubtedly Nightmare on Elm Street, from Vecna’s kills to a role played by Robert Englund (aka Freddy Kreuger) himself.

But while creators Matt and Ross Duffer planned the Elm Street-like scares, Englund’s inclusion in Stranger Things season 4 came as a surprise. Apparently, neither the Duffers nor the show’s casting director Carmen Cuba specifically reached out to Englund to appear as Henry Creel.

“What was weird about the Robert Englund thing is, it was not our idea. It was not our casting director’s idea,” Matt Duffer told Deadline. “He self-submitted a tape for this role… I think we watched around a dozen tapes. And suddenly, on audition number seven it’s Robert, sitting in the bathtub delivering his monologue. I immediately called our casting director Carmen and was like it’s Robert Englund. It’s Freddy Kreuger. How could you not tell me this? She wanted it to be a surprise for us.”

The Duffers described seeing Englund seeking out a role in their show as a “fan boy” moment. Though the recent season of Stranger Things may pay the biggest tribute to Nightmare on Elm Street, the horror franchise has influenced the Netflix series from the beginning; Nancy is named after Heather Langenkamp’s character in the original Elm Street film.

“What was so cool about it was that he had no idea, at the time that he put himself on tape, how heavily influenced this show was from the beginning by Nightmare on Elm Street. This season in particular is very much our Nightmare on Elm Street season, and Robert had no way of knowing that,” Duffer continued. “I wish it had been my idea because it’s such a good idea to have him have this cameo role. I just wouldn’t have ever thought to go to him because it’s a big scene but it is just one scene ultimately. The fact he had been watching the show was exciting.”

“He’d do the Freddy voice sometimes out of nowhere and it just gives me chills every time,” added Ross Duffer. “Even though I know he’s a very kind and gentle soul, it still sends those chills down your spine.”

We don’t know if Englund will appear in more Stranger Things. But the Duffers did say they “really want to work with him again.” Another Creel cameo for season 5 perhaps? Or maybe something in a future Duffer brothers project? Horror fans will just have to wait and see.

So, what did you think of Englund’s Stranger Things appearance and all the Nightmare on Elm Street references this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Deadline

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