IESB caught up with Elm Street star Jackie Earle Haley on the current Television Critics AssociationPress Tour. Fox held a panel for their new TV show Human Target, that also stars Haley as a hired gun called, Guerrero. Haley talked a little bit about the show, his other film Shutter Island and of course A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Q: How was it to do A Nightmare on Elm Street?
Jackie: We had a blast. The cast was wonderful. It was an arduous task, getting in and out of that make-up, though.
Q: Much longer than Watchmen?
Jackie: Oh, much longer. I was Rorschach, man. I put on a sock. Jeffrey was the guy that did 3 ½ hours in make-up. People would say, "So, how did you get into that character?," and he'd say, "After 3 ½ hours of make-up, you pretty much felt like killing somebody." And, I found that to be true. You come out as Freddy, after 3 ½ hours of make-up.
Q: Were you a fan of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street?
Jackie: I've never been a huge horror fan, per se, but I actually went and saw that one in the theater, and I liked it. The commercials were cool and the concept of it was great. As far as horror, I think Alien was probably my favorite, and then Sam Raimi's stuff blew me away.
Q: How does your Freddy Krueger compare to Robert Englund's Freddy?
Jackie: I don't know. Our approach was to make him a little more serious. He's a little less jokey.
Q: Does he look like the Freddy we've seen?
Jackie: He's got a new look going. We're still true with the fedora, the sweater and the glove, but the mug is a little bit more based in reality.
Q: Is there still a great first kill?
Jackie: Maybe. Let's go see the movie. We'll find out together.
Q: Why did you want to do that role?
Jackie: Oh, man. I did need to think about it, for a minute and a half. But, I just kept going, "Freddy Krueger?!" It's such an iconic character. How could I not do that character?
Q: Do you worry about the comparisons to what Robert Englund did with the character?
Jackie: They were going to do it, and they were going to get somebody else to do it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As an actor, I'm one that's willing to take risks. Especially as a character actor, I've got to be willing to go out and totally mess up. If I try to play it safe, I'm not going to be a very good actor. I would imagine, somewhere along the way, and hopefully it's not this, but even with characterizations and stuff, playing it safe is not what makes us interesting. It's getting in there and really trying to do something with something, and hope for the best.
Q: It took four or five films to really complete Freddy's backstory. How much of an arc do we get in your first film, about where Freddy came from?
Jackie: I think we get a little bit more than in the original film.
Q: Does Robert Englund have a cameo in it?