THE GOLDBERGS: Robert Englund on Reprising Freddy Krueger as a 'Halloween Valentine' - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE GOLDBERGS: Robert Englund on Reprising Freddy Krueger as a ‘Halloween Valentine’

October 24, 2018 by  

Robert Englund

THE GOLDBERGS – “Mister Knifey-Hands” – Despite Beverly’s wishes, Jackie’s parents allow Adam to watch “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and a disagreement between the families ensues. But Beverly dreams of facing off with horror icon Freddy Krueger (guest star Robert Englund), which teaches her an important lesson about her son’s relationship with Jackie. Meanwhile, Erica realizes she’s not as popular as she once was when she starts hanging out at William Penn Academy, despite the fact she’s no longer a student there, on the Halloween episode of “The Goldbergs,” WEDNESDAY, OCT. 24 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/John Fleenor)

THE GOLDBERGS has scared up a good number of homages and famous guest stars in its six seasons, but its Halloween episode has a particular treat: Robert Englund reprising his iconic role of Freddy Krueger.

In the episode, “Mister Knifey-Hands,” Bev (Wendi McLendon-Covey) forbids Adam (Sean Giambrone) from watching the horror film. But when he views it at Jackie’s (Rowan Blanchard) home, the subsequent nightmares are the least of Adam’s problems—it kicks off a feud between the two families, and a surreal face-off between Bev and Freddy.

For Englund, slipping back into the iconic makeup (and sweater) wasn’t a clear-cut choice, at first. “THE GOLDBERGS inquiry [came] and I said no,” he admits. “But then I saw the script and got an email from [creator] Adam [Goldberg], a fabulous fanboy email. And I said, this is a good fit…My GOLDBERGS cameo is kind of like a Halloween Valentine to my fans and the GOLDBERGS fans.”

Though the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise has been in existence for more than three decades, Englund acknowledges he’s only really grasped its emotional importance to fans in the past 10-15 years.

“What I realized was A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET was a family event in the ‘80s for a lot of people because of the technology,” he says. “People would go to a mom and pop video store and rent a new episode of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, and they would go home. It was a lot of kids’ first R[-rated] movie. It was the intimacy of their living room. It was with mom or dad or stepdad. It was with big brother or little sister. There was a family intimacy that went along with being scared together in a dark living room. I’ve gotten so much feedback of people from that generation who remember the film [experience] with a [family member] that’s gone now.”

Englund didn’t talk to the show’s writing staff about his relatively recent catharsis, but he found elements of it in the script…and his own unique ways to relate to the story.

“They came up with this uber mom not letting her son watch the movie,” he says. “One of the reasons I’m so sympathetic to this is I was castigated by the press and by family groups back in the ‘80s, because I was the star of this horror movie that was becoming a part of the culture. I was very defensive back then. Now, I know with hindsight, in a strange way, NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET is a IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE equivalent of Halloween. It’s like watching Jimmy Stewart find his angel. It’s also, for many people, a memory [of family]…I’ve only come upon this revelation in the past few years.”

“This is some way of sharing the kind of ‘80s thing I didn’t even know was going on because I was so busy being Freddy,” he continues. “That’s really the reason I said yes. I can’t believe the writers and Adam [wrote something] so close to what I’ve been feeling and wanting to tell. This episode is about that in a weird way: The neighbors that let their kids watch NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET versus the neighbors that don’t. That still resonates.”

THE GOLDBERGS, Wednesdays, 8/7c, ABC



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