As a result of playing Freddy Krueger, I can remember having to look at some medical books, and at some of the disfigurement that fire can cause on people, because they were the source material for some of the prosthetic makeup that I wore. That aided and abetted this fear of death by fire. Which is sort of what happened to Fred Krueger.
I have very liberal parents. People forget that Fidel Castro was on the cover of 'Time' magazine, and the one that I remember the most - it's not necessarily my favorite - was when they dressed me as Castro when I was eight years old. I was in fatigues, camouflage hat, beard and cigar. I don't think I did that well with candy that year.
I'm scared by the enormous amount of bottled water being consumed today, instead of people drinking filtered tap water. Did you know that nearly 90 percent of those plastic bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose?
I've done 'Two Gentlemen of Verona,' I've understudied Iago in 'Othello.' I've done Mercutio in 'Romeo and Juliet.'
While I still do a lot of horror, it doesn't feel to me like I'm repeating myself. I like to stay interested. I'm kind of turning into one of those elder statesmen, like a Vincent Price or a Donald Pleasence. I like to think of myself alongside those guys.
Had I not done Shakespeare, Pinter, Moliere and things such as 'Godspell' - I played Judas in a hugely successful production before I did 'Elm Street' - I'd probably be on a psychiatrist's couch saying: 'Freddy ruined me.' But I'd already done 13 movies and years of non-stop theatre.
I used to drive up from theatre in Michigan to Stratford, Ontario to watch every show. I idolized the actors from Stratford. I was very influenced by them because they would come down and work at my theatre and get time on their American Equity union cards.
I'm a Hollywood kid, and I know that there are only so many stories. Only so many tales around the campfire that we have to tell. Then we have to regurgitate them. Our grandparents' movies were all remakes of silent films - we forget that, but it's true.
If they do something like that, maybe a Freddy Krueger fan, a girl, a really sick goth girl starts killing kids herself and Freddy has to put a stop to it, or they have to fight it out.
When I was a boy, I read a terrible article in a big weekly American magazine called the 'Saturday Evening Post.' In the middle of this family magazine on my parent's coffee table was an article about this family that was camping, and they were all mauled by a grizzly bear in their sleeping bags.
I have friends that are much better actors than I am that had to quit the business because they couldn't survive the auditions or the rejections, or people just didn't realize how good they were.
'Nightmare on Elm Street' really lends itself to using new technologies. CGI would be a great way to exploit and embrace the dream sequences.
Sometimes jobs are jobs, and when you guest star on television, you're also working with a guest director. You're the new kid on the block, because everyone else is already in the ensemble.
Horror movies travel pretty well anyway. They're like action movies: People overseas can watch them and enjoy them, and they're not so culturally specific in terms of their references, and they can follow a good scary story.
I actually am grateful for Freddy Krueger, because the big surprise to me - with that sort of double punch of science fiction TV series and then the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' phenomenon - was that I got an international celebrity out of it.
I actually sing horribly, but I used to dance pretty good. I was a gymnast, and you can usually use those gymnastic tricks with dance. Plus, they're so much fun to do. That wasn't really a big part of my career. It was just a phase.
As a jobbing actor, you can't afford to be choosy; if you're typed, you're generally working. I still feel that way, and the thing is, even within the horror genre, I now get to play all kinds of different roles.
I did a lot of stuff before I became known for horror. I did a lot of small films in the '70s, in all kinds of styles. I worked with all kinds of people when I was just starting out: I was incredibly lucky.
I do genre films because I like them or because I need the money. I make a star's salary when I do horror because I can still open a movie in Italy or Spain or Germany.
I just finished my 62nd or my 63rd movie here, and you know, I do good ones, I do bad ones, I do big parts, I do small parts, I do cameos - but I've allowed myself a pat on the back, because I realized that I've been working in Hollywood now since 1973.