In 1984, horror fans were given a Nightmare on Elm Street, written and directed by horror master Wes Craven. Considered by many to be one of the greatest horror films ever made, A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first installment in the horror franchise to become popular alongside films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. In addition to being the unofficial savior of the striped sweater industry thanks to Freddy Krueger’s fashion sense, Numbers reports that the film turned its tiny $1.2 million budget into nearly $70 million in profits.
Although A Nightmare on Elm Street star Heather Langenkamp made her film debut as Nancy Thompson, this small role in the film proved to be her most notable. And it was the role of Nancy’s boyfriend, Glen Lance, played by the famous Johnny Depp. The future Pirates of the Caribbean star, whose screen time is pitifully short compared to Langenkamp, eventually gets the honor of being killed in his sleep by Freddy Krueger (Robert England) himself. While our time with Glen was short, it was enough to mark the first step in Depp’s meteoric career.
Reflecting on the role that launched his success and at the same time solidified him in the tradition of classic horror films, Depp says: Vanity Fair that he owes this opportunity to writer/director Wes Craven. “Wes Craven was the guy who got me started, from my point of view, for almost no reason,” Depp recalls. “At that time I was a musician. I didn’t actually play. It wasn’t something very close to my brain or my heart.”
Luckily for all of us movie fans, Craven listened to his daughter’s advice and chose Depp to play Glen, unknowingly redirecting him to worldwide stardom.
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