Here's How Robert Englund Landed His Stranger Things Role

Spoilers for "Stranger Things" 4 follow.

Horror fans were thrilled to hear that Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, would appear in "Stranger Things" season 4. Be warned that there are spoilers ahead for the first seven episodes of the current season. Englund is royalty in the horror world, and with the nods to classic films of the 1980s, including a reference to the boiler room in the film "A Nightmare on Elm Street" in the actual dialogue, it's sort of perfect. What better homage could you pay to an '80s touchstone than to cast him in the series? 

What's really fun is how exactly Englund got the role in the first place. Series creators and showrunners the Duffer Brothers did an interview with EW, telling fans how he nabbed the role of Victor Creel, and it's a great story. To catch you up, this season we're dealing with a big bad named Vecna. The kid gang tries to figure out what's going on when some grisly murders start happening in Hawkins (living there seems like living on the Hellmouth that was Sunnydale, CA in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"). Part of the connection is Victor Creel, a patient at the psychiatric facility Pennhurst Mental Hospital in the town. He was convicted of being a family annihilator, after the death of his wife Virginia and daughter Alice, and his son Henry falling into a coma and "dying" a week later. Victor then tried to gouge his eyes out in a suicide attempt that was foiled. Of course, we know that Victor Creel had nothing to do with the murders, and that it was Henry, later revealed to be One/Vecna, was spirited away by Dr. Brenner for experiments with his psychic abilities. 

A nightmare in Hawkins

In the interview with EW, the Duffer Brothers were asked about how Englund got the role. Matt Duffer said that it was "one of those moments that feels like fate." They had the season largely written, and he did point out how much "A Nightmare on Elm Street" influenced the season. Their casting director Carmen Cuba sent them a tape and one of the auditions was from Robert Englund himself! Matt Duffer said:

"He just sent in a tape. He was lying in a bathtub performing the monologues that you see on the show. He was unbelievable. He gave the same performance that he gave on the show. So he was great." 

Duffer said he was frustrated that they didn't come up with the idea themselves. Englund even signed a bunch of posters for them, which is just delightful. What a cool bit of serendipity for a series that is so much fun to watch, and gives us lovely nods to the classic films and pop culture we love so much. Just one question; why in a bathtub?

"Stranger Things" season four, episodes 1-7 are streaming on Netflix right now. Episodes 8 and 9 will be released on July 1, 2022.