Robert Englund Blew His Audition For A Completely Different Stranger Things Character

It's hard to imagine Robert Englund having to audition for a role on "Stranger Things." Of course, he's an actor and that is how actors secure jobs, but come on! He's Robert Englund, the man behind Freddy Krueger, one of the most iconic horror villains of all time. Can't he just get grandfathered in, as a treat?

Apparently not, because Englund recently revealed that he's done not one, but two auditions for the show, which is about to premiere the final two episodes of its fourth season on July 1. While speaking to Collider, the "Nightmare on Elm Street" actor revealed that he didn't impress "Stranger Things" casting director Carmen Cuba when he auditioned for a role in the show's third season.

"I probably went the wrong way with the character or something and I really wanted to be on the show," he explained in the interview. "I was disappointed."

Needless to say, that character was far different from the role of Victor Creel, the innocent man accused of murdering his family in Season 4. Just how different? Well, if everything had gone to plan, he could've been former Hawkins mayor Larry Kline.

We've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July

The role of Kline, which eventually went to Cary Elwes, may have been lost by Englund because of a shift in characterization. At least, that's what the actor speculated during his interview. He recalled that when he was auditioning for Kline, Cuba's "Stranger Things" casting crew had given him a specific reference to draw on:

"I don't know whether they changed the concept for the role or whether I did a sucky job audition. I know that they said to me, 'Read it like the mayor from Jaws.' Now that's one of my favorite character actors, Murray Hamilton, who played that role in Jaws. So I immediately thought of the plaid jacket and sunglasses and kind of a corrupt southern thing, and that's probably not what they wanted at all, but when they said the mayor in Jaws to me, that's what I saw in my mind's eye, so I probably canceled myself out with that audition."

What's strange is that Elwes' Kline does seem to take inspiration from Larry Vaughn, the Amity mayor in "Jaws" who is still derided for his inaction today. It's unclear whether Englund had leaned in too far with the "Jaws" inspiration or if he just wasn't the right fit, but I'm not going to lie — seeing him go full camp as Kline would've been pretty fun.

What we eventually got

At the same time, however, we wouldn't have gotten Englund's fantastic performance as Creel if he did ace that audition for Kline. While he has so far only appeared in one scene in Season 4, he made a hell of an impression, going against his snarky villain persona and instead portraying a broken man who cannot comprehend the horrors that he witnessed that fateful night. His painful tears at the end of his sole scene makes the reveal that his son Henry (Jamie Campbell Bower and Raphael Luce) not only survived the brutal murders but did them himself much more gut-wrenching. One can only hope that he never actually finds out the truth of his son's whereabouts, given how emotionally devastated he already is.

This performance and characterization might not have happened if Creel was played by anyone other than Englund. That is precisely why the fact that he was called back to audition for the fourth season despite bombing his audition for the third is so satisfying, and he recounted his second audition in the interview.

"I got the call or the submission for Season 4, it just came to my agent," he recalled. "I crawled into my bathtub with an old bathrobe on and my wife sat on the toilet seat and filmed me with her smartphone and I sent it in, and I got a pretty quick response." Of course he got a quick response. He's Robert Englund. A legend.