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The Controversial Actor You Likely Forgot Made His Film Debut In A Nightmare On Elm Street

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In 1984, horror fans were gifted “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” written and directed by terror master Wes Craven. Considered by many to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, A Nightmare on Elm Street was the first installment in the horror franchise that exploded into the mainstream alongside Halloween and Friday the 13th. Aside from being the unofficial savior of the striped sweater industry thanks to Freddy Krueger’s fashion sense, The 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 own film debut as Nancy Thompson, it was a smaller part of the film that proved to be the most notable. And that was the role of Nancy’s friend Glen Lance, played by A-lister Johnny Depp. The future Pirates of the Caribbean star, whose screen time is eclipsed by Langenkamps, eventually gets the honor of being murdered in a dream by Freddy Krueger (Robert England) himself. Though our time with Glen is short, it was enough to mark the first step towards Depp’s rollercoaster career.

Reflecting on the part that fueled his success while cementing it in the lore of classic horror films, Depp tells Vanity Fair he owes the opportunity he got to writer/director Wes Craven. “Wes Craven was the guy who, I think, got me started for almost no particular reason,” Depp recalls. “At the time I was a musician. I didn’t really play. It wasn’t very close to my brain or my heart.”

Luckily for us all movie fans, Craven listened to his daughter’s opinion and cast Depp as Glen, unknowingly leading him to world fame.



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