Robert Englund, who's best known for playing Freddy Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, revealed that he had a significant role in the casting of Luke Skywalker, Force Material reports. Mark Hamill plays Luke Skywalker, the protagonist of the first three Star Wars films and Englund claims he himself pushed Hamill towards the role. It happened while Englund himself was in discussions to play Han Solo.
Englund says that as a fan of American Grafitti, he was interested when he heard about the new George Lucas movie. He also happened to be acquainted with Mark Hamill. "At that time, Mark Hamill was always on my couch. He was a TV star. He was filming a TV series across the street; I think it was called The Texas Wheelers, with Gary Busey. So he was always at my place, and I knew he was home because his cowboy boots were out front. He always left his boots outside."
Englund went on to describe how he bought the auditon script home to show Hamill, who was chilling in his living room. "So there he was, halfway through a six-pack, watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I went in and I said to him, ‘Look at these sides [script pages], I think you're right for this, man. This character is like a space prince, and it's George Lucas!"
Englund reveals that Hamill was always a bit of nerd when it came to sci-fi, which is why he thought his friend would be perfect for the role. "Mark loved science fiction and horror. I'd been a fanboy, too, but Mark was in arrested development as a fanboy. He'd been an army brat, and he just idolised everything in American popular culture." He made sure to add that Mark was "hip" too and that he turned Englund on to Monty Python.
Englund told Hamill he was the kind of actor Lucas loves, Hamill got on the phone with his agent and the rest is history. Englund claims this is the "true story" and is offended by internet rumors that he turned down the part on Hamill's behalf. " I would never have turned it down! F***ing Mark never even paid rent!""
Englund complained a little about Mark's messiness, saying he "let his kitchen get out of control" and "literally nailed the kitchen door shut" so his girlfriend wouldn't see the mess and break up with him over it. He claims his slovenliness was why Mark preferred to hang out at Englund's "beautiful" apartment. But he made sure to add that Hamill was a "dear friend" and "incredibly generous".
I like fun tales like this. What do you think of the story? Things sure would have been different if Englund hadn't bought his script home.