Young Actors Take on Freddy in ‘A Nightmare On Elm Street’

Kyle Gallner and Thomas Dekker take on Freddy Krueger in the New Line Cinema film.

Two of today’s most promising young actors – Kyle Gallner (“A Haunting in Connecticut”) and Thomas Dekker (TV’s “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) — take on Freddy Krueger, in New Line Cinema’s re-imagining of “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

Gallner and Dekker play Quentin and Jesse, respectively, who – along with other teenagers Dean (Kellan Lutz), Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Kris (Katie Cassidy) live on Elm Street . At night, they’re all having the same dream—of the same man, wearing a beaten fedora half-concealing a disfigured face and a gardener’s glove with knives for fingers. And they’re all hearing the same frightening voice…One by one, he terrorizes them within the curved walls of their dreams, where the rules are his, and the only way out is to wake up.

Independently of each other, the teenagers are desperately trying to stay awake. In Quentin’s case, that means relying on pharmaceuticals. “My character is the kind of guy who relies on substances to stay awake,” says the young actor. “He pops Adderall, and he steals adrenaline from the hospital. He’s a mess, more jittery and a more ‘out there’ than the others. They’re genuinely tired, while Quentin is irritable and strung out in addition to that.”

Gallner feels the characters move toward strength as their encounters with Freddy accelerate. “They’re not like lambs sent to the slaughter,” he observes. “They’re actually people dealing with their problems who just happen to have this other very big problem thrown into their lap. You want these kids to get through this and win.”

Producer Brad Fuller comments, “Kyle is compassionate and smart and brought so much humanity and relatability to Quentin.”

Thomas Dekker, who has been acting since the age of six in a series of projects that run the gamut from John Carpenter’s 1995 “Village of the Damned” to playing John Connor in the TV series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” plays Jesse, whom he describes as “a kid who really knows what’s going on but refuses to believe it. He’s a nice guy though. He’s in love and I like him. He’s been fun to play.”

Jesse is in many ways blindsided by Freddy’s intrusion into their lives. “Jesse kind of knows what’s going on but refuses to believe it,” Dekker says. “He goes to great lengths to try and stay awake; he cries and talks to himself. He just has no way of coping with a threat that he thinks can’t possibly be real. By the time Jesse comes face to face with Freddy, he’s just a mess. There’s no bravado about it. His terror is very real.”

Dekker has had a long acquaintance with Freddy and the “Nightmare” films. “I saw the first film when I was about 10 years old, with my father, and it seems to me that everybody knows him.”

Playing opposite such a striking bad man inspired the young actor. “I think it’s a strange word for me to use, but there’s kind of a delicious nature to his evil,” says Dekker. “He takes such joy in killing that it almost puts the audience on his side, as opposed to the victim’s side.”

Opening across the Philippines on May 12, “A Nightmare on Elm Street ,” is presented by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with New Line Cinema.


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