The Teen Dreamgirls of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’

Teen actresses Rooney Mara and Katie Cassidy become Freddy Krueger's obsession in the horror thriller.

Standing in stark contrast to Freddy Krueger in New Line Cinema’s new horror thriller “A Nightmare on Elm Street” are teen actresses Rooney Mara (“Urban Legend: Bloody Mary”) and Katie Cassidy (“Taken”) who become his obsession.

In the film, Nancy (Mara) and Kris (Cassidy) both live on Elm Street . At night, they’re having the same dream—of the same man, wearing a tattered red and green striped sweater, a beaten fedora half-concealing a disfigured face and a gardener’s glove with knives for fingers. And they’re hearing the same frightening voice… One after another, he terrorizes them within the curved walls of their dreams, where the rules are his, and the only way out is to wake up.

Buried in their past is a debt that has just come due, and to save themselves, they will have to plunge themselves into the mind of the most twisted nightmare of all… Freddy Krueger.

In casting Nancy and Kris, the filmmakers set out to find fresh faces that would bring authenticity to their experience. Rooney Mara was cast in the central role of Nancy, an introspective artist who works as a waitress at the diner where the other kids hang out. In some ways the most avidly pursued by Freddy, she becomes their best hope for stopping him and breaking the cycle of murders.

“Our director, Sam Bayer, likes to describe Nancy as the loneliest girl in the world,” says Mara. “My character keeps to herself; she’s socially awkward and timid and really doesn’t know how to connect with people. Even as a child, she was probably a little bit different than the other kids, which draws Freddy to her in a perverse way.”

In trying to understand the very real danger of the man that is hunting them, Nancy is forced out of her shell. “Throughout the movie you see her grow,” Mara asserts. “She forms a connection with Quentin (Kyle Gallner) and learns how to open up and reach out to people. As their situation gets worse, you see what Nancy is made of. She really becomes a strong woman.”

Katie Cassidy plays Kris, a beautiful and outgoing blonde who comes to suspect that something much more bizarre is happening than merely random dreams. “Emotionally, Kris is run through the entire gamut in this film,” Cassidy offers. “She is literally dragged through hell, having to crawl through dark, claustrophobic tunnels. She’s always crying and freaking out as her nightmares of Freddy bleed into her everyday life.

“The whole shoot was a great experience,” Cassidy reflects. “I got to do some of my own stunts, so that was fun. I got hooked in a harness and thrown around a room—I have the bruises to prove it. But it was fun, a cool experience, and I got to work with amazing, wonderful people, so I’m thrilled.”

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


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