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Robert Englund helped Mark Hamill get Star Wars role

Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, helped his best buddy Mark Hamill land the role of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker

There has been a long-standing rumour in Hollywood that Freddy Krueger himself – Robert Englund – auditioned for the roles of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in Star Wars. In a recent interview, Englund says that this wasn’t quite true, but he did help his buddy Mark Hamill get the starring role.

In the interview with The Guardian, fans got to ask Englund questions and someone asked him about auditioning for Star Wars. “No (I didn’t audition). I really wanted to be in Apocalypse Now. I wanted to read for Chef – played by the great Frederic Forrest – but that part had been taken. They heard that I was a surfer, so I read for the surfer, but I think they thought I was too old,” says Englund.

“As I was leaving, one of the producers told me they were casting across the hall for this George Lucas space movie. George Lucas was my hero, so I thought: “Hell, I’ll go.” At the time, they wanted Han Solo to be played older, like a cool uncle who lets you smoke marijuana at Christmas. They looked at me for five minutes, took a couple of Polaroids; I did not read. That’s all I remember.”

Englund continues; “But as I left, I snatched the audition sides [script excerpt] for this much younger character called Luke Skywalker. I went back to my apartment in the Hollywood Hills and my buddy Mark Hamill’s cowboy boots were on my front porch. He was working down the hill at the CBS studios as a very successful television actor. Mark was watching the Bob Newhart or the Mary Tyler Moore show. We’d watch together in the afternoon and then call our agents at 5pm to see how our auditions had gone.”

“I remember saying: “Guess what? George Lucas is making this space movie.” We both loved American Graffiti, so Mark called his agent and put her under pressure to get him an audition.” So, it sounds as though we may not have had Hamill as Skywalker, if it hadn’t been for Freddy Krueger.

“It’s a bit like the Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I was living at that time with Jan Fischer, who went on to The Lost Boys; our best friend became Luke Skywalker; and I became Freddy Krueger. At the time, we were just three young people living in the Hollywood Hills with big dreams.”

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