One of the big talking points since the Stranger Things season 4 release date has been the casting of horror movie icon Robert Englund as Victor Creel. You’d think that the main inspirations for Englund in playing this character would stem from the horror genre, but the actor says that his key influence is actually the family movie Treasure Island.
Despite making his name in the ‘80s by playing the sinister Freddy Krueger in A Nightmare on Elm Street, and his Stranger Things season 4 character having a pretty creepy backstory, Englund apparently hardly needed to lean on his horror roots at all for the role of Victor Creel.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Englund discussed his extensive preparation for the role in the hit Netflix series. This included the various nods to his legendary horror character that are embedded in the sci-fi series, but most importantly, how a supporting character from a classic kids movie was all he needed to get his portrayal of Victor Creel just right.
“As actors, we access strange imagery. We use imagery sometimes that has nothing to do with what we’re doing,” Englund explained. “And one of the things I was using was a character from Treasure Island named Billy Bones, who tells a huge story to Jim Hawkins about Long John Silver.”
“It had nothing to do with Freddy Krueger or Nightmare. It was just one of those weird images that come to you,” the actor added. But, there was one particular nod to Freddy that made it into his performance, and that is the excruciating moment when Creel scrapes his nails into his desk.
“That was Shawn Levy who came up with that,” Englund admitted. “We just thought it was a great thing because it says Victor is threatening, it says that he is troubled, and it also has a little Nightmare on Elm Street echo.”
You can watch the first seven episodes of Stranger Things season 4 on the streaming service Netflix right now. The final two episodes of this season will arrive with Stranger Things season 4 part 2 on July 1, 2022.