One, two, Freddy’s coming for you. One of the big changes in New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures’ A Nightmare on Elm Street redo is Freddy Krueger’s motive. In the original, Freddy is a child killer, while in the remake he’s allegedly a child rapist. On our second day on set, we watched a intricate scene between Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner), who discover they actually know the man in the dirty red and green sweater (now played by Jackie Earle Haley). Check out part 2 of our on set coverage by reading on and check out Elm Street in theaters April 30.
Editor’s note: Major spoilers follow.
“He’s not after us because we lied, it’s because we told…”
Kyle Gallner, who plays Quentin, is teary-eyed, sitting on an old bed in the basement of the old preschool that Freddy Krueger occupied in his life as a groundskeeper. The room is covered in rusty pipes and spider webs, while tons of children’s board games liter the surrounding shelves.
Director Sam Bayer is pushing the camera in tight on Kyle’s face as he looks through a box filled with old photos.
Rooney Mara, who plays the new Nancy Thompson, is standing up crying. “I wanna see them!,” she screams!
The scene is emotional as both stars are crying, screaming and being forced to repeat the scene over and over again. In the scene, Quentin and Nancy find themselves uncovering the truth about Freddy through a serious of photos he kept in his quarters during his real-life escapades as a child molester. Not only is Sam Bayer shooting 100 different angles and variations of the scene, but the stars are having to dig deep into their souls to constantly recreate the emotional scene.
“It’s towards the end of the movie, and we’ve been having all these nightmare that drew us back to this one specific place, and when we get there we discover this back room,” Gallner tells Bloody-Disgusting in an exclusive on set interview. “Our memories start coming back, and we start remembering being there as children.”
“We have told our parents [about it], and we didn’t think it existed and we weren’t sure,” Mara adds. “Then we see it and we go in, and that’s what you saw today… Freddy’s little cave.”
Gallner explains how they come across this little box of secrets. “I have a micro-nap in the basement, where we’re trying to look for evidence that Freddy was there, and we can’t really find any. I’m basically yelling Nancy, asking what are we looking for. Then I literally have a micro-nap where you don’t see Freddy, but he basically rips me out of frame and throws me against this box.” He continues, “Then we find some of his stuff in this box. It’s almost like Freddy is leading the way, he’s toying with us one step at a time.”
For those of you keeping up with the new plot of the ELM STREET reboot, there’s a whole new mystery where the viewer is supposed to wonder if Freddy really was a molester.
“The whole time we’re back and forth, we think he did it, and then we think he was innocent,” says Mara.
“There’s a big grey area,” adds Gallner.
Mara continues, “We don’t know what we believe. Then when we get to the basement and find his stuff, and we’re like he was innocent our parent killed him. Then we get to the cave and we realize he’s not so innocent.”
Watching the scene progress, it was interesting watching the emotional changes in Kyle and Rooney. They talked a little bit about what they were experience while the camera were rolling and what they did to get to that place.
“I think right there was definitely hurt,” explains Mara “Nancy’s whole life is a total mess. She doesn’t talk to anyone, she has no friends, she’s just a closed human being and she doesn’t know why. So I think for me in that scene it’s more just hurt and also ‘Oh my God this is the reason I am the way I am;’ it turns into anger. But in there (the scene) it’s hurt, but it will turn into anger.”
Gallner continues, “I think the same could said for me, but I think I could probably goes towards anger a little quicker than she does. We’re kids who basically have this block of ours lives completely just shut off, we don’t really know what’s going on. I’m definitely less affected than Nancy was, but we still had something taken from us, we had our childhoods taken from us, and it hurts; it’s a big loss.”
“It’s hard, especially saying it all day,” Mara explains of getting into the moment. “Me and Kyle are the same way, I don’t really use anything from my own life. I go in their as Nancy and I take it on as my own.”
“You take the scene and go, ‘Okay this is it, this is real, this how I feel right now, this how I feel about here right now, this is how I feel about the situation,’ ” says Gallner.
Mara continues, “What is this like, walking into a place I have been so many times that I don’t remember? Then I’m just remembering it for the first time again, and I’m seeing these pictures of myself. So I just believe it.”
In an early draft of the script it describes Nancy Thomson as “Gothic”, which caused a small uproar among horror fans. Nancy’s bedroom was constructed on location at the Chicago studio. Inside the room was the infamous bathtub where Freddy’s glove would be making an appearance. Inside her room, you wouldn’t think she was Goth at all. In fact, her room was very feminine straight down to the pink wallpaper. What stood out was her art desk that was loaded with her drawings (non of which would be described as dark or twisted).
“I think they use the word Goth because the stereotype of Gothic person is someone who is disturbed, introverted and closed off to the world, and I’m definitely all of those things. I’m not really Goth though.”
For more on Rooney and Kyle’s characters, read on to part 3 to see what Bloody Disgusting stringer Jeff Otto experienced while on set during a very, very special Freddy moment. You’re gonna unzip over this one…