Fact: Robert Englund, the actor who plays freddy krueger Nightmare On Elm Street, auditioned for Han Solo in the original Star Wars movie, got turned down, drank a few beers, and got buddy Mark Hamill to audition for Star Wars Luke Skywalker.
While Robert Englund is perhaps best known for his role as Freddy Kruger in the horror franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street, he also has ties to the Star Wars franchise. Wanting to break into feature films, Robert decided to audition for a part in Star Wars.
In a recent interview apart of Yahoo’s Role Recall series, the actor recalls two parts that he tried out for in his early career. The first was a surfer in Apocalypse Now, which he ended up being told he was too old for the role in question, and the role of Hans Solo in Star Wars. At the time, Coppola and Englund were friends, and Coppola and Lucas were friends. So Coppola had Englund come over sets to audition for the part. Luck be have it, Englund was too old for this part as well, but after sucking up his pride and downing a few beers, he sets up his friend actor Mark Hamill whom he was living with. Here is what Englund had to say,
“And then I went home and told a little kid that was sleeping on my couch, after a six-pack of Heineken, all about [Star Wars], and his name was Mark Hamill. I said, ‘Hey, Lucas is doing this space movie. Maybe you’re right for it. The lead guy’s like a teenager…. So Mark got on the phone to his agent and I think he went up the next day. He nailed it, and the rest is history.”
While his audition left him briefly considered for Han Solo, the part ended up going to Harrison Ford instead.