Nightmare On Elm Street Remake Almost Made Rooney Mara Quit Acting


Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Star Rooney Mara reveals how her bad experience on the 2010 Nightmare On Elm Street remake influenced her career choices.

Rooney Mara says 2010’s Nightmare On Elm Street remake almost made her quit acting. Mara became an Oscar-nominee and a star thanks to David Fincher’s 2011 remake of the Swedish thriller The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. But before making her name as vengeful hacker Lisbeth Salander, Mara tackled a different remake role, playing iconic final girl Nancy in the 2010 Nightmare On Elm Street. Unfortunately for Nightmare fans, the 2010 take on famed horror villain Freddy Krueger failed to revive the long-dormant franchise.


As it turns out, 2010’s Nightmare on Elm Street wasn’t only a miserable experience for franchise fans, it was also pretty bad for star Mara. Appearing on the LaunchLeft podcast to promote her new film Women Talking, Mara briefly touched upon her experience on the Nightmare remake, and related how it taught her to be more selective in accepting roles. Check out Mara’s fascinating remarks in the space below (via IndieWire):

“A few years before [‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’], I had done a ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ remake, which was not a good experience. I have to be careful with what I say and how I talk about it. It wasn’t the best experience making it and I kind of got to this place, that I still live in, that I don’t want to act unless I’m doing stuff that I feel like I have to do. So after making that film, I kind of decided, ‘OK, I’m just not going to act anymore unless it’s something that I feel that way about.’”

Related: Why The Nightmare On Elm Street Reboot Is Taking So Long

What Went Wrong With Nightmare On Elm Street 2010

Freddy Kruger with his arms and knife folded in A Nightmare on Elm Street

Mara obviously does not get into any specifics when it comes to why being in Nightmare on Elm Street 2010 was such a bad experience for her. But the actor was clearly in a difficult position from the get-go, stepping into a role made iconic by Heather Langenkamp in the original A Nightmare On Elm Street. The entire film was indeed in the same position as it tried to revive a beloved horror franchise with a new actor, Jackie Earle Haley, attempting to replace original Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund.

Haley’s performance in many critics’ eyes is indeed the first and biggest reason why the Nightmare On Elm Street remake doesn’t work. Krueger’s entire design is in fact seen as a problem, as the movie opted to make the character’s burn scars look more realistic than in the original movies, a decision that both offended real-life burn victims and made Krueger unnerving in the wrong way. Critics have also blasted the remake for making Krueger’s backstory too dark, and for introducing but failing to follow through on a potential twist where the villain may have actually been innocent.

Alongside all of these criticisms, Nightmare 2010 has also been accused of fumbling its handling of the teen characters. As original Krueger actor Englund pointed out back in 2016, “You don’t ever see any of the people happy-go-lucky, they’re never untainted.” He added, “You need to see before and after so you can invest emotionally with the children.” Additionally, Nightmare On Elm Street 2010 haters have slammed the movie for its kills, which are simply CGI-augmented recreations of the same moments in the original films. Mara herself may have other reasons why she personally dislikes Nightmare On Elm Street, but it seems she’s not interested in sharing details. Suffice it to say, her career since that bad experience has gone in a decidedly positive direction.

More: Not Even Englund’s Freddy Would’ve Saved Nightmare On Elm Street 2010

Source: LaunchLeft (via IndieWire)


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