Heather Langenkamp says taking a role outside of A Nightmare on Elm Street is like going from fine dining to fast food.
Nancy Thompson is one of the great final girls in slasher history, overcoming Freddy Krueger while her friends ended up with knives through the chest and being tossed around bedroom walls. With just A Nightmare on Elm Street, portrayer Heather Langenkamp began getting call after call offering her other horror roles, but all of those were nothing more than, as she put it, a “Taco Bell burrito” – and she means that in a bad way!
Appearing on Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast (via MovieWeb), Heather Langenkamp said her love for her trademark character actually helped keep her away from the spotlight, despite the success of A Nightmare on Elm Street. “Like there’s never as good a part as Nancy. It would just be hard to do that. It’d be like, you know, having this great meal with everything there, and then you go and have a Taco Bell burrito. It’s like, ‘Why do that?’” Langenkamp would only reprise Nancy two more times: 1987’s Dream Warriors (where she was killed off) and 1994’s New Nightmare (still one of the most creative slashers of the decade), playing the dual role of both herself and her character.
She added that there were plenty of prospects out there, but she had cooled on the horror genre. “I went out for Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Like I would have auditions for genre movies because they had seen it [A Nightmare on Elm Street] and liked it. So, I did have a lot of more genre movies [to choose from]. I wanted to do anything, but I didn’t really want to take another horror movie part because I knew — I’ve always known ever since that none are ever as good [as Nancy].” Look, Killer Klowns is a cult classic and one of my personal go-tos but even I have to admit that it’s below a post-Nightmare Langenkamp.
Overall, Heather Langenkamp has kept a low profile on the big screen, lending occasional cameos in genre movies. Instead, she has proven to be a faithful devotee to horror movies elsewhere, contributing to the In Search of Darkness series and proving a welcome addition to conventions. Still, with the continuations of franchises like Halloween and The Exorcist, we wonder if we could see Nancy and Freddy face off one more time…
Where do you think Heather Langenkamp’s Nancy Thompson ranks in the list of greatest final girls? Which is your favorite A Nightmare on Elm Street movie? Give us your pick below!