Roberto Lombardi talks ‘New Tale: The Demon of Elm Street’

The Tales from Elm Street series has been a delight for Freddy since its debut back in 2011.

Actor Roberto Lombardi and Director Chris R. Notarile are bringing the curtain down on the series with New Tale: The Demon of Elm Street.

We caught up with Roberto, who dons the famous finger knives to talk through his final trip down Elm Street.

Did you take inspiration from New Nightmare for the next chapter of Tales from Elm Street?

Yes, absolutely. We were inspired by the meta theme of New Nightmare. We just tailored that theme to fit our Krueger series.

When did you and Director Chris R Notarile decide to make this the final chapter of the series?

After we completed The Legend of Elm Street we really felt we had explored every avenue of an Elm Street prequel without spoiling our prequel feature script. But, fan demand had us rethink that and we started discussing a 6th film in late 2018. Then Chris R. Notarile came up with New Tale and it really captured a fitting end to the series.

What has it been like playing Freddy for you?

Playing Freddy has been surreal to say the least! The positives are that Elm Street fans have been truly amazing and supportive of me in the role. Krueger has put me in the public eye world wide and I’m truly thankful for it. Not bad as we had no plans to make a series after the 2011 short!

The negatives are few and far between! I’m constantly compared to Robert Englund as some people think I copy him because we resemble. That’s really the only negative. I’ve been really lucky!

How is this story different than what’s come before?

Technically, New Tale is still a prequel. Though it doesn’t follow the five previous episodes storylines. I play a version of myself and I play Krueger. We face off against each other. It was the first time I acted with myself!

How much of previous incarnations of Freddy do you put into your performance?

On the first film in 2011 I used elements of the 1984 film, Dream Warriors and New Nightmare. Mainly because it was more of an homage and I wanted an unburned, alive Freddy to be recognizable to audiences. Starting with the second film, I really started playing Freddy my own way with only hints of some recognizable Freddy traits. I didn’t want to cosplay. Sort of like when Julianne Moore took over for Jodie Foster playing Clarice Starling.

What was it like when you put on the Freddy makeup for the role?

Uncomfortable! For the 5th film I sat in the makeup chair for a couple of hours per application. For New Tale it was more like 2-3 hours. It’s latex and cotton with coloring on top and covered my entire head and neck. I wore it for almost entire filming days at a time. It’s not easy to remove and I lost a little skin in the process.

What can you recall about your first meeting with Chris about playing such an iconic character?

We were returning from either a film event or shoot in New York City in early 2011 when Chris asked if I was interested in playing Freddy Krueger in a prequel. As a long time Elm Street fan I jumped the chance! Especially since it was a prequel and largely untapped material.

What’s the best compliment you’ve had from Nightmare fans?

When fans tell me that even though I play Freddy my own way, they still see Krueger the character and not an imitation. That means a lot me and it’s greatly appreciated.

The Nightmare remake turns 10 next year, what do you think went wrong with their incarnation of the story?

I think the biggest mistakes made on the remake were undeveloped, unsympathetic characters and poor research. Why was Freddy in a boiler room when he molested kids in a school? Also, the poor recreations of classic Elm Street effects. That said, Jackie Earle Haley is a terrific actor and did the best with what he had to work with.

New Tale: Demon of Elm Street will premiere on YouTube on 6th June.

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