He may be an immortal hell demon who torments children in their dreams, but he’s still, like a person. Or at least, the guy who plays him is. That’s Robert Englund, known to generations of horror fans as Freddy Krueger, the villain (and, sometimes, the demented anti-hero) of the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Englund played Freddy all through the ’80s and ’90s; he last appeared in the role in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. (If you want to count the recent Mortal Kombat game, he voiced the character there, too. I do not want to count it.)

If you were holding your breath for one final appearance from Englund as Freddy, I’m afraid you should start breathing now. In an interview about Freddy vs. Jason with Entertainment Weekly, Englund said he is retired as the wielder of the most famous knife fingers in cinema history.

‘I’m too old to do another Freddy now,’ shares Englund, 70. ‘If I do a fight scene now it’s got to be real minimal because I can’t snap my head for eight different takes and different angles. My spine gets sore. I can still be mean and scary, but I’m mostly relegated now to sort of Van Helsing roles, old doctors and s—.

That’s sad. I guess haunting the dreams of innocent children really is a young man’s game. Ah well. Thanks for the memories, Robert. The tortured, terrifying memories of being scarred for life by your movies. They will last a lifetime, or at least until the therapy starts working.

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