Sunday, August 8, 2010

Superhero Babylon: The (quick) Heather Langenkamp interview

A condition of the interview (and the potential legal ramifications of posting it) was that I would only be allowed a verbatim text recap of it. Which is more or less what this is. (I edited out the "Ums," etc...). I appreciate the fact that Mrs. Langenkamp took the time to answer the questions of the co-owner of a blog with 10 subscribers and was so kind and gracious with a first time interviewer (well, second, counting the other one I did that day, but that's another story).

I will, however, mention a couple things which I didn't get time to ask her about. What can be called the definitive documentary on the
Nightmare on Elm Street series was released this year entitled
Never Sleep Again, with Mrs. Langenkamp both hosting and being interviewed. Also, Mrs. Langenkamp has a documentary of her own coming out soon, entitled I Am Nancy. Without further ado, onto the interview.

Heather Langenkamp: I’ve got you on the clock here.

Superhero Babylon: Is there anything you were drawing on the first time around to fill out the character of Nancy, inspiration-wise?

HL: I think my first inspiration was probably someone like my grandmother, who was, I thought...was a really strong woman and was very inspirational. And then I loved, believe it or not, I loved nature movies when I was little, where someone was in the woods and they would have to survive, like Grizzly Adams, like those kinds of movies. And in a lot of ways, if anything, Nancy is like a girl Grizzly Adams, the way she has to survive in this really hostile environment.

SB: I’d definitely agree with that. What do you think makes the "final girl" so strong within the Nightmare series itself? Because it’s stronger there than it is anywhere else.

HL: I believe that Wes Craven [Nightmare on Elm Street creator] just wanted to have a strong girl figure, as the lead in this movie. And he had a daughter of his own, and knew that there were a lack of positive role models at that time. So, those two things and he just hired a girl like me who was really interested in portraying a strong person like that.

SB: When I saw the recent documentary Never Sleep Again, I remember that you specifically mentioned that you kept your pajamas from Nightmare 1.

HL: Yes.

SB: Was it a conscious decision on your part to create to create your own iconography, like the same way Freddy has the sweater, the hat, and the glove?

HL: I knew that those were going to be important, you know, parts of my own personal history. So I think when I had the opportunity to keep them, I just stowed them away. But, at the time, I did not know that this movie was going to be a success. I mean, I don’t even know, I think it was just more of a sentimental gesture. I just asked the wardrobe lady “Do you mind if I take these home?” and she didn’t think it would be important because they would NEVER let me take them today. None of us had any idea that something like her pajamas would be important.

SB: Ok, Your character had three very distinct permutations over the three different movies. You had scared little girl Nancy, surviving elder Professor X Nancy, and then Heather Langenkamp. Do you have a favorite out of those three versions and are there any things you like better or worse about any of them? Because they’re very different.

HL: Well to have the opportunity in a movie to play those three phases of life, where you’re growing into an adult, becoming a woman and then having a child is so rare, just to me the opportunity to do that is so fantastic. Because she’s most like me, I probably like the “Heather Langenkamp” Nancy the best, but I have the fondest nostalgia for the young girl Nancy.

SB: Thank you so much for your time.

HL: Oh you guys are so sweet.