Wes Craven dead: Why Johnny Depp owes his career to director’s 13-year-old daughter

Craven initially turned down Depp for Elm Street role

Christopher Hooton
Monday 31 August 2015 09:28
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Johnny Depp’s big break in Wes Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street very nearly never was.

The horror director, who it was announced today has died at the age of 76, once explained to TV show Inside Haunted Hollywood how he initially turned Depp down for the role of Glen Lantz in the 1984 movie.

“I could make up all kinds of stories about why I had the perception and presence to cast Johnny Depp, but I would be a liar,” Craven admitted. “We were looking for someone in the role as Nancy’s boyfriend… the boy next door… and in comes Johnny Depp with a friend - the long hair, his fingers were yellow, and I thought, ‘This isn’t the boy next door and he can’t act and he’s so nervous. Sweet, but…’”

Fortunately however, Craven’s teenage daughter stumbled across Depp’s audition photos.

“He’s beautiful!” she exclaimed, and Craven was so persuaded by her reaction to the actor that he re-wrote the original blond boy-next-door character for Depp.

It was perhaps a flimsy reason for a casting, but turned out to be a good one, with Depp going onto establish himself as a fine actor.

Craven, who died at his home following a battle with brain cancer, also helmed the popular Scream series.

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