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Hows Johnny Depp’s A Nightmare on Elm Street Role Kickstarted His Hollywood Career

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ElitesMindset Editorial Team
ElitesMindset Editorial Team
Suleman Siddiqui, an accomplished editor, navigates the realms of celebrity, lifestyle, and business with a distinctive flair. His insightful writing captures the essence of the glamorous world of celebrities, the nuances of contemporary lifestyles, and the dynamics of the ever-evolving business landscape. Siddiqui's editorial expertise combines a keen eye for detail with a passion for storytelling, making him a sought-after voice in the realms of entertainment, luxury living, and commerce.

Johnny Depp was in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), which was his first-ever role in a film. The actor played it so well that it set forth an inevitably successful career for the star.

All Hollywood actors had humble beginnings in their careers and Johnny Depp’s career is no exception. Our favorite manly-looking actor was once a pretty teenager and you can see him in this movie – he was a cute one!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Johnny Depp’s Debut Film)

A Nightmare on Elm Street was a 1984 classic supernatural slasher genre directed by Wes Craven. Johnny Depp starred in it as his film debut. The budget of this film was almost $1.1 million and it was released on November 9th, 1984. Lucky for Depp, the film came out to be a huge success as it grossed $57 million in revenue.

It is said that Craven came up with this film from one of his childhood memories, in which he recalled one time when he saw a drunken man frighting him from a window.


Nancy Thompson, a teenager, must find out what her parents are hiding after she and her friends are targeted by a serial killer’s spirit in their dreams. If they die in their dreams, it will also kill them in real life. The killer is wielding a bladed glove.

Johhny Depp’s Nightmare on Elm Street Role

The young aspiring actor was looking for roles and he got on in this horror film. He played the role of Glen Lantz, which was the first to be played by Charlie Sheen but the producers wanted a low-salary actor so Johnny Depp was the best choice.

Johnny Depp, with his friend Jackie Earle Haley, went to audition for roles in the horror film. Lucky for them, they both got a role in the film. His friend went to play Freddy while Depp was playing Glen.

Glen Lantz was the boyfriend of Nancy, the lead character in the film. Initially, the writers wanted Glen to be more of a jock character, but the director’s daughter insisted to give him a better character as she saw star-like qualities in Johnny Depp.

Glen, in A Nightmare on Elm Street, always acted reasonably arguing with everyone that Freddy doesn’t exist in real life. For the most part of the film, Depp’s character denies the existence of Freddy but it is when he accidentally goes to sleep that he finds out about Freddy’s reality – he is sucked by the slasher into his own bed in his sleep.

His bed is full of blood after his death. In a deleted scene, Freddy even breaks his finger and put it on Glen’s body to taunt Nancy’s father (a sheriff) but the scene was cut from the original film.

The Horror Film Kickstarted Johnny Depp’s Film Career

As the film was a huge success and proved to be one of the best horror films of that time, Johnny Depp was under the spotlight in Hollywood and started landing roles in different films. He successfully played his roles in 21 Jump Street and Platoon, which were his early roles after A Nightmare on Elm Street

Johnny Depp returned to the Nightmare franchise and made a cameo in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare in 1991. After that, Depp played tons of mainstream roles in Hollywood and his career proved to be one of the most successful in the world, for an actor. 

The Nightmare Franchise Kickstarted Many Hollywood Careers

It wasn’t just Johnny Depp who debuted in the Nightmare franchise to kickstart his Hollywood career. The Nightmare On Elm Street franchise helped launch the careers of several well-known actors, including Lawrance Fishburne and Patricia Arquette

Lawrence Fishburne, on the other hand, also had a small role in the Nightmare franchise but The Matrix actor is now famous for his roles in the John Wick franchise and the TV Show Hannibal.

Rooney Mara played the role of Nancy in the 2010 remake of the original A Nightmare On Elm Street and has since had a successful career, starring in films such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Nightmare Alley, A Ghost Story, and Carol. 

Arquette appeared in the third installment of the franchise, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3, as Kristen and later gained fame through her roles in the NBC series Medium and the film True Romance.


A Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror film franchise that has been successful over the years, and it has helped launch the careers of several well-known actors. Johnny Depp, Patricia Arquette, Lawrence Fishburne, and Breckin Meyer are all examples of actors who had early roles in the franchise and went on to have successful careers in Hollywood. 

In addition to these actors, the franchise has also been responsible for introducing many other talented performers to the industry. By giving these actors an opportunity to showcase their skills and talent, the franchise has helped kickstart their careers in Hollywood.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

How Old was Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street?

Johnny Depp was 21 years old when he landed his role as Glen in the 1984 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Who was Johnny Depp in Nightmare on Elm Street?

Johnny Depp played his role as Glen in the 1984 horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. Glen was Nancy’s boyfriend who first didn’t believe Freddy existed.

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