NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET director Wes Craven says "Johnny Depp owes his career to my daughter"

Every great career starts somewhere, and Johnny Depp’s first movie job was playing the protagonist’s boyfriend in Wes Craven’s surprise horror classic, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Interviewed for a television program called “Inside Haunted Hollywood,” set to air on Saturday, October 20th, on Fine Living TV, the director credits, not his own instincts, but his daughter Jessica’s discerning eye for his decision to cast Johnny in the 1984 film. “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 admits. “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 . . . ‘ ”

What changed the director’s mind and made him decide to cast Johnny in the role of Glen Lantz? Craven reports that his daughter Jessica saw Johnny’s audition photos and said, “He’s beautiful!” Persuaded by her reaction, Craven discarded his concept of Nancy’s boyfriend as a blond boy-next-door. He cast Johnny Depp instead–thank you, Mr. Craven!–and the rest is movie history. –Part-Time Poet