Kevin Roach didn’t care much for horror movies until his freshman year of college when, after coming down with the flu, he told a friend to rent every scary movie imaginable.
“I used to hate scary movies,” he said. “They were too much for me and they gave me nightmares.”
Roach said he binge watched classics such as “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” and eventually grew to love the genre.
Now Roach has the opportunity to become Freddy Krueger on the big screen in the reboot of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” due to a petition from a fan.
The petition started after Roach played Krueger in the fan film “Confessions of Fred Krueger.”
The film is classified as a prequel to the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and focuses almost exclusively on the 1984 film.
“It’s extremely humbling. It’s not something that I ever thought would happen,” he said. “It wasn’t by anybody associated with the film, it wasn’t anybody I know. It was some random stranger who lives in Florida.”
Jeremy Boreske said he started the petition because he didn’t think any actor could pull off Freddy until he saw Roach.
“I believed he was Krueger,” Boreske said. “Not an actor trying to mimic (Robert Englund), but truly owning the role and doing it in full-on creep mode.”
He said it’s fairly easy to make a petition as long as you know who you want to address and have a good cause.
The horror enthusiast initially said he hoped to gain 100 signatures for the petition. The document had 736 signatures as of Monday.
Boreske said he wants to send the petition to Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Line Cinema Film Productions—a subsidiary of Warner Bros.—when it reaches 1,000 or more signatures to increase Roach’s chances at the role.
Roach said he feels getting cast as Freddy is a long shot, however, he hopes it will at least give the film some attention.
“I hope this petition is seen by somebody, even if it’s not for ‘Freddy,’” Roach said. “I hope it gets to someone who might say, ‘Hey, who is this Kevin Roach guy?’”
Roach said he doesn’t think anyone can say they are “ready for Hollywood,” but he will take on anything that comes his way.
Roach said when he acts he aims to get into the mindset of his characters.
While making the Freddy fan-film Roach said he would glare continuously at the man playing the role of the cop to scare the actor.
“(The cop) remarked early on that I have a very creepy stare, so I went with it,” Roach said.
Nathan Thomas Milliner directed “Confessions of Fred Krueger” and said he got the idea to cast Roach while on the set of his short film “The Encyclopedia Satanica.”
After he witnessed Roach’s acting, Milliner said he knew it would be a mistake if he didn’t cast the actor as the infamous killer.
“He is just a damn good actor,” the director said.
Milliner said he didn’t want Roach to copy Englund’s Freddy, but wanted the actor to create a new, more realistic Freddy.
“(Roach) walks the balance of being recognizable as the character but at the same time being fresh, exciting and creepy as hell,” Milliner said. “(Roach) made Freddy scary again. He is what the new film needs.”
Milliner said Roach deserves a “big break” and is proud that his film could lead to a turning point.
“I can honestly say I think (Roach) is in this for the long haul and has a very bright future ahead of him,” Milliner said.
Roach always speaks passionately about his acting and directing, said Gracie Craft, who acted alongside Roach in the local short film “Grown Men on Tricycles.”
“It is really cool to watch (Roach) because I know how passionate he is,” the freshman theater major said.
Craft said Roach can portray any character from a villain to a romantic hero and has a look that many other actors do not.
“He is like a Swiss Army Knife,” Craft said laughing. “He can do anything.”
Roach’s strong professionalism will earn him a spot in Hollywood, Craft said.
The professionalism in Roach is so strong, Craft said. He knows enough to get him through Hollywood.
“You say, ‘Kevin I need you to do this’” Craft said. “And he does it with honor, strive, power and charisma.”