Interview with Mark Patton

Mark Patton career hit it big with “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge” and then suddendly ended, but That was only chapter one of Mark’s career. He recently resurfaced in the upcoming documentary “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy” and is looking forward to acting again if the role is right. Movie Mikes had a chance to talk to Mark and ask him some questions about his career and his anticipated return to the spotlight.

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Mike Gencarelli: Tell me about your journey to starring in “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”?
Mark Patton: I actually auditioned for the first “Nightmare on Elm Street” for the part that Johnny Depp played. Heather (Langenkamp) and I tested for that, but I didn’t get the part. When they came back around for the second one, it was the same casting director. They called me in really at the last minute and I auditioned and got the part. Prior to auditioning I had just finished a movie with Robert Altman and they were happy to get me.

Mike Gencarelli: What was the hardest part of your role as Jesse Walsh?
Mark Patton: Making a movie like “Nightmare on Elm Street”, they are very physically demanding on your body. I did all my own stunts. The work load was very strong for me. I was in practically every scene in the movie. The transformation scene, when Freddy comes out of my body was very difficult to do. Also the scene when Freddy burns up in the end and I come out of that fire, was also difficult. Those types of scenes took five or six days to shoot them. You are in that make-up for a long time. Other than that though it was a breeze. We had a great cast and I was treated very well.

Mike Gencarelli: You have expressed differences with director Jack Sholder, can you explain them?
Mark Patton: This month “Never Sleep Again” comes out and it is a documentary on the making of “Nightmare on Elm Street” series. I haven’t really given interview on “Nightmare on Elm Street” in 25 years. Over the course of the years a lot of controversy built up, especially about the gay subtext about “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2″. Quite frankly, I dealt with a lot of negative issues for the first few years. Later in life, it changed dramatically though for the better. When you watch the movie, you can see that there is sort-of secondary storyline going on. When Jack Sholder and David Chaskin were asked about it back then, they said they had no knowledge that it was going on. In “Never Sleep Again”, David Chaskin, the writer, changes his answer to that question and finally admits; yes he was writing a subliminal message into the movie. I was very straight forward about the whole thing and I just did a Q & A that you can find on YouTube at Monster Mania Convention this March about it. Recently during the interviews and conventions I’ve done, people been really fantastic. It is amazing how many people were obviously touched by that movie but in a different way than they were meant to be.

MG: Where you ever offered to come back for another “Nightmare” sequel as Jesse?
MP: Heather, Kim (Myers) and I the only people still alive from the “Nightmare” franchise. I was never offered.

MG: You were recently featured in “Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy”, how was it revisiting “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”?
MpG: It was amazing, it took them two years to find me. They hired a web detective and everything. I like in Mexico now. They literally found me at the last minute, flew us down and shot the documentary three days later. It was a blast. The most fun about it was that they setup a Facebook account for me, which is how we obviously got in contact. The response has been amazing, I probably get one hundred friend requests a day. Literally I am going to have to have to hire someone to take care of this soon, it getting to be so much. The people have been so amazing that have contacted me.

MG: So after you star in “Nightmare 2”, you disappeared from the spotlight and haven’t acted since, what happened?
MP: I actually quit acting shortly after “Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2”. It was due to part to the controversy surrounding the film. Many people offered me film roles after but I just turned them all down. It took the people from the documentary two years to find me, because nobody from show business was able to get find reach me.

MG: What was it like working with Cher and Robert Altman in “Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”?
MP: That was such an amazing experience. That story is like a book in itself. When I was hired to do that film, my first day of rehearsals there was a thousand reporters around the set because of Cher and Robert Altman. It was a mind blowing experience. I met everyone in the world, literally everyone. I met David Bowie and Robin Williams. They all treated me as a peer so it was great. That movie has a huge cult following and it is getting ready to be released on DVD for the first time ever. I am getting ready to be a part of that DVD.

MG: Now that you are back, what is next?
MP: I have been offered quite a few movies since the documentary. I am sort of hoping they ask me to be in the next “Nightmare on Elm Street” if there is a sequel. I think it would be funny and great. I currently own a gallery in Mexico and I am very involved with a lot of artists here. I am making a documentary about a club and its history here in Mexico. I do have bookers and agents now, so if something interesting comes along. Don’t be surprised. It is funny how life turns around, you never know what is going to happen.

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