Courtney Smith
September 16, 2015 2:12 pm

When film auteur Wes Craven passed away in August, the world lost one of the great minds in the horror genre. He was known for many films and franchises but one unforgettable thing he did was cast Johnny Depp as the male lead in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street, which helped jump-start the actor’s career. In a Q&A at the Toronto Film Festival, Depp paid tribute to the man who he says gave him his start.

According to Variety, Depp recalled being cast in the film, saying, “I read scenes with [Craven’s] daughter when I auditioned for the part. At the time, I was a musician. I wasn’t really acting. It was not anything very near to my brain or my heart, which is pretty much how it remains to this day.” They note that the room of film reporters gave that last line a big laugh, understandably.

“But Wes Craven was brave enough to give me the gig based on his daughter’s opinion. I guess she had read with a bunch of actors, and after the casting sessions, she said, ‘No, that’s the guy,’” Depp recalled. “I always think of her for putting me in this mess, and certainly Wes Craven for being very brave to give me this gig. But he was a good man — so rest in peace, old Wes.”

The role would go on to be Depp’s feature film break out role. But you probably already knew he was thankful since he made that cameo in A Nightmare On Elm Street VI: Freddy’s Dead, when he really didn’t have to since he was a megastar by then.

Watch baby Johnny Depp crush it (and our hearts) in A Nightmare on Elm Street:

(New Line Cinema)

Remember Wes Craven, horror movie icon and master of screams

Here’s a picture of Johnny Depp looking nothing like Johnny Depp

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