I AM NANCY (DVD)
Some Pig Productions
Release date: May 1st, cure 2011
Certificate : Exempt
Running time: 120 minutes
Director: Arlene Marechal
Producer: Heather Langenkamp
Cast: Heather Langenkamp, cialis Robert Englund, Wes Craven
For I Am Nancy, you also interviewed Wes Craven, were his insights surprising, to hear where some of his inspiration for Nancy came from?
“Very surprising. He has the benefit of time on his side so he can look back on his whole lifetime. If I had asked him the same questions when he was 40 I don’t think I would have gotten the same results. I think he’s such a reflective person. The story about his mother really touched me.
A lot of people say Wes Craven grew up in this really repressive religious household and that he never saw a movie, like he was practically an Amish person. What people don’t realise is that in the middle of our country in America religion is just a way of life. There’s no “I choose to be this” or “I choose to be that”. You’re born into a family, and they go to this church over there, it’s like how it is in England too; you’re raised a Catholic, Protestant or Church of England, you don’t get to choose how you’re born.
He certainly was born into meagre existence and a woman who was probably really grateful for that strong religious community, probably gave her a lot of help. They have very strong beliefs about entertainment. He came from a place where his imagination had to really live on its own its own fire. It’s interesting that he talks about him having to stoke the fire in his house and that is something he uses in Nightmare On Elm Street.
There’s a furnace in the basement and the whole Freddy thing is about the furnace and the boiler room. I think he associates those childhood experiences a lot with Nancy and how he says Nancy was like the girl of my youth, where I think in those Midwestern communities there was so much more innocence than in you find in the big cities. Nancy is pretty much as innocent as they come except for this divorce in her family. What Wes could really see, coming from the Midwest especially, was that idyllic lifestyle we all imagined in America was really falling apart and so many of his symbols represent that. The Vietnam war, the sexual revolution and all these things upset that apple cart, there’s a lot of ramifications and that’s the disturbing underbelly of a lot of Wes’ movies I think.”
The house has always been like a character itself in the movies. What kind of feelings do you associate with now?
“What’s funny is that I just went to the house last year for Never Sleep Again. The lady who lives there is actually British. She has a beautiful art collection now and it’s all fancy, everything’s been cleaned up and made really beautiful. There’s a pool in the back, it’s beautiful. The paint job is exactly the same as the Nightmare On Elm Street house. I was mystified that she kept the same colour scheme after such an elaborate remodel but it was sweet that she did because we could all take pictures in front of the house and feel like its 25 years ago.
I didn’t think it was anything special when we were making the movie, it certainly didn’t have any extra special features, and it was very ordinary to me but now that so many years have passed I think people would be furious if they ever tore it down, they would try to save it as a historic monument or something like that. It did have all those elements that Wes talks about; all the rooms are parts of our subconscious. That speech that he gives in the movie about the house is just so great for anybody who’s a student of horror. He’s exactly right; a good horror director really pays attention to that. Nothing was there just out of laziness; there were reasons for everything that takes place in Nightmare On Elm Street.”
Since completing the documentary, did you find anyone who named their daughter – or son – Nancy?
“Nooooo! I still have not! At the very end I asked three people if they ever thought of naming their baby Nancy. That was just something that Arlene found in all of the hours of footage; that I just happened to do that. She thought it was so funny that we ended the whole movie with that. It’s funny because people think I’m joking – but I’m not! I really think that it’s a great name and I think it represents such a strong character!”
What if there’s a fan out there who has twins; a boy and a girl, and decides to name one Freddy and the other Nancy?
“Ok, now that person would get a prize from me! I’d feel sorry for the Freddy though, he’d get ridiculed his whole life!”
The sleeve art and disc design, this is all your handiwork?
“Yes! I did all of that, I fancied myself a jack of all trades. I tried to do as much as I possibly could. I didn’t have a lot of time, so my husband took my photo, I put my pyjamas on after 25 years and they barely fit! We went outside and took a series of photos and with the magic of Photoshop I tried to make it as interesting as possible. Then we decided to put a splatter of coffee behind me rather than blood so my husband took some coffee and splattered it on a white piece of paper and we took pictures of that.
Then of course I have Freddy’s sweater that my friend lent me so I took a picture of that and laid that behind everything. It was really fun because everything in that represents something that was important to me and then in the front there’s this fiery light that’s coming from the boiler room and crossing my body, the coffee pot of course is my most favourite weapon. All of that I really enjoyed.
The final thing was my hair, when my husband took my photo in the pyjamas I had my hair up and so in the very first edition of our DVD you’ll see there’s no hair on the cover. Then I was like, Nancy’s hair is really, really important and her grey streak, so I had to add that at the last minute, so all the elements that makes Nancy for me is on the cover.”
Can you tell me a bit what it was like listening to Jamie Coon’s song for the first time?
“I loved it immediately. Whenever a fan does something so touching and so wonderful I get so embarrassed that I don’t deserve it or that I’m taking advantage of them or they’re doing something that’s too good and too nice. That was really my first reaction, that it was too good for me, for our project. Arlene was like “Are you crazy? It’s perfect, this is so good!”
I felt like here’s somebody who spent all this time and went in to the recording studio, what can I give them in return? Arlene’s like “They get to be in your movie!” she still has to tell that to me because I feel like I’m imposing so much on people and I don’t want to ever feel ungrateful or taking advantage of anybody’s talents. I got rid of that feeling after about half an hour and then I just really enjoyed it and got to meet Jamie and she sang the song live for us at a film festival. And boy – I was smiling so big my lips were cracking! I was so excited for her and for us because the song is super, it’s so good! She did a great job and it was all for the love of Nancy.”
What do you think the future holds for the character?
“Part of me wants to celebrate her and then move on to something more exciting. I don’t think I’ll ever play as important a role, in some ways, that’s been so important to kids. It doesn’t seem like those kinds of classic movies are being made much anymore. I just hope that Nancy continues to grow in popularity with the newest generations coming along; girls, boys, men and women don’t think they can only love a hero or action hero of their own sex. I think its great that men are really loving Nancy as women are loving her, that to me is the greatest progress, it’s equally admirable to be fond of a female hero.”
If there’s one thing we could all learn from Nancy Thompson, what would you say that should be?
“Have strength, don’t run away from what’s before you, dive right in, face it head on, get to the meat of the problem and it will be behind you that much sooner. That’s one of the greatest things that Nancy does, she just goes at it directly, Wes puts it in much better words than I do, but that to me is the one Nancy trait I try to use everyday. I can procrastinate, avoid, find something else more exciting to do, find something that makes me feel good, I can do all of these things but actually attack the one problem in front me. I always tell myself everyday “Ok what would Nancy do here?” She would not avoid this phone call, she would not say I’ll do that tomorrow, she would do it now.”
What’s next for you in terms of projects, a romantic comedy with Robert?
“I would love any kind of project with Robert Englund! I’m actually developing a script right now with Arlene because we worked so well together. She has a script, that went to Sundance Writer’s Workshop several years ago, that I always liked and I thought if I put all my energy towards that, and she does too, then we could actually see that movie come to production. We have to work really, really hard, finding money is the hardest part, but we’ll do that next and see how we go.
Hopefully we’ll find some people who are fond of I Am Nancy to help along the way. It’s hard to change hats so many times but sometimes I think the key to staying young is just trying to do everything all at once, but my husband tells me no you need to do things one at a time! I have so many ideas, I really need to focus on getting a job for the future for me, and I’d love to do another acting role so I might have to make it happen for myself.”
Well, we look forward to anything that you do next, you’ve got a lot of support from so many fans.
“Thank you for that! Really, I’m so uplifted by the response of my fans. I’m so amazed by how many British fans I have, you guys over the there across the pond are so supportive, I really just want to say that if I can. It’s not going unnoticed by me how many fans in the UK are buying copies of I Am Nancy or reading the blog.”
Interview Part 1 | Interview Part 2
The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.
You can find his music on Soundcloud .