Interview: Mark Patton
Mark Patton, star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, has been quite busy since his reemergence in the documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy. Besides running his business Lalo Morales Designs in Mexico, Mark has become a frequent guest on the horror convention circuit and recently filmed his own documentary, There Is No Jesse. Forum member Blake Best caught up with Mark in June 2011 and interviewed him about his participation in the first Elm Street sequel, his experience engaging fans at conventions, and his feelings about leaving acting.
Mark Patton: It’s Mark Patton. How are you?
Blake Best: Hey, Mark! I’m doing well. Thank you for calling me to discuss your role in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
No problem, Blake.
I read somewhere on the Internet that you auditioned for Johnny Depp’s role, Glen Lantz, in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Is that true?
Yes I did. I screen tested for the part. It came down to Johnny Depp and me, and he got the role.
What compelled you to audition for the role of Jesse Walsh in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2? Did you request the audition personally? Do you see any parallels between yourself and Jesse?
No, I did not request the audition personally. When you’re a working actor in Los Angeles, your agents get you auditions. I actually beat out both Matt Damon and Brad Pitt for the role! But I left acting after that film, and both their careers flourished! When it came down to casting Jesse, they had already picked Robert Rusler as Jesse’s friend. Robert and I had good chemistry. A lot of me comes through Jesse.
Did you have fun while making the film? Were there any difficult things you faced while on set?
Definitely! Hope [Lange] and I had a lot of fun together. We would spend time together on set. She was wonderful, and we became drinking buddies too! [laughs]. That scene where I dance on the bed to “Touch Me (All Night Long)” was so over the top! When I see it now, I just can’t believe it made it into the film [laughs]. That prosthetic tongue I had to wear was another story. Speaking of difficult, that tongue was very painful to wear. It kept my mouth stretched open and I couldn’t eat or drink with it in my mouth. I wore it for several hours. I wore the tongue during my make out scene with Kim [Myers], who played my girlfriend Lisa. Being a gay man and trying to make out with a woman with this giant tongue hanging out of my mouth was so outrageous! Kim and I laughed so much because it was so outlandish.
How does it feel to be in the horror convention circuit? Did it shock you that Jesse is such a popular character and you have so many fans?
The convention circuit is fantastic! I’m very humbled by all of the fans that stand in line just to get a picture with me and have me sign things for them. I’m also beginning work on a documentary film called There Is No Jesse, and I’m going to be using footage from some of the conventions. I’m deeply touched that so many fans relate to Jesse and consider him to be a hero to them and an inspiration to get them through their own struggles.
I’ve seen you brandishing a Freddy glove of your own in many of the convention photos I’ve seen recently.
Yes, I finally have one of my own! Recently, I was in Germany for a convention and my glove was stolen. I will get another one though.
Someone took your glove? I’m sorry to hear that.
Unfortunately. I will have another one!
I saw your Never Sleep Again interview, where you discussed leaving acting because of how gay actors were being treated. Do you regret leaving the acting business?
Just after Nightmare 2 came out, a group of people started following around actors that they thought were gay, and would harass them, and take pictures of them. It hurt me because I couldn’t be myself without having someone harass me. I loved acting, but the pain of being followed and crucified because I was gay was too much for me. I left acting not long after Nightmare 2. I regret that I had to give up something I loved because I was worried for my safety.
Sources online say you have expressed interest in returning to the A Nightmare on Elm Street universe. Is that true?
If I were asked, I would definitely come back to the films.
What have you been doing since you left acting?
I am a partner at Lalo Morales Designs in Mexico.
Mark, thank you so much for taking time to call me and discuss your Nightmare on Elm Street experience!
We would like to thank Blake for submitting this terrific interview and Mark for his time! You can learn more about There Is No Jesse here.