Heather Langenkamp Basically Came Out Of Acting Retirement For Netflix’s The Midnight Club, Here’s Why

When it was announced that Mike Flanagan was going to adapt the 1994 novel « The Midnight Club » for Netflix, fans freaked out. Mike has such an understanding of the genre, mainly thanks to The Haunting anthology series. But the excitement really came down to just how beloved Christopher Pike’s original novel remains among horror fans.

Now that fans are stuck into the series, which debuted in early October 2022, there’s a collective feeling of relief; it mostly lived up to expectations. Any differences between the series and the book are forgiven due to the masterful execution as well as the perfectly cast group of actors. Among them is A Nightmare on Elm Street star Heather Langenkamp.

In an interview with Vulture, Heather explained what she’s been doing since her iconic horror franchise and how it differs from the new one she’s thrown herself into.

What Happened To Heather Langenkamp?

Heather Langenkamp may play Dr. Georgina Stanton in the YA horror series, The Midnight Club, but there’s no doubt she’s best known for her role as Nancy Thompson in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. Ever since her three Nightmare on Elm Street appearances (as well as her presence in two related documentaries), Heather has mostly lived a life away from the spotlight.

While it’s true that she has taken on a few roles in both film and television since playing Nancy Thompson, Heather has mostly abandoned the spotlight. However, she never left the entertainment business.

As pointed out in her interview with Vulture, Heather has mostly been working in makeup effects alongside her husband, David LeRoy Anderson.

« My husband and I have a company together, AFX Studio, » Heather explained to Vulture when asked about what she’s been doing with her time since her part in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise concluded.

« I administer the company, and he is the makeup artist and the makeup-effects designer. He will get the scripts and break them down and create all the practical effects. It gives us a chance to work really closely and do a lot of projects together. »

Despite having a huge role in Netflix’s The Midnight Club, Heather isn’t exactly planning her big Hollywood comeback.

« This industry is very hard to understand, but I really, really hope to get a lot more acting work going forward, » Heather admitted to Vulture. « I’ve always known in my heart that I was going to be able to; an actor can pretty much work until the day he or she dies. It’s one of the beauties of this profession: People still need you when you’re very old. I always thought once I finished raising my family and put them on the path to their own success that I would be able to focus more intently on acting again. »

Why Heather Langenkamp Joined The Cast Of Midnight Club After A Nightmare On Elm Street

There’s no doubt that Heather Langenkamp’s acting career has mostly been associated with the horror genre.

« You don’t pick the genre that you get to be known for. It’s something that I would never have imagined for myself,  » Heather admitted during her interview with Vulture. « I’m not someone who seeks out to be scared, first of all. Life is so scary on its own — I don’t need any additional scares. But I do really respect the genre, obviously; I’ve been working in it for 40 years now. The reason I respect it so much is because it is extremely difficult. »

But despite ‘respecting it’, Heather keeps her mind free of the genre when she’s not on set working.

« I think I intentionally keep a little bit of distance from the graphic nature of horror and its visceral qualities. Because I’m the kind of person who holds images in my head for a very long time, » Heather explained to Vulture.

« I really protect my own imagination from a lot of horror, because I want to spend time in a place where Freddy Krueger doesn’t jump into my brain all the time and try to scare me. I’m glad to be part of this industry of horror-making, but I don’t want to be in the center of it, creating scary images for people, because it would sit inside my imagination and wreak havoc there if I focused on it all the time like people like Mike Flanagan do. »

Still, Heather has found herself and yet another horror project. But the differences between Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street and Mike Flanagan’s The Midnight Club is what drew her back in.

« Film stories are actually incredibly simple. There’s usually one main storyline and a B-story line, and oftentimes a very minor C- and D-story line. And weaving those together isn’t that tough. Good movies do it very well, and I think Nightmare on Elm Street really, really did it well, » Heather explained.

« When you’re doing a series, your mission is quite different, because first of all, you’re doing character studies. You’re really doing deeper dives into all of the members of your cast. »

Heather continued by saying that she was really drawn to The Midnight Club because of how the writing allowed each kid to really explore who they are.

« The stories that they tell are not meant to be mini–Nightmare on Elm Street stories. They’re kid versions of scary stories. They might not be excellent, but they’re actually there to reveal, » Heather said in the excellent interview with Vulture. « Sometimes stories don’t have to be great to be really meaningful. It’s tough to translate these Christopher Pike stories to this format in just 20 minutes, but I really admired that faith in storytelling that Mike obviously has. »