Heather Langenkamp returns to the horror genre to star in the Netflix series “The Midnight Club” | Television

Tulsa-raised actress Heather Langenkamp can’t wait for you to see her next project, but you’ll have to be patient as it won’t premiere until Halloween season.

“The Midnight Club”, a 10-episode horror series, will debut October 7 on Netflix.

A spooky project is on the way for Langenkamp, ​​best known for playing heroine Nancy Thompson in the “A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise.

Langenkamp said it has become something of a tradition for Netflix to release a new project from horror director Mike Flanagan during the Halloween season. Flanagan is the co-creator and showrunner of “The Midnight Club,” based on the 1994 novel of the same name and other works by author Christopher Pike.

The premise: In a hospice for terminally ill young adults, eight patients gather each night at midnight to tell each other stories and make a pact that the next of them to die will give the group a sign from the other side.

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Langenkamp plays Dr. Georgina Stanton in the series. She is her meatier role than she has in decades.

“I’ve done small parts here or small indie films for friends or people who I thought had a good idea, but this is really the first big production I’ve been a part of since the 1990s,” said Langenkamp.

Langenkamp spoke at length about “The Midnight Club” and why the series came close to home during a phone interview before the premiere.

Langenkamp was born in Tulsa and attended Council Oak Elementary School (formerly Lee Elementary) and Holland Hall before attending high school in Washington, DC. Her father, Dobie, worked in the Jimmy Carter administration.

After high school, Langenkamp returned to Tulsa and landed a summer job as a copier at the Tulsa Tribune newspaper. She saw news about a film production that needed extras and she made her film debut as an extra in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders”. The scene she was in did not appear in the theatrical release, but she can briefly be seen walking past Ponyboy actor C. Thomas Howell in a school scene added to “The Outsiders: The Complete Novel”.

Coppola made consecutive films in Tulsa and Langenkamp earned her SAG membership as an extra in “Rumble Fish”. She went to college (Stanford) and the connections established on the set in Tulsa proved useful when she embarked on an acting career.

The battle against Freddy Krueger in the 1984 horror classic “A Nightmare on Elm Street” put Langenkamp on the map. Although she will forever be associated with scary things, she starred in multiple episodes of the sitcom “Growing Pains” and was cast in a spin-off series, “Just the Ten of Us”, which aired from 1988 to 1990. .

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Langenkamp’s husband also works in the film industry. She is married to Oscar-winning makeup artist David LeRoy Anderson. They own and operate AFX Studio, a special effects studio, in Van Nuys, California. “The Midnight Club” reported it in front of the camera.

“Still playing the show as the enigmatic doctor who runs this hospice for young adults, I am honored to welcome Heather Langenkamp,” Flanagan tweeted in February 2021. “For horror fans like me, Heather is a king and I’m so excited to work with her. “

“All horror, he loves,” Langenkamp said. “But he confessed his love for ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ to me, so I had to be there and listen to him for half an hour, like how much he loved ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ and I’m like ‘Ok I get it.’ “

Was it your fan moment?

“He’s definitely a fanboy in the most charming, delicious and sweetest sense,” Langenkamp said. “I’ve met a lot of fanboys in my career, and what I love is to see a fanboy succeed because that’s what everyone dreams of is to love a certain thing as a kid and to love a certain type of movie and then be able to find it. A career in that.” .

Langenkamp said she didn’t know much about Flanagan when she was asked to join “The Midnight Club”.

“I just knew he had done these hugely successful shows on Netflix,” he said. “I had seen ‘Hill House’ and had seen a little bit of ‘Bly Manor’ but anyway, once I got the part, I literally (sat and watched) it all. When I got to Canada, where we shot the show, I think I saw everything he had done. And she has a really strong style and I could have imagined what she would do with the show.

Perhaps Flanagan’s tweet about Langenkamp can be classified as cheerful.

“He probably never knew I was happier than he is,” she said.

When the call for Langenkamp’s audition came, he thought it might be for an episode or a cameo. She said that many horror directors think it’s fun to see the girl from “A Nightmare on Elm Street” appear in a cameo. She usually refuses because she doesn’t like that kind of gig.

“I said, ‘well, go ahead and send the dialogue and let me watch,'” he said of the “The Midnight Club” opportunity. “And when I got it, it was an important part. I mean, the first scene she wanted me to do on tape was like a three-page monologue. I looked at my husband and said: ‘Holy cow, this is the star of the show’ “.

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Langenkamp anchors the cast along with eight “rather surprising” young actors whose characters are battling cancer.

“And then there is me, the doctor, who somehow accompany them to the end of their life and she has a hospice where her philosophy is that when you know you are dying and you know you have terminal cancer and you only have six months or a year of life, why live in a hospital? Why live hooked up to machines? Why live by going to the doctor every day when you could live another way, which is to have more action with the choices you make, the people you see and the kind of life you lead.

The children of the hospice sneak out of their rooms and tell scary stories to pass the time. They know each other better and explore their feelings about death and regrets, according to Langenkamp.

“The stories are all creepy and they all have some sort of mystical or scary element, and the funny thing about the show is that when the kids start telling scary stories they come to life and we are the people acting in their stories, basically.” he said.

“When I played the part, I thought I was playing the doctor and the person who owns the hospice, but what I found is that I play all these different characters. My range of different people that I play is very wide in this, and it’s an actor’s dream to be able to play different characters.

“It’s like a repertory theater and every week or every episode, my person appears as a different character in one of these scary stories. It is an anthology in this way. Each week is the story of him. I think there are a story or two that go for two episodes because they are very complicated stories, but in general, each episode was a new character that I have to create. As an actor, you don’t have a lot of opportunities to have this kind of part except maybe once in a lifetime. So, this way, I feel like I’ve hit the gold. “

Here’s why the show comes close to home: Langenkamp and her husband lost their son, Atticus Anderson, to brain cancer in January 2018. He was 26.

“And so I see things in these children that I saw in my son when he was battling cancer,” he said, indicating that he offered suggestions for the show based on his experiences with Atticus. “I think our collaboration on this was fantastic because I really wanted the voice of a mother who lost a child to cancer to be authentic.”

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Langenkamp said Atticus was diagnosed with glioblastoma when he was 20. There have been six years of ups and downs, including “great times” when cancer was not problematic.

After Atticus died, his loved ones had to restore their lives. What we will do? How do we collect the pieces? How do we go about our lives with any kind of joy or sense of purpose?

“Our son … was an engineer; he went to Stanford and was a role model for all of us – he always said ‘do cool (shit). That’s what we’re all here to do. Just do stuff.’ And so when he died, my husband and I thought, you know what? We just have to take it as our daily mantra. “

Langenkamp asked himself this: What would I like to do in the next phase of my life?

“I just really wanted to go back to being an actress and try to get parts that would be meaningful to me,” she said. “Lo and behold, Mike Flanagan called me for this job.”

It was meant to be. Langenkamp said she brought her joy to be part of “The Midnight Club” and to work with children who all reminded her of Atticus in some way.

“It was just a dream come true,” he said, adding that the show could provide lessons for those who have to care for sick people.

“Being a good caregiver is one of the greatest privileges you can have as a human being,” he said. “I think the character I play really believes that taking care of the sick is a huge privilege. This is how we feel about all our health workers who took care of us during COVID ”.

Langenkamp, ​​who hopes Tulsans will watch “The Midnight Club,” said he can’t wait to see it. He hasn’t seen an episode yet.

“And I’m obviously incredibly nervous about it,” she said. “But I know I did my best. I literally put everything I have to play this part ”.

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