A lot of attention is being paid to the cherished works of author Stephen King this year. Not only are we finally getting that Dark Tower movie that has been kicking around for what seems like forever, but after many years, a big screen version of IT is finally making its way to theaters. Tim Curry is known for bringing the terrifying clown Pennywise to life the 1990 TV miniseries, but it is Bill Skarsgard who has to carry the weight this time around. If the job of Pennywise is to be scary, it sounds like he did a damn fine job, because he made a bunch of kids cry on set while filming the new IT movie.
While speaking to his brother Alexander Skarsgard for Interview Magazine, Bill Skarsgard couldn't avoid talking about being Pennywise in IT, which looks like it could be a major breakout role for him. During the conversation, he was asked about being nightmare fuel for children in the years to come after the movie hits theaters, and that's when he revealed that he is probably already going to be what bad dreams are made of for a group of child actors who were working with him on IT. Here's what he had to say about it.
"It's a really weird thing to go, 'If I succeed at doing what I'm trying to do with this character, I'll traumatize kids.' On set, I wasn't very friendly or goofy. I tried to maintain some sort of weirdness about the character, at least when I was in all the makeup. At one point, they set up this entire scene, and these kids come in, and none of them have seen me yet. Their parents have brought them in, these little extras, right? And then I come out as Pennywise, and these kids, young, normal kids, I saw the reaction that they had. Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn't look at me, and some were shaking. This one kid started crying. He started to cry and the director yelled, 'Action!' And when they say 'action,' I am completely in character. So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, 'Holy shit. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'"
Bill Skarsgard, the son of actor Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, Thor), clearly had mixed feelings about what he was doing on set, but what would an IT movie be if it wasn't truly scary? This, coupled with what we have seen of his performance in the trailers, leads us to believe that he definitely nailed it, despite him thinking what he was doing at the time was quite horrible. If anything, it should make all of the scares feel more genuine when IT hits theaters on September 8.
Stephen King fans have been waiting an awfully long time to see Pennywise done properly on the big screen, so screwing it up is not an option. That said, the teaser trailer for IT got everyone tremendously excited and everything we are hearing, this included (sorry, kids) makes it sound more and more like what director Andres Muschietti accomplished will be worth the wait. If nothing else, Bill Skarsgard can now put, "Skilled at making kids cry" on his acting resume in the future.