While actor Bill Skarsgård has many excellent acting credits to his name, none have provoked as strong a response as his terrifying turn as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in Andy Muschietti's IT movies. Turns out his performance continues to freak out the actor's co-stars, as happened on the sets of The Devil All the Time. Director Antonio Campos revealed Skarsgård's young co-star Michael Banks Repeta, who was playing his son, revealed during filming that the Dancing Clown is the only thing that truly scares him.
"The funniest thing about [Michael Banks Repeta], in that scene in particular, is that I sat down with him and his mother, and you know how when you're dealing with a kid in sensitive scenes in a film that the kid would otherwise never see, you try to protect them? His mom was like, "Banks is very mature for his age. He's not scared of horror movies or anything. He's a pretty tough kid." And Banks was like, "Yeah, I'm not scared of monsters or anything. There's just one thing that I'm kind of scared of and that's Pennywise." And I was like, "... Pennywise?" And I looked at the mother right away, and she was like, "Don't say anything."
IT was bad enough for Repeta that he was unknowingly working with the man who had brought his worst fear to life on the big screen, but what happened next became truly the stuff of nightmares for the young actor, as Skarsgard could not resist sharing his past as Pennywise with Repeta.
"He didn't realize that Bill Skarsgård was the thing that haunted his nightmares. So I was like, "Bill, do not tell this kid that you are the clown." And Bill is like, "Oh my god. I'm totally going to tell him." So the day that we were shooting that scene [in the woods], Bill was like, "They don't think you can know this, but I know you're a smart kid. I'm the clown in It." And Banks was like, "Whoa, that's crazy. I didn't know that. Alright." And I don't know if this is connected, but in the middle of that scene Banks just burst into tears way before he was supposed to. I think that somehow really got to him."
As it turns out, Repeta had unknowingly walked into the perfect setting to employ method acting techniques to act scared in the scene in the woods, because he was genuinely feeling scared to do the scene with the man he now knew to be Pennywise. The scene ended up being one of the most powerful in the entire film, and all because the young kid who is the focus of the scene was afraid his father would turn into a murderous, child-eating clown at any second.
Featuring an ensemble cast consisting of Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Jason Clarke, Riley Keough, Robert Pattinson, Eliza Scanlen, Sebastian Stan, Harry Melling, Haley Bennett, and Mia Wasikowska, The Devil All the Time is streaming now on Netflix. This news comes from Interview Magzine.