Bill Skarsgård has revealed that his version of Pennywise the clown brought the young actors on the set of Stephen King’s IT remake to tears in fear of his terrifying take on the demonic evil clown.
The original novel, as well as the TV-Movie which released in 1990, featured a split narrative following a group of social outcasts known as The Losers Club as both children and later as adults as they took on a demonic force who poses in the form of Pennywise, the evil child-killing clown. The new remake will instead focus solely on the children and will later be followed by a sequel featuring The Losers Club as adults as they defeat Pennywise for good.
Skarsgård, who has been acting since he was ten years old got his first big break on the Netflix series Hemlock Grove where his unsettling performance as Roman Godfrey would ultimately lead him to land the part of Pennywise in the IT remake directed by Andy Muschietti. The actor recently spoke with TheWrap when he recounted a scene from the film which shot last summer in Toronto:
“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.”
Skarsgård went on to reveal that one of the stars became so terrified he began to cry moments before Muschietti called action on the scene in an attempt to capture the organic fear on display:
“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 s—. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.”
The film stars Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Olef, Jack Grazer, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, and Bill Skarsgård.
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. A group of young kids face their biggest fears when they seek answers to the disappearance of children in their hometown of Derry, Maine. They square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
IT hits theaters September 8, 2017.
10 Stephen King Adaptations Hollywood Needs To Get Right
With The Dark Tower and It, two of King’s most famous and beloved works, reaching the big screen, it feels like the gates are opening on a new age of Stephen King adaptations
Already we’ve seen 1) a new Carrie movie, 2) Under the Dome and 11/22/63 get TV adaptations 3) Netflix’s upcoming Gerald’s Game, 4) a TV series based on the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, 5) Josh Boone looks to make Revival his follow-up to X-Men: The New Mutants, 5) a new version of Hearts in Atlantis is in the works (just called Hearts) and 6) a Cujo remake, with the amazing title of C.U.J.O. Even Cell got made, plus a personal favorite of mine The Mist is back in the form of a new Syfy series airing later this year (based on both the original novella and Frank Darabont’s superb 2007 film).
Our age of cinematic universes feels tailor-made for the world-renowned author. King is known not only for his productivity but for how his stories interlock together in the same universe (multiverse, if you want to get specific). His entire oeuvre is connected by characters, locations, and events, all centered around the literal and figurative Dark Tower, the structure and book series sit at the center of King’s worlds. Of course, no one entity owns the rights to all of King’s works, so we won’t be seeing, say, Pennywise the Dancing Clown say hi to Idris Elba’s gunslinger in a movie anytime soon, but it speaks to King’s continued relevance.
There are, of course, the adaptations that are sacrosanct and need to no update, plus others where we are simply waiting to see if they happen. Speaking of Darabont, he delivered a trilogy of amazing King adaptations in my opinion between The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Rob Reiner also mastered the artform, giving us Stand by Me and Misery. There’s already a perfectly-good The Dead Zone movie and TV show. The Tommyknockers and Desperation got the miniseries treatment in 1991 and 2006, respectively. The latter came with a teleplay by King himself, while the former was announced for a new miniseries back in 2013 along with Rosemary’s Baby, the failure of which may have something to do with the radio silence since the announcement. The Shining is actually not one, with King famously disliking the Stanley Kubrick film enough to make a miniseries of his own to “correct” the record (and a Shining prequel is first on our list).
While some works defy or seek re-adaptation, the breadth of the man’s work means there’s plenty of new stuff to mine in the coming years as well. Click Next to learn which to watch out for!
Honorable mentions: The Dark Half, Dolores Claiborne, Apt Pupil, Dreamcatcher