Pennywise Actor Bill Skarsgård Explains How IT Will “Scare a Whole Generation”

If you haven’t seen the latest issue of Empire, you may be surprised to know there’s a rather interesting bit on the upcoming IT adaptation.

Many fans have been skeptical about actor Bill Skarsgård taking the role of Pennywise – as legendary star Tim Curry was both first and last to wear the makeup. Now Skarsgård has revealed to Empire what he intends to do with the role:

“In order for this movie to be as effective as the book and the series, I have to scare a whole generation. My take was that Pennywise functions very simply. Nothing much is going on in terms of what he’s thinking — he’s animalistic and instinctive.”

As you can see from these recently released photos, he’s doing a pretty good job at that.

The actor continued talking to Empire about a series of disturbing dreams where he’s haunted by the role of Pennywise.

“It’s funny. I went back to Stockholm after we wrapped, and every night for two weeks, I had these strange recurring Pennywise dreams. I was him, but I was in the wrong setting, somehow. I was upset that people could see my face. It was surreal. I can’t explain it.”

The dreams definitely make sense, considering Stephen King’s son Joe Hill had already called the film one of the 5 scariest ever made:

“Andres’ adaptation of IT is one of the 5 scariest films ever made,” Hill exclaimed. “It’s tremendously humane. You love the characters in it. But it is just relentlessly terrifying.”

He continued:

“Only Jaws, The Exorcist, John Carpenter’s The Thing and Let the Right One In are scarier. It’s that good. It’s that brilliant.”

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.