While the character of Pennywise is one of the most iconic in horror pop culture, actor Bill Skarsgård is still doing his best to make his incarnation as terrifying as ever. Despite following in the footsteps of the great Tim Curry, it doesn’t look like he’ll be any less frightening. In fact, he could be even scarier. According to a recent chat with Interview Magazine, many of the child extras on the set of It were horrified by the actor:
“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.”
He continued to explain to Interview Magazine just what his costars’ reactions resulted in:
“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.”
It all definitely sounds intriguing, and hopefully it really is as horrific as these descriptions entail – the world is long overdue for the return of Pennywise, and we can only hope Skarsgård is the right clown for the job.
We’ll know for sure when IT hits theaters September 8, 2017.