Hollywood is filled with crazy stories of character actors and the lengths they go for the perfect performance. It goes to say then that a dark character like Pennywise the Clown would be dark on the psyche of anyone who inhabited him. Bill Skarsgard, the man behind the clown, confirmed as much in an interview with EW.
“I liken every character that I do to a relationship that you’re in,” Skarsgård tells EW. “Pennywise and Bill go into this sort of relationship together, and I’m trying to figure out who he is and I have to devote so much time and effort to this other person – or thing, in this case – and that goes on for months. It’s just like being in a very destructive relationship.
“After we wrapped, I was in my childhood home in Sweden, sitting having coffee with my mom at our kitchen table, and realized, ‘Oh, holy sh—, I don’t have to deal with this relationship anymore!’ It was a very quick shift of just feeling better, like, ‘Oh my God, I’m relieved that I don’t have to deal with the darkness of the character.’ I likened it to an exorcism – him exiting my body and getting rid of the Pennywise toxins.”
“I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams. Every night, he came and visited. It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me as Pennywise in circumstances that I didn’t appreciate. Like, I’m Pennywise and I’m really upset that I’m out in public and people are looking at me.”
Scary as it was, Skarsgard is looking forward to portraying the iconic character in IT: PART 2.
“It’s a daunting but exciting thing to sort of revisit him again,” he said.