Bill Skarsgard and Andy Muschietti Discuss Bringing a “Cute and Lovable and Horrifying” Pennywise to Life
Today is officially the day! IT has hit theaters and is terrifying the crap out of people all over the world. Reviews are floating in (read ours HERE) yielding high praise for the film, its cast and particularly for Bill Skarsgard’s terrifying portrayal of Pennywise the clown.
Reviews have said that Skarsgard delivers the character with a totally new sense of creepy. Skarsgard spoke in a recent press interview about how he went through a rollercoaster of emotions prior to taking the role and that he was actually fearful of doing so. He knew that by taking on the role of Pennywise he wanted to pay homage to Tim Curry’s icon portrayal but that he wanted to show a new take on the creepy clown. Skarsgard spoke about this new approach by saying:
“The way we approached it was this is our new take on it. I think for my part was like I’m going to do my interpretation and my performance as Pennywise. And also with Andy designing the look, it’s just a completely different new take on it.”
Director Andy Muschietti also spoke about their new take on the old classic. Muschietti’s aim was to deliver Pennywise as if he could possibly be a figment of the children’s imagination which is absolutely fascinating! He said:
“The book point-of-view is from the kids and everything they know, what they think and what they speculate about, and there’s this thing that basically implies that Pennywise might be a product of children’s imagination. In fact, there’s a page in the book where we jump into the mind of Pennywise and his thoughts are so simple. So all those things that are very childlike. I wanted to translate that into the look and also there’s more of a technical effect that I wanted to bring that was that contrast between something that is cute and lovable and horrifying at the same time.”
Earlier in the interview, Skarsgard pointed out that this new version of Pennywise could have been played by anyone. The character description offered no specifics. No age, gender, ethnicity, etc. so, the character could have literally been taken in any direction Muschietti wanted to go. Barbara Muschietti added that they knew they had found the perfect actor for the role when they saw Skarsgard bring his own flavor to the character where others had simply tried to reproduce Tim Curry’s brilliance. She said:
“We saw hundreds of people, literally, for this role. One thing that he [Skarsgard] said, which I’d never heard, and we’d never even thought about it, we’d never gave a type for the role. It could’ve been a woman, twenty years old to ninety and it was all him. He swam through everything we were looking for and that Andy, in particular, had dreamed about. I’m sure for actors there was a strong temptation, and we saw it in a lot of actors auditioning for this to emulate Tim Curry. He was a complete original and that’s what blew us away it was a Pennywise that we had never even dreamt about, well I hadn’t.”
Have you seen IT yet? Were you blown away by Bill Skarsgard’s performance as Pennywise the clown? We want to hear your thoughts! Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
And be sure to check out IT in theaters nationwide starting TODAY!