FAN FEST EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Fan Fest Exclusive Interview: Wyatt Oleff on Playing Stan and His First Encounter with Pennywise in ‘IT’
It has been almost a month since Stephen King’s IT recreation hit the theaters, and it is still killing it in the box office! The film has been receiving praise from fans, critics and even the cast and crew members themselves. In fact, even the master mind, Stephen King, is singing praises for the remake!
One of those cast members who was extremely fascinated with how the film turned out, was Wyatt Oleff who plays Stan in IT.
You may recognize Wyatt from a major Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy! He plays the younger version of our favorite space hero, Peter Quill.
My fellow Fan Fest writer Denise and I had the amazing opportunity to speak with Wyatt, and he talked about his first encounter with Bill Skarsgard in his Pennywise costume in addition to what fans can continue to expect from the film:
Jules: Can you walk us through your audition process – how did you get the role of Stan and once you were offered the role, how did you feel?
Wyatt: Yeah! I originally auditioned for Jaeden’s part, which was Bill. I guess Andy saw me as more of a Stanley type which I can understand a lot. He had me come back in as Stanley and I went in for my audition. Finally, I met with Andy because I was doing another film and they were doing the chemistry read. I wasn’t there because I was obviously going to go do the other film. I didn’t get to meet with everyone so Andy wanted to meet with me just before I left. I guess he just loved the way I played the role!
Jules: So how excited were you when you found out you got the part?
Wyatt: I remember I was in the car and my mom was driving me to school, me and my brother. I got a call from my manager and she said ‘How would you like to spend your summer in Canada?’ and I was mindblown. I was freaking out. I mean being able to spend my summer in Canada in Toronto with six other kids, that was pretty cool.
Jules: Prior to taking on this role did you read the book or see the mini series before?
Wyatt: Yes, I did see the mini series. I tried reading the book but it is a little big! I haven’t really gotten that far. I’m starting to pick it back up!
Jules: Have you met Stephen King yet?
Wyatt: Aw man, I wish! I mean he’s got a lot of stuff going on, which is awesome. I haven’t met him in person yet, definitely waiting for that!
Jules: Since film is shot out of order, can you recall the very first scene you filmed with Pennywise?
Wyatt: Yes! I remember the exact scene. It was when he was crawling up to Jack and we all had to rush in from different angles. I remember having to go inwards and have Andy tell us what was going on and I turned and Bill was there you know, as Pennywise. I remember looking up at him and being like ‘uh….hi. how are you?’ and he said ‘good, how are you?’ like it was totally normal but I was totally freaked out because he was just super tall and had all of the clown makeup on.
I remember thinking… ‘I don’t know if he’s gonna attack me…. or be nice to me?’. I was a little scared!
Jules: In the movie your character sees the creepy piper lady. Since ‘IT’ takes the form of whatever you fear the most, what would your ‘IT’ be in real life?
Wyatt: I don’t know exactly what my deepest darkest fear is that he would turn into. But off the top of my head it would be me being placed in a scenario where I’m dropped in the middle of the ocean and you can’t see anything at all. Not the ground, just this deep dark blue abyss.
Not that I’m afraid of the beach! But drop me into the middle of the ocean, not good!
Jules: Out of all the kids in the ‘Losers Club’, who would you say that you had the best on screen chemistry with?
Wyatt: I don’t really know, I think I have an even amount with everyone. I think one I really like is me and Jeremy, who plays Ben. There’s a moment in the movie, it is kind of subtle in the background where I have my arm around him and he’s helping me around. That’s like one of my favorite things. But I would definitely say I had an even amount with everyone.
Jules: Did you have a favorite moment from the film, or on the set in general?
Wyatt: I mean, I have so many. I think one good one was when we were filming on my birthday, which was in the middle of the week, we were doing this scene when we had to go to Beverly’s house and we were going up this spiral staircase and at the top there was a scene where they had us spit on the ground. So we ran all the way up to the top and they said ‘look at the camera and now spit’. So I turned around and everyone was wishing me a happy birthday. It was just really heartwarming.
Denise: Each one of the ‘Losers Club’ kids have their own quirks and personalities. In what way would you say that you are similar to your character, Stan?
Wyatt: Well, I see Stan as the most organized and cleanly individual and I can relate to that very well because when we have people usually at my house and I say ‘don’t trash the house’ and then they decide to trash the house. I mean, I love them all to pieces!
Denise: The ‘Losers Club’ spend a lot of time down in the sewers and in the murky and wet difficult filming environment. Can you tell us about some of the challenges that you faced filming those types of scenes?
Wyatt: Actually, the ‘gray water’ was kind of nice to film in! It was nice to get our shoes wet, and then it kind of felt pretty good. I’m sure I wouldn’t like it in real life. I mean, there were some times when they would spray us down with these hoses to keep the continuity and sometimes that water was really cold, and that wasn’t fun. I mean most of the time they tried to keep it warm and make us as comfortable as possible, and that was really nice of the crew.
Denise: A lot of people are going to want to compare this film to the original mini series or the novel. What advice do you have for those people that are trying to do that?
Wyatt: I would for sure say don’t compare this movie to the mini series. It is a separate adaptation of the same book. Obviously one is a mini series and one is a featured film. There are very different acts in the films. I would say there is a fine line, and you really shouldn’t try to compare them in any way. I mean, comparing this movie to the book… kind of the same way.
The book is over 1000 pages. It’s really hard to put all that information in a two hour movie. You could compare them side by side and look at the certain scenes because we took them from the book. Comparing the movie to the book, a lot of people will say that the book is better because a lot of people usually say that. I would tell people to look at it as just a movie, and enjoy that!
Denise: For Part 2, if you could fan cast anyone to play Adult Stan… who would you pick and why?
Wyatt: I’m going to have to go with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I think he is a fantastic actor and we have similar features in pictures.
Jules: During the filming of the movie, did they try to keep Bill away from you so that that when you filmed your first scene with you and him they got that initial ‘ahhh!’ moment?
Wyatt: Yeah, they kept us separate from him just so they could really get that raw reaction. They really tried to keep him away in costume, at least. For the first month they just really kept us away from him. After we filmed a couple of scenes we all started to hang out, you know, he kind of joined the ‘Losers Club’ in a sense!
Jules: Since we are all a bunch of nerds here at Fan Fest… if you could pick to be the sidekick to one superhero, who would it be and why?
Wyatt: Hmmm… there are just too many to chose from! I would say someone like The Timberwolf!
IT is now playing in theaters.