One thing that comes as a major challenge to most actors and actresses is to get inside the head of their respective characters, to really divulge themselves in the role completely. It’s not easy being someone else. Another challenges that actors face, is breaking out of the character once they are done filming said part – just ask Bill Skarsgård!
The actor, who portrayed the bloodthirsty character of Pennywise the Clown in Andrew Muschietti’s IT, said that even after he completed filming the movie he could not get the creature out of his head. In a recent interview with EW, he talked about how Pennywise even wandered into his dreams:
“I liken every character that I do to a relationship that you’re in. 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.”
After getting into the role of Pennywise’ for so long, it began to warp his attitude in ways even he couldn’t see:
“It’s just like being in a very destructive relationship. People don’t really realize it until they’re out of it. All your friends go, ‘You need to dump this piece of sh—, he or she is destroying your life.’ And then once you’re out of it, you see, ‘I was so miserable.’ But I wouldn’t say I was miserable doing Pennywise because I had a lot of fun with it as well.”
It is never easy stepping in front of a camera and portraying a character that is the complete opposite of your every day self. In the case of Pennywise, he is an evil monster whom is referred to as ‘IT’ – a bloodthirsty maniac that feeds off of the fear of the children of Derry.
“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.”
But after letting the clown into his head, Skarsgård found it hard to push him out.
“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.”
Pennywise is, of course, set to returned in the 2019 sequel, IT: Chapter 2, which will focus on The Losers Club as they return to Derry 27 years later to face off against ‘IT’ once more.
“This was a process of letting go of the monster. It was amazing. It’s a daunting but exciting thing to sort of revisit him again.”
IT is now available for purchase on DVD & Blu-Ray.
Julia recently published her first novel, titled; Anomic. She is currently co-authoring a novel called ‘Snow Falls’. She has a B.A in Communications with concentrations in Professional Writing and Public Relations. She is also in the United States Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer, and is currently in the process of going back to school for her Masters Degree in Business. When she isn’t writing, she is co-owner of a film production studio called ‘Valentine Productions LLC’ and she frequently spends her weekends acting in films, or being a stuntwoman.