Bill Skarsgard was praised for his performance as Pennywise the killer clown in the 2017 Stephen King movie It, and he’s returning to play a more sinister version of the clown in this year’s sequel. In a new interview, Skarsgard talks about how playing the clown affected him personally.
He told Entertainment Weekly that he went home after wrapping up It: Chapter II, and at night, he was visited by Pennywise. “I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams. Every night, he came and visited,” he said.
Looking forward to IT CHAPTER 2? You should be. I’ve seen it, and it’s terrific. The trailer is coming Thursday, at noon. You’ll float.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) May 7, 2019
Just like in the films, Pennywise assumed different forms when he visited Skarsgard in his dreams. “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,” he said.
Even though Skarsgard says he was visited by Pennywise in his dreams, the actor said it was like an exorcism to finish Chapter II. “Him exiting my body and getting rid of the Pennywise toxins,” Skarsgard said.
Also in the interview, Skarsgard said Pennywise–having been “defeated” in the 2017 film–returns 27 years later in the sequel as more terrifying and bloodthirsty. “He’s inflicted fear on his prey, and he’s very focused on fear, but he’s never experienced it himself,” he said. “Now he’s experienced something that he has been inflicting on others and … there’s a shift leading into the second movie.”
The actor teased that Pennywise is not bound by continuity in the sense that a traditional character would be, and this allows him to go to some horrifying places. “We can explore his unpredictability now that we’ve established the character for the audience. We can still sort of shock them,” he said.
The first trailer for It: Chapter Two will be released on Thursday morning, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
Chapter Two picks up 27 years after the events of the first movie. The kids are now adults, and Pennywise the Clown is back to terrorise them once more.
The cast is full of big names. James McAvoy plays Bill and Jessica Chastain portrays Beverly, while Bill Hader stars as Richie, Jay Ryan as Ben, James Ransone as Eddie, Andy Bean as Stanley, and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike. Bill Skarsgard returns to play Pennywise. The children who played the child characters from the original movie will return as well in flashback scenes.
Andy Muschietti, who directed the original, is back as well for the sequel. It: Chapter Two hits theatres on September 6.
The 2017 movie It made more than $700 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing horror movie in the history of cinema.