VARIETY – With “It” tearing it up at the box office for a second weekend in a row, you can expect Warner Bros. to green-light the second chapter of Andy Muchietti’s Stephen King adaptation any day now. (Indeed, the film has not yet been given the official go-ahead, but it is in active development.)
Recently appearing on Variety’s “Playback” podcast, actor Bill Skarsgard — who stars as the creepy manifestation of It, Pennywise the clown, in the new film — spoke briefly about one scene that was shot but ultimately cut.
VARIETY – Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast bringing you exclusive conversations with the talents behind many of today’s hottest films.
Film festivals may be raging from Venice to Telluride to Toronto, but the biggest industry story this week had to be the box office dominance of Andy Muscietti’s Stephen King adaptation “It.” The film raked in nearly $120 million opening weekend and looks to stay strong over the next week, ensuring a whole new generation’s fear of clowns.
Actor Bill Skarsgard got the call to play Pennywise the Dancing Clown in the film, the physical manifestation of an evil entity that has terrorized a small Maine town for centuries. But it was a daunting prospect, not least of all because such an iconic portrayal of the character already existed courtesy of Tim Curry in ABC’s 1990 miniseries adaptation.
THE NEW YORK TIMES – Bill Skarsgard was calling from his native Sweden, where “It” — the much-anticipated horror film in which he co-stars — was set for a premiere in Stockholm on Friday. “It’s more of a family gathering,” Mr. Skarsgard said. “I’ve invited all my cousins and uncles, and my sister, who works in event planning, is throwing the after-party. My brother Alexander did the same thing with ‘The Legend of Tarzan’ last year, so he inspired me.”
But Pennywise, the child-killing clown Mr. Skarsgard plays in this adaptation of the 1986 Stephen King novel, is a far cry from Tarzan. “It will be fun to see my entire family jump while watching my performance,” Mr. Skarsgard, 27, said.
His relatives probably won’t be the only ones startled by his disturbing turn. “It” is expected to devour the competition at the box office this weekend, building off the repeated reports of creepy-clown sightings around the United States and in Britain in recent years. “These are grown men who put on makeup and try to entertain children,” Mr. Skarsgard said of professional clowns. “If you ask anybody what they think of clowns, it’s associated as much or more with something crazy and scary as it is something joyful. I don’t think this film is going to help that.”
“It” will no doubt be a boost to the career of Mr. Skarsgard, who was previously seen in the sci-fi film “Allegiant” and Netflix’s supernatural drama “Hemlock Grove.” He’s fine with the fact that in this film he disappears underneath layers of prosthetics. “I’m a pretty private person, so I don’t mind not being recognized,” he said. “It’s nice to hide behind the makeup.”
Bill attended the It premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California (September 5). Bill received support at the event from his brothers Alex and Gustaf! Check out the photos below.