July 14, 2016
'It' Villain Bill Skarsgard Gives A Look Into Playing Stephen King's Evil Clown

Horror fans have long been waiting for something new on the reboot of Stephen King's It and we finally have a dark glimpse at the star villain of this film, Pennywise. Bill Skarsgard plays the It clown and, judging by the first teaser poster to be released featuring the new Pennywise, Bill might just be able to frighten a whole new generation of King fans with this reboot. Accompanying the release of the first It poster, Skarsgard also opens up about his experiences in playing It's Pennywise.

You Might Want To Sleep With The Lights On

While there's no doubt Tim Curry will always remain our favorite rendition of the Pennywise character created for the screen from Stephen King's It, the first glimpse of Bill Skarsgard as the clown, shared by Nerdist, shows the promise of something just as frightening, if not as capable as becoming an icon of his own. Reminiscent of Curry's staring-down-the-devil gaze, the poster features Skarsgard looking through the camera lens and into the souls of any bold enough to meet that glare.

While it's just a mere image, Skarsgard's Pennywise seems to be letting us know that his look into each of us has been enough to let him know our deepest, darkest fears. As we all know from Stephen King's novel and the first adaptation of It, Pennywise certainly isn't afraid to use that knowledge to terrify us... to death. Adding to the themes of darkness and fear, Skarsgard's It image is shrouded in a black, pervasive shadow, proving that there are still things to be afraid of in the dark.

It is directed by Andrés Muschietti (Mama) and will be a two-part feature film re-imagining of Stephen King's novel. Muschietti and Skarsgard come to the project, after the latest idea for an It reboot, which was to be directed by Cary Fukunaga and star Will Poulter as Pennywise, was scrapped after much delay.

It Star Bill Skarsgard Opens Up About Playing Pennywise

People have always been afraid of clowns, so much so that it has its own diagnosis: coulrophobia. Along comes Stephen King with It and that fear was amped up tenfold, only to have that fear amplified even more with Tim Curry's portrayal of Pennywise for a made-for-television movie. Now, as Bill Skarsgard brings Pennywise to the big screen, where he can do the most damage, the star of this It reincarnation tells Entertainment Weekly that he's never played such an intense character.

"It's such an extreme character. Inhumane," Skarsgard says. "It's beyond even a sociopath, because he's not even human. He's not even a clown. I'm playing just one of the beings It creates."

While the creature in It can take many forms, Skarsgard shares his knowledge of King's literary work in pointing out that the creature It appears as Pennywise because he loves the clown persona. The evil entity loves the games and the fun he can have as the clown, as well as his dark humor, which, to be fair, isn't really appreciated by any of the other characters in It.

Skarsgard recalls watching the television adaptation of It and remembers that a friend, who was only five or six at the time, was forever scarred by Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise. Bill acknowledges that not everything about that first adaptation of King's novel has stood the test of time, but nothing can compare to Curry as the evil clown.

"Tim Curry's performance was truly great, but it's important for me to do something different because of that," says Skarsgard. "I'll never be able to make a Tim Curry performance as good as Tim Curry."

The first part of It, starring Bill Skarsgard, Javier Botet, and Owen Teague, will hit theaters on September 8, 2017.

[Image by Marco Grob/Entertainment Weekly]