IT star Bill Skarsgard has explained how he came up with Pennywise’s creepy smile. Despite having been in theaters less than a week, IT is absolutely cleaning up at the box office,and is already likely well into profitability for studio Warner Bros. Director Andy Muschetti’s Stephen King adaptation will soon cross the $200 million mark worldwide and looks set to cross that mark domestically by the end of this coming weekend. When it comes to movies right now, IT is it.
A big factor in both the critical and commercial love for IT is actor Bill Skarsgard’s portrayal of villain Pennywise the Dancing Clown. While many fans came away from the film wishing Skarsgard had gotten more to do, very few left unsatisfied by his performance, even when compared to the large shadow left by Tim Curry’s iconic work in the 1990 TV miniseries version of IT.
Last night, Skarsgard was a guest on TBS talk show Conan and was asked about Pennywise’s horrifyingly creepy smile. Said smile was featured on much of the marketing for IT and is also prominent in the film itself. Skarsgard proceeded to reveal how he came up with the clown’s sinister grin – and surprisingly, the inspiration for it goes back to his childhood. Check out the full clip of Skarsgard on Conan above.
One needs only to look at the clip above to see that a lot of what made Pennywise creepy was in no way a special effect and came down to what Skarsgard could physically do with his face. Thankfully, Skarsgard is coming back for IT: Chapter Two, so those who found the amount of him in the first film lacking will get a chance to experience more of his unsettling take on Pennywise.
Pennywise looks to get a bigger part of the spotlight in general during the IT film sequel, as Skarsgard has indicated that the second IT movie will explore Pennywise and his origins in more depth than the first film does. This deeper focus on Pennywise comes straight from King’s novel, which even featured portions told from IT’s point of view, with the monster explaining what exactly it is, where it came from and why it preys on children. Muschetti has also said that the sequel will explore the cosmic dimension that IT’s psychical body calls home.
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