Jeremy Ray Taylor and Wyatt Oleff were thrust into the spotlight when they appeared in 2017’s iteration of Stephen King’s IT. Jeremy Ray Taylor portrayed the character of Ben Hanscom, who is the new kid at school with a penchant for getting mercilessly bullied due to his love of books and overweight appearance. Wyatt Oleff portrays Stanley Uris, the son of the rabbi who is trying to study for his bar mitzvah and would rather be doing something else with his time. IT was released on 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on January 9, 2018.
Screen Rant got a chance to chat with Jeremy Ray Taylor and Wyatt Oleff on press day, where we discussed how similar they were to the characters they portrayed in It, what kind of Easter Eggs we should look for in the Blu-ray release, and where they’d like to see their characters go regardless of the actual book canon.
SR: When I was younger I used to go the video store, I guess you guys don't have that anymore. At the video store, I used to get the V.H.S. tapes of IT because was a huge, huge fan. Now we don't have to do that with this new digital release. Out of the eleven deleted scenes have you guys seen them yet?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: No.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: No. I know one deleted scene and that's it.
Wyatt Oleff: I know one as well, but that's it.
SR: Which one do you know (Jeremy)?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: It's kind of like a little alternative ending. Well, not ending but alternative beginning actually.
SR: How about you?
Wyatt Oleff: For me, it was just, if you remember my speech from the second trailer that was kind of it was dubbed over it, there's a whole scene on that.
SR: You, as yourselves, Jeremy and Wyatt, which member of the Loser's Club, based on your personality would you be?
Wyatt Oleff: Stan.
Wyatt Oleff: I wouldn't change much, to be honest with you. I feel like I relate the most to Stan. I mean, I feel like sometimes I could be a little bit of a Richie like if I'm in a dire situation I'll just like try to laugh it off or something like that but definitely, I think when it comes to everyone and their characters, I was definitely the closest to mine.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I really don't know who I'd be. Maybe Bill. I don't know. I either Bill or Ben. I really don't know.
SR: I think I'd be Ben. I think I would totally be Ben.
Wyatt Oleff: I would probably have Ben as my second choice too. (Laughs)
SR: You guys have great chemistry together. All of you guys. Was there any improv that went on or like ad lib that went on while you guys were shooting?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: There was a little bit. There was definitely a little bit. Jack (Dylan Grazer) and Finn (Wolfhard) they kind of went off script quite a bit, yeah, yeah, and they kind of talked or acting coach Ben and they kind of worked out and a few jokes that they got in there , so yeah. We had some improv.
SR: With the Blu-ray release there's obviously people like me that are going pause it and try to find Easter eggs. Were you guys able to catch an Easter eggs on-set or even after viewing it?
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah. A couple.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: There's one, it's kind of an Easter egg. I don't really know if they would consider it an easter egg because it's kind of obvious but it's something in one of my library scenes.
Wyatt Oleff: Oh yeah. That's just scary.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: It's creepy. it's really creepy.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Yeah. In the background of one of my library scenes.
SR: I going to be checking that out. I'm going to pause this frame by frame the library scene and see what I can find. You guys, as Jeremy and Wyatt, where would you guys like to see your characters go? Because I know Stephen King obviously has, you know, he wrote a book. A little bit of a book but where would you like to see your characters go?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I think Ben needs to get Beverly. For sure. But I don't know. I don't know where I'd like to see them go. It's a good question.
Wyatt Oleff: I mean, personally, I'd like to, I would kind of like to see mine suffer the same fate.
Wyatt Oleff: (Looking at Jeremy) Thanks. I think, like if you don't do that then what's the point. That doesn't stay true to the book and like it messes up the whole rest of the story so...
SR: That's a good point.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah.
SR: Bill was kept from you guys when you guys were on set. Was there anytime, I mean, I heard that you guys thought you'd be fine with it but there were actual times you guys were terrified of a Bill on set. Is this true?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: There are a few times that it got a little scary and then you kind of turn around and see that there's a camera behind you like. Okay, I'm all good this isn't real. It wasn't to the point of like traumatizing or anything but it got a little scary now and then.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah. I mean, you know when you are at an amusement park, even though this is much less scary, there is like a Donald Duck-like mascot.
SR: Those guys are terrifying!
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah! Right? It’s just kind of like scary and it’s weird. It kind of reaches that uncanny valley zone and it just throws me off.
SR: Now, with the Blu-ray features, what part are you guys most excited to see?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I’m really excited for the deleted scenes. I’m super hyped for that.
Wyatt Oleff: I’m personally excited by, we had someone on set who filmed all of these behind-the-scenes things and just our journey throughout the summer and I’m really excited to see it all together. I think it’s like half an hour long maybe…
SR: Oh! That’s awesome. It’s like a mini-documentary of the Losers Club.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah. He wanted to make it like, I think it was on the DVD of Stand By Me there was also the same kind of thing where they filmed them off set not on camera and stuff.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah.
SR: That’s pretty awesome. Now Stephen King was obviously a huge fan of this iteration of IT. How does this make you guys feel because, for me, I was so excited because it was one of my favorite stories growing up. So how does that make you guys feels?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I was really nervous at the beginning because the book readers were almost mad at us for making a reimagining of It, so I was really nervous about that. But, when Stephen King gave us his stamp of approval, it just, I’m all good.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah. From then on you don’t really, I mean, you care about how the movie does…
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Oh yeah, but…
Wyatt Oleff: Stephen King likes it? I mean…
SR: Yeah. Right.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I mean some things.
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah.
SR: Did you guys read the book at all?
Wyatt Oleff: I tried.
SR: You tried?
Wyatt Oleff: Yes.
SR: You didn’t get through it?
Wyatt Oleff: Not yet. I’m slowly going through it.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: I’m not going to talk about that book yet.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Well, first of all, it’s terrifying and I get scared really easily and it’s like 2000 pages and that’s a lot of time, so I’m not going to talk about it yet.
SR: [laughs] Do you plan on going back to it after you guys do the sequel and revisiting or maybe in 27 years?
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Maybe. Probably 27 years. Uh, maybe. Who knows?
Wyatt Oleff: Yeah. I may probably slowly read it throughout my years, so we will see how that goes.
SR: Do you guys have any funny, because you guys spent a lot of time together and have great chemistry, any funny, behind-the-scenes stories about your castmates?
Wyatt Oleff: I don’t know. I just assume you have one at the top of your head.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: We used to prank each other a lot.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: Yeah. So, Chosen actually made this rule. We were having our first sleepover and Chosen made the rule that whoever falls asleep first gets pranked and it’s really ironic because he fell asleep first. Heh, so we used to prank each other a lot and Jack stuck Nutella all over his face and Jack had the idea to put it in his ear. So, Chosen woke up and started freaking out and went into the shower with his clothes trying to get this Nutella out of his ear.
Wyatt Oleff: It was funny.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: So, we had a lot of pranking on set.
SR: Who was the biggest prankster? Was it Chosen?
Wyatt Oleff: It was Jack.
Jeremy Ray Taylor: It was Jack.
SR: Oh, it was Jack?
Wyatt Oleff: [nods] Yeah.
SR: Ah. That’s fun.
Wyatt Oleff: We got him back good one time though. We pretended that we deleted a ton of footage we had with all of these skits on it. We pretended we lost the flashdrive to it and he freaked out. It was great and I still have a video of me and I think it was Finn and Jaeden went up to him and we were like, “Hey, man. You’re on Pranked.” And then he liked gets on me and was like, “It’s not even funny, man,” He then slaps down my phone and it hit the ground so hard. It was great.
IT is now available on Blu-ray.