Bill Skarsgard opened up on the psychology of his performance as Pennywise the Clown in IT. The upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel follows a group of kids known as “The Losers Club” who encounter their greatest fears during a summer in the cursed fictional town of Derry, Maine. Known simply as It, the fearsome entity often manifests itself in the form of Skarsgard as the murderous clown.
King’s original novel very much about the underlying terror, anger, and tension that grips Derry due to It’s omnipresent evil. But it’s also about the Losers Club’s efforts to fight back as the only ones who can see Pennywise’s various forms. As Pennywise, Skarsgard won’t just claim multiple young kids as his victims; he will torment The Losers Club psychologically as well. Skarsgard opened up on how he approached these aspects of his turn as Pennywise in a new interview.
Speaking to EW, Skarsgard explained how It’s pursuit of its young, innocent victims (usually in the form of Pennywise) is a form of self-amusement. “It truly enjoys the shape of the clown Pennywise, and enjoys the game and the hunt,” said Skarsgard. “What’s funny to this evil entity might not be funny to everyone else. But he thinks it’s funny.”
The story also revealed two new photos from the movie, one of Pennywise and the other of The Losers Club, which you can see below.
IT director Andres Muschietti (Mama) told EW that he intended to “keep it weird” with his portrayal of Pennywise, creating terror through the clown’s nightmarishly bizarre behavior. “Pennywise does things that make absolutely no sense, but they’re very disturbing because of the weirdness,” said Muschietti.
None of the trailers or TV spots for IT have revealed much of that strange behavior that Muschietti alluded to, unless you count the way the clown creepily seeps into one of the kids’ old slide projectors. His and Skarsgard’s comments are certainly promising in regards to how the reboot is handling Pennywise; his ability to psychologically frighten the town of Derry should transcend any kind of actual violence.
It remains to be seen how effectively Muschietti will condense the sprawling story of The Losers Club, which takes up a good portion of King’s epic novel, into a two-hour movie. Not much of Pennywise has been revealed, either, beyond just how he looks – which is quite disturbing – but Skarsgard and Muschietti’s descriptions of the clown’s behavior are good signs that the character will make IT as creepy and unsettling as the classic source material.
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