To generate a genuine chemistry between Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) and the children in 2017’s It, director Andy Muschietti intentionally kept both parties apart between takes. This way, he reasoned, the kids wouldn’t get too used to Skarsgård’s horrifying makeup.
You might say this was a cruel move, but you can’t argue with the results: the child actors did an incredible job of conveying terror and dread whenever Pennywise was on the screen. Still, you can’t help but feel bad for Skarsgård; it must’ve been hard to try and avoid the younger actors at all times (not to mention a bit lonely!) However, in It: Chapter Two the protagonists are adults, which means Pennywise finally gets to socialise! Skarsgård revealed all in a recent interview with Collider:
“Off camera, I get to hang out with the entire adult cast now. It’s weird and it’s surreal because some of them are really big stars and they’re coming in to your thing. They’re stepping into the thing that me and Andy and the kids did. They’re joining the band, in a way. They’re excited, and I just had a lot of fun hanging out with all of them. It’s going to be a very different shooting experience with all adults, for sure, but it will be fun. They’re all really cool and talented people, so I think they will bring a lot to the table.”
Interestingly, it also seems like the pressure is starting to get to Skarsgård. During the first movie, he said he wanted to distance himself from Tim Curry’s iconic mini-series performance and put his own spin on Pennywise. However, the phenomenal success of It and the newfound fame currently being enjoyed by Pennywise has forced Skarsgård to have a serious rethink about how he portrays the character. He explained:
“This time around, because the movie became such a phenomenon, it’s almost like I’m re-adapting myself. The character became very iconic. Pennywise became a star. You see Instagram posts of people dressing up or dressing their kids as Pennywise for Halloween. It’s all over the place. LeBron James was Pennywise. How surreal is that? So, it became this completely universal thing, outside of the thing. That’s not me. I can’t even relate myself to it anymore.
And now that I’m going back and doing it, it’s such a bizarre thing. I don’t think I’ll ever really experience anything like it. It’s this dualistic thing of me and the work and the character, and then the thing that it became, but it’s fun. We had the read-through and I’ve done some rehearsals, and I was surprised how much of the character was just there already. I instantly could access him again, like it was yesterday that we wrapped the first one. It was just all there.”
It: Chapter Two opens September 6th 2019 and also stars Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak, Andy Bean as Stanley Uris, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, and Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon.