Bill Skarsgard is taking on the iconic role of Pennywise in the ‘It’ remake, and he definitely felt the pressure when he nabbed the role. HL talked EXCLUSIVELY with the star about making the role his own!
This is Bill Skarsgard’s time to shine. In the It remake, he plays Pennywise, the creepy, vicious clown that Stephen King, 69, made the center of his 1986 horror novel. Tim Curry, 71, was the first actor to play the role in a 1990 miniseries. Will Poulter, 24, was first cast as Pennywise in the remake before dropping out of the project due to scheduling conflicts. Bill was then cast in the highly-anticipated role and has wowed everyone with his performance. HollywoodLife.com talked to Bill at the world premiere of It on Sept. 5 about the audition process and how he refused to let the pressure of this iconic role get the best of him.
“I knew going into this that even auditioning was a fun thing to do, and when I got the audition for Pennywise, I was told I could do anything I wanted with it,” Bill told HollywoodLife.com. “There was no instruction, there was no anything that describes why Pennywise would be one way or another. He could be young, he could be old. He could be a girl, he could be a guy and any ethnicity. There is nothing that limits the character and most, actually all characters I have played or gone out for, is like a guy in his mid-twenties, and he is going through some things. The characters you go for are always limited to who you are, and this is not so this was an audition I could have fun with and give my own take. That was the whole process and then when I finally booked the job I was like holy shot I am doing this now! At first I was like, ‘I am going to get this, I am going to get this f**king role!’ Then I got the role and was like, ‘Oh my God I got the role, what do I do with it?’ Maybe I fooled all these people in trusting me so there was this fear going into it. But Andy [Muschietti] was always fighting for me throughout the casting process. It was just convincing all the chefs that are involved in making this, but in Toronto and leading up to production I was like, ‘How am I going to pull this off?’ This fear started creeping in and people were having opinions and hesitations and expectations that I am not going to live up to. I felt that people were anxious to sh*t all over what I was going to do so I had to remind myself that Andy believes in me and what I am doing here. It was stressed how happy he was that I was here, and he believed in me so that was enough for me to be like, ‘F**k it, Bill, let’s go and run with it!’ Because I knew that I couldn’t pull anything back here, so I trusted Andy and was going to give it all I have. I wanted to give my all and it erased all the fear I had, and I think the character wouldn’t have been able to be made any other way!”
So, did Bill take anything from Tim’s iconic performance as the terrifying clown? “I think the way we approached it was that this was a new take on it,” Bill continued. “I think for my part I am going to do two very different things. I am going to do my interpretation and my performance of Pennywise. With Andy and him designing the look was a completely different new look and take on it. I do think that it is so different that you can be into both things than having them interfere. So we are not [taking from Tim’s performance] and even in casting me in this role, we weren’t trying to do a middle aged Pennywise that Tim Curry did so well. We are doing something different!”
It is now in theaters everywhere.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to go see It? Let us know!