There can be few things more linked to terror in the average person’s psyche than clowns, and Stephen King’s novel It has contributed to that greatly. The story about a group of youngsters taking on a child-eating, shape-shifting demonic entity in a small town in Maine was adapted into a television series in 1990, and has remained untouched ever since. Now, however, the fear is about to be unleashed once more, with Bill Skarsgard filling the clown shoes that were previously occupied by Tim Curry.
In advance of a number of projects, Bill Skarsgard had a conversation with his brother, actor Alexander Skarsgard, for Interview Magazine – and the two discussed the process of shooting the new adaptation of It. The movie is directed by Andres Muschietti, and it was apparently the strategy of this filmmaker to keep Skarsgard and the child actors apart during filming, to maximize the fear they would feel. It seems that this worked to great effect, too.
“At one point, they set up this entire scene, and these kids come in, and none of them have seen me yet. Their parents have brought them in, these little extras, right? And then I come out as Pennywise, and these kids—young, normal kids—I saw the reaction that they had. Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn’t look at me, and some were shaking. This one kid started crying. He started to cry and the director yelled, “Action!” And when they say “action,” I am completely in character. So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, “Holy shit. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.”
This is an interesting glimpse into the production process for a number of reasons. Evidently, the atmosphere of dread conjured up by Muschietti was very effective, and hopefully this will come through well onscreen. In addition to that, however, it seems clear that Skarsgard was able to bring the right amount of menace to the role, if he was able to make people onset cry in terror.
Most significantly, though, Skarsgard refers to the children involved in this scene as “little extras,” which suggests that this film will be considerably different from the 1990 television series – since that didn’t really involve Pennywise the clown having scenes involving child “extras.” It’s previously been suggested that the film will stick more closely to the source material than the previous adaptation did, which means we should be prepared for a far more disturbing rendition of this classic Stephen King tale. We’ll find out for sure when It reaches theatres on September 8th.
Source: Screen Rant