Spare a thought for Bill Skarsgård.
For nigh on three years, the towering Swede has portrayed Pennywise the Clown with such intensity that he helped propel It: Chapter One to the tip-top of the box office charts – so much so, in fact, that New Line’s blood-drenched thriller is still the highest-grossing horror movie ever made.
That only lumps yet more pressure on the shoulders of It: Chapter Two, and while this morning’s nail-biting teaser was received with open arms, Andy Muschietti’s star-studded sequel faces a difficult task if it’s to really surpass the box office cume ($700 million) of its predecessor.
Be that as it may, upon completing Chapter Two, Skarsgård returned home to Sweden, where he quietly let go of the Pennywise character – a process he likens to a cathartic exorcism.
After we wrapped, I was in my childhood home in Sweden, sitting having coffee with my mom at our kitchen table, and realized, ‘Oh, holy sh–, I don’t have to deal with this relationship anymore!’ It was a very quick shift of just feeling better, like ‘Oh my God, I’m relieved that I don’t have to deal with the darkness of the character.’ I likened it to an exorcism — him exiting my body and getting rid of the Pennywise toxins.
For all his progress, though, Skarsgård admits that he still has vivid nightmares about Pennywise the Dancing Clown, who is hellbent on revenge when he’s first (re)introduced in It: Chapter Two.
I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams,” he said. “Every night, he came and visited. It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me as Pennywise in circumstances that I didn’t appreciate. Like, I’m Pennywise and I’m really upset that I’m out in public and people are looking at me.
On September 6th, the quaint town of Derry, Maine will once again be at the mercy of Pennywise and his wicked ways. That places the onus on the Losers’ Club to banish all traces of demonic evil once and for all, but are they up for the task? All will be revealed when It: Chapter Two descends into theaters.