Bill Skarsgård Used Pennywise To Terrify His Young Co-Star On The Devil All The Time

It Pennywise

Most of the plaudits surrounding Netflix’s hit psychological thriller The Devil All the Time have been pointed in the direction of Tom Holland, with the Spider-Man star gaining widespread acclaim for a shockingly transformative performance. But while the 24 year-old might have taken top billing and played the most substantial role in the movie, the cast was absolutely stacked from top to bottom.

Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska and Riley Keough all lend solid support, but Bill Skarsgård also does great work in another memorable turn that continues the 30 year-old’s ascent up the Hollywood ladder. Of course, the actor is best known for playing Pennywise in the blockbuster It movies, but it turns out that one of The Devil All the Time‘s younger cast members didn’t quite manage to put two and two together.

In a recent interview, director Antonio Campos revealed that while dealing with Michael Banks Repeta, who plays young Arvin in the film, his paramount concern was always about safety. However, the kid’s mother claimed that he wasn’t scared of anything, with one notable exception.

“The funniest thing about that scene in particular, is that I sat down with him and his mother, and you know how when you’re dealing with a kid in sensitive scenes in a film that the kid would otherwise never see, you try to protect them? His mom was like, ‘Banks is very mature for his age. He’s not scared of horror movies or anything. He’s a pretty tough kid’. And Banks was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not scared of monsters or anything. There’s just one thing that I’m kind of scared of and that’s Pennywise’. And I was like, ‘Pennywise?’. And I looked at the mother right away, and she was like, ‘Don’t say anything’.”

Armed with that information, Campos went to Skarsgård to let him know that he played the only thing his upcoming scene partner was scared of, and the Castle Rock star could barely contain his excitement about the unexpected news.

“He didn’t realize that Bill was the thing that haunted his nightmares. So I was like, ‘Bill, do not tell this kid that you are the clown’. And Bill is like, ‘Oh my god. I’m totally going to tell him.’ So the day that we were shooting that scene, Bill was like, ‘They don’t think you can know this, but I know you’re a smart kid. I’m the clown in It.’ And Banks was like, Whoa, that’s crazy. I didn’t know that. Alright’. And I don’t know if this is connected, but in the middle of that scene Banks just burst into tears way before he was supposed to. I think that somehow really got to him.”

At least Skarsgård was kind enough to tell the kid in a straightforward manner that he was the man behind It‘s terrifying title character, when he could have simply launched into a full rendition of Pennywise and scarred the youngster for life. Based on Campos’ comments, though, it appears as if real life fear only served to add another layer of genuine emotion to the performances in The Devil All the Time.