Bill Skarsgard, Star of Unscary New ‘It’ Poster, Talks New Role
As the former star of Netflix's three-season series Hemlock Grove, Bill Skarsgård is no stranger to the horror genre. But his new role is much more high-profile and downright iconic to Stephen King fans: He'll play Pennywise the Dancing Clown in IT, Andrés Muschietti's film adaptation of King's popular 1987 novel.
"It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane," Skarsgård told Entertainment Weekly of his new gig. "It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates."
The role comes with some pressure, given that Skarsgård's performance must meet the expectations of both readers and fans of Tim Curry's chilling portrayal of Pennywise in the (excellent) 1990 mini-series. The poster, which debuted in EW on July 13, teases a slightly new take on the character; it is trying very hard to spook you. While Curry's costume and performance were terrifying for being equal parts goofy and malevolent, the first IT poster goes for a more straightforward 'scary clown' representation. Like the infamous first teaser for Jared Leto's Suicide Squad Joker, unless you're truly clown-phobic the result is shades of "this print is sold at Spencer's Gifts."
But Skarsgård is confident in the new direction, saying they're not trying to do a retread of Pennywise past. "It’s important that we do something fresh and original for this one. It’s purposely not going toward that weird, greasy look," the Swedish actor explained.
Bill Skarsgård is Alexander Skarsgård's brother, and the son of Stellan Skarsgård, best known in America for his roles in Goodwill Hunting and the Thor franchise.
IT isn't due in theaters until September 8, 2017, so we won't see the first trailer for some time. Just as important as Skarsgård's Pennywise are the seven young actors who'll play the kids fighting the evil force Pennywise embodies, particularly Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis as Bill Denbrough and Beverly Marsh. But can we hear Skarsgård's best "we all float down here" ASAP?
Watch a campy-creepy scene of Tim Curry as Pennywise from the 1990 IT mini-series below.
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