September 2017 introduced the audiences to a brand new version of Pennywise the Dancing Clown played by actor Bill Skarsgard in IT. The terrifying portrayal spooked a lot of viewers, and they kept seeing flashing visuals of the character trying to scare them a long time after the movie was over. It turns out that the viewers are not the only people frightened by the Clown, and Skarsgard claimed that his portrayal of the villain made Pennywise’s images appear in his own dreams.
“I liken every character that I do to a relationship that you’re in,” Skarsgard told Entertainment Weekly. “Pennywise and Bill go into this sort of relationship together, and I’m trying to figure out who he is, and I have to devote so much time and effort to this other person – or thing, in this case – and that goes on for months.”
Pennywise is just one facet of a supernatural being which haunts the town of Derry, Maine, especially frightening the local kids. Accordingly, Skarsgard imagined various shapes of the character in his thoughts.
“I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams. Every night, he came and visited,” Skarsgard admitted. “It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me asPennywise in circumstances that I didn’t appreciate.”
Although enacting Pennywise might appear as nothing more than doing a role to many, Skarsgard says that his links to the character are far deeper than that.
“It’s just like being in a very destructive relationship,” he said. “People don’t really realize it until they’re out of it. All your friends go, ‘You need to dump this piece of sh*t, he or she is destroying your life.’ And then once you’re out of it, you see, ‘I was so miserable.’ But I wouldn’t say I was miserable doing Pennywise because I had a lot of fun with it as well.”
Once the shooting was over, Skarsgard felt an overpowering sense of relief.
“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*t, I don’t have to deal with this relationship anymore!’” Skarsgard said. “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.”
Now that a sequel is likely to come up, one might feel that Skarsgard won’t be too keen to take on that torturous role once again.
“I’m good with it,” he said.
IT is now available on Blu-ray and DVD now, and the movie’s sequel will release on September 6, 2019.