IT: Chapter Two Star Compares Completing His Role as Pennywise to an Exorcism

In IT, Bill Skarsgard plays the horrifying Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a manifestation of a mysterious entity who feeds upon the fears of the children who live in the community of Derry, Maine. He reprises the role in the upcoming IT: Chapter Two, this time with Pennywise coming back as an even more bloodthirsty and vicious evil. For audiences, that sounds like a truly terrifying prospect, but for Skarsgard it seems it was even more difficult -- so much so that moving on from the role felt like an "exorcism".

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Skarsgard revealed that it wasn't so much playing Pennywise that was difficult, it was getting out of the headspace required to do so after it was all over.

"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!'" 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."

Even with the release of the "toxins", though, Skarsgard went on to explain that the nightmares remained.

"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."

Even though the idea of having continued dreams about the monstrous Pennywise sounds like, well, a nightmare, Skarsgard had a surprisingly understanding outlook on it.

"This was a process of letting go of the monster," he said. "It was amazing. It's a daunting but exciting thing to sort of revisit him again."

IT: Chapter Two opens September 6.


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