Pennywise the Dancing Clown became one of the biggest pop culture figures in 2017, thanks to Bill Skarsgard's terrifying performance in IT. James McAvoy stars in IT: Chapter Two and admitted that, even without cinematic editing techniques, the character is intimidating on set.
"He's amazing. The guy who plays the clown is terrifying," McAvoy shared of Skarsgard's performance on Good Morning America. "He's a lovely guy, and yet he really freaked me out. I remember standing there with the rest of the cast, all these adults, and we'd all done weird freaky stuff. And we are all looking at each other going, 'I don't like being here. I don't like being an actor today.' He really did, he really freaked me out. I never liked clowns as a kid."
As far as why he was afraid of clowns, McAvoy elaborated, "There's something tragic about them. Maybe they've all run away to join the circus. What are you running away from, Mr. Clown? What have you left behind? Is it like bodies in a trunk?"
While working on the original film, Skarsgard kept his distance from the young cast members, leading to more authentic reactions when the cameras were rolling. Based on McAvoy's words, it would seem as though being a frightening presence is a feat Skarsgard can accomplish easily.
Set 27 years after the previous film, the new film features the grown-up Losers' Club reuniting in the small town of Derry, Maine after believing they had defeated an otherworldly monster decades prior, hoping to vanquish the threat once and for all. Skarsgard previously detailed how the dynamic of working with adult actors has changed on set.
"Off camera, I get to hang out with the entire adult cast now. It's weird and it's surreal because some of them are really big stars and they're coming in to your thing," the actor shared with Collider. "They're stepping into the thing that me and [director] Andy [Muschietti] and the kids did. They're joining the band, in a way. They're excited, and I just had a lot of fun hanging out with all of them. It's going to be a very different shooting experience with all adults, for sure, but it will be fun. They're all really cool and talented people, so I think they will bring a lot to the table."
Fans can see Pennywise again when IT: Chapter Two hits theaters on September 6th.
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