For last year's IT, Pennywise actor Bill Skarsgard spent as much time away from his young co-stars between takes as possible as to avoid them getting desensitized to his horrific appearance. For the upcoming IT: Chapter Two, the actor works with adult performers, which has changed his approach to the character and the behind-the-scenes filmmaking dynamic.
"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."
The original Stephen King novel focused on a group of kids who faced an evil threat lurking their town of Derry, Maine, only to have to confront the threat once again as adults 27 years later. The novel interwove the present with the past to tell the story, a structure that was also used for a 1990 mini-series adaptation.
Muschietti took a different approach with his adaptation, using the first film to focus solely on the young characters while the upcoming sequel will feature both adults and younger versions of the characters.
IT went on to earn more than $700 million worldwide, which has altered Skarsgard's approach to the character.
"It's a bit strange 'cause it's a very different thing now. The first time I did it, nobody knew what I would do with it, so it was just all of this expectation," the actor noted. "I didn't know if it would work, or if people would respond to it. There was a lot of that worry going on about it. But that was also cool 'cause I was just doing my thing and nobody knew what that was or could tell me how I should do it. I was like, "I'm gonna distance myself from the Tim Curry performance, and then come up with some weird stuff, myself." I worked really closely with Andy, the director. This time around, because the movie became such a phenomenon, it's almost like I'm re-adapting myself. The character became very iconic. Pennywise became a star."
Fans will see Skarsgard's return to Pennywise when IT: Chapter Two lands in theaters on September 6, 2019.
Are you looking forward to seeing more Pennywise? Let us know in the comments below or hit up @TheWolfman on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!