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Bill Skarsgard on how he created Pennywise's creepy grin

09.13.2017

It’s the grin that led to a $123 million opening weekend, and will haunt you, your children and your children’s children and generations for the next one thousand years. Bill Skarsgard’s Pennywise grin in the recent IT adaptation is so effortlessly terrifying, but it turns out the actor has been working on the smirk since his younger days, having perfected it for when it was time to don the white makeup.

While talking about the movie on CONAN recently, Skarsgard was asked about how he came up with the smile. The actor told him that his brother Gustaf was able to do it, and when Bill was 10 he discovered he had the mighty gift too, and would use it to scare his little brother. He then does a demonstration, which is just as nightmare-inducing as it was in the movie:

The grin was featured in the earliest images of Pennywise all the way through the latest production photos. Clearly it did enough to entice people into seeing a genuinely terrifying experience, because IT smashed the September opening weekend record, as well as the horror opening record, which will most likely stand for some time. As well, Skarsgard (and the movie as a whole) is earning raves for his performance as the dancing clown, with the smile, voice, and physicality concocting the stuff of nightmares.

IT was a fantastic horror experience and Skarsgard nailed it as Pennywise. It’s odd thinking that, in a way, he’s been preparing for this movie since childhood, but he’s so perfect in the role I can’t help but think he was born to do it. We will see more of him in the second chapter of IT, which is said will be even darker than the first. I can't imagine Pennywise being any scarier than he is now, but maybe they can do a few takes without makeup and see how it works out. 

IT is in theaters now!

Source: Conan

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