Annette O'Toole reminisces about It, doesn't think it should be remade

It Annette O'Toole

This summer, director Andy Muschietti will be pitting a whole new batch of actors against the evil clown Pennywise in his take on the Stephen King novel IT. Regardless of how well Muschietti's version is received, the previous adaptation of IT, the 3+ hour mini-series directed by Tommy Lee Wallace that aired in 1990, will always have its place in the horror genre. It has a legion of fans to this day, and the images Wallace brought to the screen and the performances delivered by the cast he assembled won't be forgotten.

One star of Wallace's IT who hasn't often spoken at length about the mini-series is Annette O'Toole, who played the adult Beverly Marsh. O'Toole was even absent from the audio commentary that was recorded for the DVD release, so I found it quite interesting to read an interview with her that was recently conducted by Jason Sechrest.

The interview covers various aspects of O'Toole's experience working on IT, including her interactions with her co-stars, her fondest memory from production, and which scene she found the most frightening to film. In fact, there was only scene that she felt was actually scary to shoot, a scene involving a cup of blood.

...because none of my buddies were there. It was just me. Just me and the really scary lady and the cup of chocolate blood stuff."

Of course, no IT interview can go by without discussing Tim Curry and the way he brought Pennywise to the screen. O'Toole had this to say about him:

Tim is the MAIN reason this movie works. I have to qualify this though, because I’ve only see IT once when it first was on, so I’m solely going by memory and what I’ve read about the movie. He spent a LOT of time in a separate make-up trailer with his own team of people who at first were doing all these tests for the Pennywise make-up. I remember that he read constantly — always had a stack of books.  We only had one scene together that I recall, when Ben is kissing Bev but it turns out to be Pennywise. I had to wear Pennywise’s pants in one part of the scene because of a trick of how they were shooting it. This was WAY before all this CGI. It was just cool to be around Tim. We all went out a couple of times for dinner and he always came with us. We bonded as a little family, even with Pennywise. He is the reason for the family after all."

When asked how she feels about IT being remade, O'Toole replies, 

I don’t think they need to remake anything that was good the first time."

That brings up her work in the 1982 film CAT PEOPLE, which was a remake of a movie released forty years earlier (although, as the actress points out, it was mostly an in-title-only remake). Also mentioned is her return to the land of Stephen King in the 11.22.63 mini-series:

I was just asked to do 11.22.63 out of the blue. I hadn’t read the book, but I got it right away, and then realized that my character is only a mention of a name in the book. So I didn’t really have anything to live up to for Mr. King this time, and just came up with who Edna was on my own. One of the producers told me on the set that I was an “Easter egg,” for the Stephen King fans. I thought that was hilarious and apt."

O'Toole was also asked what her favorite King books are, and which King character she would most like to play. Her reponse to the latter question is perfect: 

Hmm... character I’d most like to play? I think I already did. Beverly Marsh is the best."

To read the full interview with O'Toole, head over to SechrestThings.

It Tim Curry

Extra Tidbit: Are you a fan of the IT mini-series?
Source: SechrestThings



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