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Bill Hader says he couldn't stop smiling on the set of It: Chapter Two

Between movies and his time on SNL, Bill Hader has spent virtually his whole career making us all laugh, and the world is, I believe, scientifically proven to be better for it. With IT: CHAPTER 2 he’s getting into much different territory, and while he may not be playing the horrifying Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard has the honor), he will be tasked with conveying the terror we all would feel coming face-to-face with a demonic clown. The problem is, the man has spent so many years around laughter and smiles it seems to become an instinct for him, to the point where it may have caused a slight hiccup on set.

Hader was on the newly-launched CONAN with Conan O’Brien to talk about his series of new projects on the horizon when it got to the topic of IT 2, which is the actor’s first horror movie, and where he’s playing the adult version of Richie Tozier (played by young Finn Wolfhard in the first movie). The conversation started when O’Brien showed a BTS image of Skarsgard and Hader giggling between takes, with Hader saying how the actor can go from sweet to horrifying at the flip of a switch. However, while he was supposed to act scared during these freaky scenes, turns out Hader doesn’t really have a good “Ah!” face, and couldn’t stop smiling when he supposed to be crying for his mommy.

“This is my first horror movie, and I’m terrible at acting scared, apparently. When I’m scared, I think I smile. Like, I get nervous and I smile… We would do takes and the director Andy Muschietti would come and he’s like, ‘Bill, you need to be scared, man.’ I go, I was terrified! He goes, ‘No man, you’re smiling the whole time. What’s wrong with you?’ And it’s true.”

Not too long ago, James McAvoy opened up about what it was like to work on IT 2, and during that chat, he talked about him and the cast were so terrified of Skarsgard on the set – but he left out the part where Hader’s take on terrified could be mistaken with joy. We all get scared in our own ways, I guess, and to try and laugh it off (voluntary or not) seems like a legit reaction. But this means Muschietti probably had some tinkering to do, and in the end Hader no doubt got to that “scared shitless” stage. Perhaps the director just had to let Skarsgard do those weird face contortions he can do to add an extra dose of terrifying.

IT: CHAPTER TWO is in theaters September 6.

Source: Conan

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