Bill Skarsgard as "Pennywise" in "It." Photo credit: Brooke Palmer

Bill Skarsgård On Overcoming ‘It’ Fear With Pennywise Performance


Bill Skarsgård plays Pennywise in the highly anticipated feature It, and one of the joys of playing this iconic Stephen King character is that “there is no limits to this character.” With a ton of room to work with, Skarsgård admits that he had a bit of “fear” in taking on the role.

BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Marco Grob

“We have here a guy that is committed and fearless,” said director Andy Muschietti on working with Bill Skarsgård. “He just took the concept of ‘what is this monster’ and how do me make it unpredictable? One of the greatest things that he brought is really giving something new at every point.”

Even after landing the part, Skarsgård had his share of hesitation in playing Pennywise. “This fear started creeping in with people having opinions and anticipation and they had expectations that I’m not going to live up to,” said Skarsgård. “I felt that people were kind of anxious to s**t all over what I was going to do (with It).”

It - Bill Skarsgard
BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo: Brooke Palmer

Instead of giving in to his fear, Skarsgård simply went for it, and having the support of director Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti helped his confidence.

“That was enough for me to go, ‘okay Bill just go with it.’ I knew I can’t have fear and I couldn’t pull anything back here. I trust Andy and I trust Barbara and I’m going to give them all I have.”

Click on the media bar below to hear Skårsgard explain why it was important to watch dailies during the production of It (he mentions Andy Muschietti in the clip).

It, co-starring Jaeden Lieberher, opens nationwide September 8.

Anderson and I also talk about It in our September movie preview episode of CinemAddicts. Check it out below:

Greg Srisavasdi

I've been a movie reviewer/interview since 1991 (as a UCLA Daily Bruin scribe), worked at Westwood One, Deepest Dream owner, co-editor of Hollywood Outbreak, podcast co-host of "CinemAddicts" and "Matt and Greg Used To Interview Movie Stars." I can be reached at for inquiries or whatever the case may be!

Greg Srisavasdi has 1352 posts and counting. See all posts by Greg Srisavasdi

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