First it was Tim Curry, now it’s Bill Skarsgård: Pennywise the clown is every generation’s worst nightmare.
The dancing harlequin at the centre of It Chapter Two, based on Stephen King’s epochal magnum opus about a group of kids terrorised by a child-hungry monster who emerges from the sewers every 27 years to feast, has been traumatising readers and viewers alike for decades.
Curry’s indelible turn in 1990’s otherwise dire mini-series birthed a multitude of phobias (including my own), and Skarsgård’s more infantile, terrifying take should see him worshipped in the house of horror for years to come. Not everyone is scared, however.
Check out the clip below:
If anything, Skarsgård’s baby couldn’t care less. While appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote It Chapter Two, the actor revealed he had an 11-month-old daughter with his partner Alida Morberg.
When Colbert said jokingly she should never see the movie, Skarsgård said:
I’ve gotten a bunch of fun merch and stuff throughout the years, so her little baby room is filled with all these Pennywise teddy bears.
At that age, her brain is still developing and reacting to things for the first time. As Colbert pointed out, it actually might be a good idea to have some Pennywise toys lying around – it’ll soften her up for later in life. She might just turn out to be a horror enthusiast later in life.
That’s not all though: during production, Skarsgård told Good Morning America he would FaceTime his then two-week old daughter in full Pennywise get-up.
Check out the clip below:
In 2017, the actor made his frill-spangled, drooling debut in It; a lean translation of King’s novel into a pure, Amblin-esque coming-of-age movie that let Skarsgård’s clown torment the youth cast.
It was a smash-hit, pulling in more than $700 million at the box office – making it the highest-grossing horror film of all time.
Its sequel, again directed by Andy Muschietti, has recently floated into cinemas, and sees the Losers Club 27 years after the events of the first film, forced to return to Derry after ‘it’ returns.
Check out the trailer below:
Starring James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and Bill Hader (in a scene-stealing performance), it’s less a horror movie and more adventure: almost like the epic grown-up Goonies sequel we’ll never get.
Grand in scale and fun, it’s currently sitting at a 63% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has made around $213 million worldwide so far, as per Forbes.
That said, you wouldn’t catch me with any Pennywise toys in my room.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.