Isolating, lonely for Skarsgard to reprise Pennywise clown role in It sequel
Shooting the It horror films was a lonesome experience for Bill Skarsgard.
At the press junket for the first movie in 2017, he had told The New Paper that it was "the loneliest film production" he had ever done because he was isolated from the child actors he was supposed to terrify as Pennywise the clown.
In the sequel It Chapter Two, which is currently showing here, the adult cast - who portray the same characters 27 years after the events of It - were not necessarily kept away from him, but the nature of the "weird" role was such that he was still on his own a lot.
The 29-year-old Swedish actor said at our interview at the London West Hollywood hotel in Beverly Hills: "First up in the morning, enduring 21/2 hours in the make-up trailer with the prosthetic guys.
"Then after that, I have a little Pennywise tent on set, where I get my outfit on, contact lenses and all of that. Then straight into shooting."
Tiny technical tweaks were made for It Chapter Two - "a little bit lighter head, maybe not as sweaty, or a little bit more eyebrow movement and changing of the veins".
"But the worst part is when you work on a 12-hour day, you have that big head and make-up on for so long, sweat starts to build up underneath and your head is itching and you can't scratch it - all those fun little details," he said.
So Skarsgard was grateful that the climactic battle scene was motion-captured this time round.
"We were in this tiny little studio with a bunch of dots on my head and body, and the camera and me acting that out. The whole end sequence I shot in a five-hour day, as opposed to being in make-up.
"The first movie, the whole ending was practical, me in my body and I was fighting the kids and everything, so that was 10 days of shooting," he said.
He also reasoned why there will be no more sequels.
He said: "Our goal was to do the two parts of the whole book (Stephen King's 1986 novel of the same name), the kids' story and the adults' story. I don't think you could set this in 2047 or whatever and they are all in their 70s trying to defeat Pennywise again.
"We do have some cool prequel ideas that could be interesting, but we'll see. That's it for now."
Clowns were never scary for him as a child but he tells the story of one of his friends who has always hated them.
"It was really funny because he saw Tim Curry's Pennywise (in the 1990 miniseries) when he was four or five years old and it tormented him. And he is married to my cousin so when they were engaged, we threw a bachelor party and we were all dressed up as clowns, playing circus music.
"And then two months later, I was asked to play Pennywise. So it is a full circle for him, of having his best childhood friend playing the character that traumatised his childhood."
The writer is the chair of the board of directors of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit organisation of entertainment journalists that also organises the annual Golden Globe Awards.
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