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It: Chapter Two: Pennywise Will Be 'Even More Vicious,' Says Bill Skarsgård

It's been 27 years, and Pennywise the Dancing Clown hasn't gotten any more merry.

So says It: Chapter Two's Bill Skarsgård, who pointed out a key difference between the evil entity's encounters with the Losers' Club as kids and as adults: the first time, he was just hungry. This time, as they say, it's personal. (via Entertainment Weekly)

The trailer for the second half of Master of Horror Stephen King's epic tale dropped just today (and as you might have guessed, it is pants-soilingly terrifying), and the flick's cast are beginning to make the promotional rounds in advance of its release. In Skarsgård's sit-down with EW, he went into detail about his character's slight change in motivation from the first film — relating that if you think Pennywise is terrifying when he just wants a snack, wait until he actually has it in for you. Driving his thirst for vengeance on the adult Losers' Club: fear, which he is plenty used to doling out, but had never actually experienced himself before nearly being killed by the gang during his last cycle.

"He's been doing this forever really, so he doesn't change in the sense that you would look differently. He looks however he wants to look for any particular prey at the time, but I do think there's [one] change," the actor explained. "The arc of the first movie is that he, for the first time, experiences fear himself. His last line — 'Fear...' — is him experiencing it for the first time, and he's sort of shocked and perplexed and surprised. Like, what is this?"

But just because these kids were able to get the upper hand and give Pennywise a taste of his own medicine doesn't mean that he'll be wary of tangling with them again — quite the opposite, according to Skarsgård. "He's inflicted fear on his prey, and he's very focused on fear, but he's never experienced it himself. Now he's experienced something that he has been inflicting on others and... it fuels hatred and anger towards the kids, who will be adults in this one. So I think there might be an even more vicious Pennywise," Skarsgård said. "He's really going after it."

We know what you're thinking: so in the first movie, that was Pennywise being, what, totally chill? Kind of, yes. It turns out that while it doesn't take a heck of a lot of imagination scare the pants off of a child, adults have... rather more complex fears that the shape-shifting baddie is all too eager to dig into.

"There's a lot to explore," Skarsgård said. "He's not really bound to continuity in the sense that a normal character would be. We can explore his unpredictability now that we've established the character for the audience. We can still sort of shock them."

If you're a fan of King's novel, you probably have an idea what Skarsgård means by "unpredictability" — and if not, that new teaser trailer can help to clue you in, as it's a pretty loving recreation of one of the book's biggest and most unexpected scares. Basically, if you thought Pennywise gave you nightmares before, you ain't seen nothing yet — and you're also not alone. Skarsgård admitted that it was a little difficult for him to return to the part after the recurring, Pennywise-influenced dreams that plagued him after production on the first flick wrapped.

"I was in my childhood home in Sweden, sitting having coffee with my mom at our kitchen table, and realized, 'Oh, holy sh—, I don't have to deal with this relationship anymore!' It was a very quick shift of just feeling better, like, 'Oh my God, I'm relieved that I don't have to deal with the darkness of the character.' I likened it to an exorcism — him exiting my body and getting rid of the Pennywise toxins." But then (cue ominous music): "I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams. Every night, he came and visited... It was in the shape of either me dealing with him, sort of Pennywise as a separate entity of me, and then also me as Pennywise in circumstances that I didn't appreciate. Like, I'm Pennywise and I'm really upset that I'm out in public and people are looking at me."

Okay, that is actually pretty funny. But at any rate, the actor said that it was "a daunting but exciting thing to sort of revisit him again." And as for the prospect of more weird dreams now that production on the film has concluded? "I'm good with it," he said. Hey, better him than us.

It: Chapter Two is directed by Andy Muschietti from a script by Gary Dauberman. Starring as the adult Losers' Club: Jessica Chastain as Beverly Marsh, James McAvoy as Bill Denbrough, Bill Hader as Richie Tozier, Jay Ryan as Ben Hanscom, James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak, Isaiah Mustafa as Mike Hanlon, and Andy Bean as Stan Uris. It hits screens on September 6; we'll be on the lookout for more news and additional trailers, and also for red balloons, because those things seriously creep us out now.