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The Creepy Way Bill Skarsgard Scared A Child Actor On The Set Of IT

Bill Skarsgard's portrayal of Pennywise the Clown in 2017's "IT" set the film apart as one of the scariest horror remakes of the decade (via Bustle). The actor's rendition of the bloodthirsty entity was a far cry from the 1988 Tim Curry version of the Stephen King villain. While Curry straddled the line between menacing and slapstick, Skarsgard's performance was unrelentingly terrifying.

Coming from a family of renowned actors, the younger of the Skarsgards took his role seriously. In an interview for the "Pennywise Lives!" Blu-Ray commentary, it's revealed that the actor often did his own stunts, acts that often left him physically exhausted. It seemed the actor was born to play the role, as certain character traits like Pennywise's haunting, drifting eye and curled lips were already part of Skarsgard's repertoire. The dancing clown didn't just haunt audiences; the role took also took an emotional toll on the actor. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Skarsgard recalled the aftershocks playing Pennywise had on him. "I was home, done with the movie, and I started having very strange and vivid Pennywise dreams. Every night, he came and visited."

Skarsgard's commitment may have made it difficult for more than just him to leave the clown at work. In a piece for Interview magazine with brother Alexander Skarsgard, Bill disclosed one of the creepy ways he scared a child actor on the set of "IT."

Bill Skarsgard never broke character on the set of IT

In "Pennywise Lives!" Bill Skarsgard called "IT" "by far ... one of the loneliest productions" he had worked on, due to the seclusion he had from the rest of the cast and crew. In order to preserve the terror that Pennywise holds, Skarsgard was kept in a separate area until he was called to set. To further preserve the illusion, Bill Skarsgard minimized casual conversation while in costume. "I wasn't very friendly or goofy," he told his brother (via Interview).

He recalled one day on set in particular when he walked out to an area full of child extras. Skarsgard noticed some children averting their eyes, others shaking, and one child crying at the sight of him. As the child began to cry, the cameras starting rolling. 

 "And when they say 'action,' I am completely in character. So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realized, 'Holy s***. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'"

Despite Pennywise's dreadful presence, Skarsgard's co-stars had nothing but nice things to say about him. Jaeden Martell, who played Bill Denborough, later told Looper he's come to further appreciate the dedication it takes to play such a tremendous role while in full prosthetics.