Bill Skarsgard Says His Pennywise Makeup For ‘It’ Was Both ‘Amazing’ and ‘Terrifying’

He’s coming! Bill Skarsgard hit the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of his new movie It on Tuesday, September 5, and talked to US Weekly about how it was to transform into his character — the horrifying clown, Pennywise.

The Allegiant star revealed how it felt to see himself as the iconic clown, saying, “It was an amazing, terrifying feeling of seeing the makeup go on for the first time.”

Bill Skarsgard
Bill Skarsgard attends the premiere of "It" at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 5, 2017 in Hollywood, California. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

“Up until that point, I didn’t know what the character actually would look like. So every step of the way, I was looking at myself in the mirror, making faces to try to see what this character would eventually be,” he added.

The movie is hitting theaters on Friday, September 8, and it’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name and follows the TV miniseries that aired in 1990 starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. Skarsgard felt the pressure of filling Curry’s shoes but he told Us he hopes to bring something unique to the role.

Bill Skarsgard Pennywise It
Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in 'It.'

“Tim Curry’s performance was amazing. It was such a good interpretation of Stephen King’s character in the book,” he said. “We were making a new film, a new adaptation of the book. Of course, I wanted to bring something different and unique to it. Otherwise, I don’t see the point in remaking something. I hope that people can consider both performances separately and appreciate them for what they are.”

Once he landed the role, the actor, 27, admitted that he felt a bit of self-doubt, and didn’t want to disappoint the film’s director Andrés Muschietti and producer Barbara Muschietti.

“I think the first step was there were people who had to be convinced that I could do the job. There was a long process of getting cast. Once I got the role, I was like, ‘I got the role!’ Then I was like, ‘Oh my God, I got the role. How am I going to do this? How am I going to live up these expectations?’” he confessed. “Andy and Barbara, the director and producer, trusted in me, and I really didn’t want to let them down. It was a mixed feeling, but ultimately, of course, I loved the whole thing.”

Skarsgard believes there’s still a need for horror films for people to escape the reality of what is happening in the world at the moment.

“I think the world seems to be a very scary place now. More so than ever. Watching a scary movie, you get scared, but it’s safe. There is no real Pennywise, but there are a lot of real scary things going on in the world,” he said. “I don’t know if people are into horror films now more than ever. But I feel that’s what horror films do. You go to see something that’s pretend, and you get scared but it’s not real life. It’s a good feeling.”

It hits theaters this Friday, September 8.

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