Just one face launched a thousand nightmares. But when unflappable It star Sophia Lillis first encountered Bill Skarsgård’s sinister Pennywise — a shape-shifting demon often masked as a clown — she, well, let out a laugh
“He didn’t notice because he had contacts in and couldn’t see me,” the 15-year-old tells Us Weekly. “It was really funny!”
In fact, filming the remake about a band of teenage outcasts terrorized by Stephen King‘s creature was far from a horror show. “Behind the scenes, you get to see the process,” says Lillis, a Losers Club member in the flick. “It’s more interesting than scary.”
Her costar Finn Wolfhard would beg to differ. Recalls the 14-year-old Stranger Things actor: “I was like, ‘What did we get ourselves into?’”
The pair give Us a real scream.
Us Weekly: OK be honest, are you fans of horror movies?
Finn Wolfhard: Yes! Sophia laughs when we watch them. I just get super quiet, but I do love them.
Sophia Lillis: There are funny parts. You can always try to find the comedy in horror movies.
FW: It’s true, you can. Also, this movie is actually funny.
SL: There’s humor in it.
Us: How familiar were you with the original 1990 cult classic?
SL: I didn’t know much about the horror genre until after It and then I realized how big the fan base is! I read The Shining and watched the movie. I also read parts of It for the audition just so I could get to know my character and her relationship to the viewers.
Us: Was it hard not to bring this nightmare idea home with you every night?
FW: We knew that it was all fake in the moment. When we slept, we didn’t remember out dreams half the time because we were so tired!
SL: I never was actually scared when making It.
Us: Did Bill ever try and scare you guys on set?
FW: He didn’t stay in character, thank God. That would be awful! In between takes, he was super supportive and wanted to make sure we were all OK.
Us: Favorite memory from filming?
SL: It was really fun to act with Bill Skarsgård. The way he plays Pennywise is so unique and very different from Tim Curry [who played the demon in the original]. He has to choke me multiple times in the movie. He’d have to put his arms around my neck but the cameras wouldn’t be on because they were looking to find the right shot. So his hands were around my neck and he’d be like, “How’s your day? How’s school? What’s it like being in high school now?” It was a little uneasy!
FW: The most fun for me was when we were filming in the water. We just got to swim and have fun and chicken fight.
SL: We got to know each other very well doing that scene! In a lot of the roles I play, I only do scenes with just myself or one other person. I never had to act with a group of kids. I’m glad to have this experience, especially because now I know how to act with other kids
Us: What was the dynamic like on set between the Losers Club?
FW: Honestly, we were all really close. We were lucky to have Sophia. She sat there and watched us go insane. She was super cool and never freaked out.
It is playing in theaters now.
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