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Bill Skarsgård Reveals How He Developed That Creepy Smile For Pennywise

Bill Skarsgård Reveals How He Developed That Creepy Smile For Pennywise

It came long before he ever thought he'd star in the movie.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

Bill Skarsgård arguably created an even creepier version of Pennywise from Stephen King's It, than Tim Curry's killer clown in the 1990 miniseries.

The still images released before any trailer surfaced were scary enough, but add in some cinematography, dramatic music and artistic vision from director Andrés Muschietti, and you've truly got a terrifying creation.

But the actor who became the legendary clown serial killer says he developed that disturbing smile long before he even thought he would become Pennywise.

Credit: TBS/Conan

Bill tells Conan O'Brien: "My older brother, Gustav, who's an actor as well, he had this ability to do, you know, point his lips in a very strange way. For some reason, I don't know how I understood that I could do it as well. But I was maybe 10 years old and I'm like...

"And I came up with this character called Yodagan, and I would pull my t-shirt up over my head...and I would chase my little brother around and scare him."

When asked whether this traumatised his younger sibling, Bill ensures that he was fine. However, the same might not be said for the cast of It.

Before the film was released, Mr Skarsgård, told Movie Pilot: "At one point, they set up this entire scene, and these kids come in, and none of them have seen me yet. Their parents have brought them in, these little extras, right? And then I come out as Pennywise, and these kids-young, normal kids-I saw the reaction that they had.


"Some of them were really intrigued, but some couldn't look at me, and some were shaking. This one kid started crying. He started to cry and the director yelled, 'Action!' 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 shit. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible'."

But while Bill probably scarred those kids and his younger brother back in the day, it seems as though one of his older brothers wasn't fazed by killer clown look.

Ben's brother, Alexander, who's appeared in True Blood and The Legend of Tarzan says he was happy when he saw Ben's look for the movie. He's told The Wrap: "Aww! He's so cute. This is my kid brother. Aww. This is Christmas day, three years ago. So cute!"


Most people wouldn't reach for the word 'cute' when describing the shape-shifting child killing Pennywise, but sure why not.

Bill has even made the bold statement that he beat another particular movie villain. He's told People: "I think that [Heath Ledger's Joker is] far more based in reality. "The Joker] is sort of this social anarchist, crazy person, and I don't think Pennywise is the same in that way.

"He's not even human, he's just pure evil."

That's a big call, but the critics have, so far, praised the 27-year-old for bringing to life one of the most notable of Stephen King's many villains.

Sources: Movie Pilot, People, Conan O'Brien, The Wrap

Featured Image Credit: TBS/Conan/Warner Bros. Pictures

Topics: IT, TV and Film, Celebrity, Stephen King