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Bill Skarsgård's first audition for Pennywise is pure nightmare fuel

Bill Skarsgård's first audition for Pennywise is pure nightmare fuel

Bill Skarsgård gave a generation of kids coulrophobia with his performance

Still creeped out by Bill Skarsgård's performance as Pennywise in the 2017 It movie?

Well, strap in folks, because somehow it's even worse without the makeup:

Skarsgård took on the role of the terrifying dancing clown from Stephen King's 1986 novel after Tim Curry previously terrorised the sewers of Derry, Maine, in the 1990 miniseries.

Big shoes to fill, but I think we all agree that Skarsgård more than delivered.

The film ended up taking in a staggering $702 million at the worldwide box office, and its 85 percent Rotten Tomatoes score shows people liked what they saw.

It was so popular that even after an underwhelming sequel, a prequel series called Welcome to Derry is set to air on HBO Max in 2025 - though Skarsgård has sadly confirmed he won't be involved.

That's a shame, as the unquestioned high point of the two It films is the Swedish actor's spine-chilling performance - undoubtedly leading to bouts of coulrophobia around the world.

Hello, Georgie *shivers*.
Warner Bros

His audition tape, which shows the moment he lures poor Georgie to a drain before biting his arm off and dragging him to his death, shows it wasn't just the clown makeup that was scary, but Skarsgård's top-tier acting.

Apparently he understood the assignment so well that during filming he left a bunch of kids traumatised.

Speaking to Movie Pilot back in 2017, he said: "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.

Bill Skarsgård does at least feel slightly guilty for terrorising child extra in It.
Warner Bros

"So some of these kids got terrified and started to cry in the middle of the take, and then I realised, 'Holy s***. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'"

With Pennywise so terrifying on screen, I can't imagine how much worse he would be in person.

Skarsgård has also previously said that taking on the role of Pennywise was a pretty rough experience.

In an interview with the New York Times, he admitted: "Everything I did took 100 percent of my energy.

"It was by far the most exhausting character I've ever done, physically and mentally."

So basically, at least it wasn't just the traumatised kids that were having a tough time of it.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity