Movies & TV

Bill Skarsgård's Pennywise Is A Lot More Than Clown Makeup And A Demonic Laugh

Here are 10 facts about actor Bill Skarsgard that prove why he's perfect for the role of Pennywise in It Chapter 2.
IMAGE Warner Bros.
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In It Chapter 2, audiences briefly see, for the first time, the man behind the make-up. In one scene, Jessica Chastain's Beverly sees a vision of Pennywise the clown before he puts on his white paint and we finally get a glimpse of Bill Skarsgård's actual face. He's the man behind the terrifying evil entity that's giving an entire new generation a clown phobia. And, as far as we know, the actor who plays Pennywise in the new film adaptation of Stephen King's It is not a demonic monster—he's a Swedish actor you should get to know.

He really can distort his face like Pennywise.

That's not CGI. As you see in the movie, Pennywise's eyes will often be pointing—disturbingly—in different directions. And that's really Skarsgård doing that Jay Ryan, who plays the adult Ben Hanscom, told USA Today. “That's one of his party tricks.”

He's Tim Curry-approved.

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Tim Curry, who played Pennywise in the original 1990 it miniseries praised Skarsgård’s performance, saying the new actor doesn’t have a clown face at all. “You can’t really see him at all … He’s very good.”

He loves scaring children.

He terrified a bunch of child actors in the movie by walking onto set in character, and they were visibly shaken after filming had ended.

No, he really enjoys scaring children.

He knows being successful as the character means he’ll traumatise a new generation of children.

But he's not really into horror movies.

He wasn’t a huge fan of horror films growing up and never liked getting scared. His favourite movie is the cult South Korean action film Oldboy.

He's from an acting family.

Skarsgård’s family has eight kids and half are actors. Becoming an actor is first priority in the Skarsgård family.

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His brothers are famous.

That’s probably why his brother Alexander Skarsgård is known for True Blood and Big Little Lies and Gustaf Skarsgård is known for Vikings.

His dad is famous.

Bill’s father Stellan Skarsgård has starred in Good Will Hunting, Thor and the Avengers movies.

He's known for more than just Pennywise.

Some of Bill’s breakout roles include Roman Godfrey on Netflix’s Hemlock Groveand Merkel in Atomic Blonde.

He's been on screen alongside his bro.

Bill’s first time on camera was in White Water Fury alongside his brother Alexander at 9 years old.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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