Pennywise Actor Scared Kids On “IT” Set

Out of make-up he was the hunky lead of “Hemlock Grove,” but under some theatrical face paint and costuming, actor Bill Skarsgard becomes the creepy Pennywise the Clown in the upcoming film adaptation of Stephen King’s “IT”.

So far the character has only been glimpsed in photos and trailers, with Skarsgard giving off a sense of real menace. Turns out that was also the case on the film’s set when he was introduced to some unsuspecting child extras. He tells Interview Magazine (via The Wrap):

“At one point, they set up this entire scene, and these kids come in, and none of them has 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 s–t. What am I doing? What is this? This is horrible.'”

Skarsgard later revealed that after director Andy Muschetti called cut, the actor tried his best to console the kids and reassure them that he wasn’t really a monster.

The story follows seven children in Maine who come face to face with life problems, bullies and a shape-shifting, child eating monster that most often takes the shape of a sinister clown. “IT” is slated to open around much of the world on September 8th.