Bill Skarsgard, Pennywise on ‘It,’ brought kids to tears on set

My friends and I are so looking forward to It, which is out on September 8th. It looks incredibly scary, we’re all big horror fans and I love Stephen King’s books and read this a couple of times as a teenager. So that’s why I was thrilled to learn that a heretofore unknown Skarsgard brother, Bill, plays the terrifying clown, Pennywise. Bill, 26, is Swedish and is actor Alexander Skarsgard’s younger brother. He’s the son of actor Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and doctor My Agnes, just like Alex. Bill was interviewed by Alex for Interview magazine, where he’s featured on one of five “Youth In Revolt” covers for the June/July issue. He talked about how scared some of the extras on set got when they saw him in full Pennywise costume, and he seemed to somewhat relish that but to feel a little guilty about it. He sounds perfect for this role. He also has a creepy hot look and reminds me a little of Steve O. Do you see that too? Here’s what he told Interview.

Alex asks Bill if he feels guilty because their brother, who works in medicine, makes less money than they do
Yeah, of course. It’s not fair. I’m constantly embarrassed at the level of attention actors get and the level of money that we get. It’s completely disproportionate. I think you have to feel guilty about it. I think it makes you a better person to keep reminding yourself.

On if he ever feels like a sh-t actor
100 percent. I feel like I’m the best actor on the planet and I also feel like I’m a fraud.

On the original It movie
I remember It being the scariest thing that existed for a kid. There were other horror films, like Friday the 13th or Halloween, but this was the really scary one because it was children and a clown. So many people go, “That film really destroyed my childhood,” or, “I hated clowns after that.” Hopefully, there will be a lot of 10-year-olds who will be traumatized forever based on my performance.

Alex asks “Does it feel good knowing that kids around the world for decades to come will have nightmares about you?”
It’s a really weird thing to go, “If I succeed at doing what I’m trying to do with this character, I’ll traumatize kids.” On set, I wasn’t very friendly or goofy. I tried to maintain some sort of weirdness about the character, at least when I was in all the makeup. 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 then we cut, and obviously I was all, “Hey, I’m sorry. This is pretend.” [laughs]

[From Interview via Daily Mail]

That’s cute that he tried to comfort the kid afterwards! Also, Alex told Bill at their end of their interview that he should call their mom. Bill is also in Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron, out July 28, and it sounds like his star is on the rise. (I spotted him at 1:50 into this trailer. It’s out on June 28th!) I wonder if he’ll get typecast as a scary villain type, not that that’s a bad thing at all. He seems so suited for those type of roles.


"Allegiant" New York Premiere

photos credit: Interview, WENN, Getty, Entertainment Weekly/It

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84 Responses to “Bill Skarsgard, Pennywise on ‘It,’ brought kids to tears on set”

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  1. Stacey Dresden says:

    Also excited!

    • Snazzy says:

      I still hate clowns because of the first IT movie (I made my parents check the bathroom EVERY DAY for clowns)! This 40 year old is way too freaked out to watch it again!

      • delphi says:

        They all float…*shudder*

      • Dragonlady sakura says:

        Same here. My friends and family laugh when I say I hate clowns, but I just can’t with them. Illogical fear maybe, but I won’t be watching this movie and I sure as hell don’t want to see any clips. (Shudder)

      • RuddyZooKeeper says:

        Even as an adult I avoid storm drains. If I ever see a balloon in one I know I’d die of a heart attack on the spot. I couldn’t close the bathroom door for literally a year after watching It as a kid. My 4 siblings and I are having a special cross-country reunion to watch this in theater together – we were ALL traumatized!

  2. lightpurple says:

    The out of costume pictures in suits, Bill could play the even scarier role of Jared Kushner in the upcoming Trump Impeachment: The Musical.

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

      Oh! You won the internet. He definitely has that creepy clean cut look about him… I hope he’s doing it purposefully here because I can definitely see it.

    • Kiki says:

      @ lightpurple Hahaha. I love it. Hollywood new idea for a motion picture, if you are listening and give credit to lighpurple.

    • neelyo says:

      My first thought at the header pic was that it was going to be a story on Jared Kushner’s transitioning to a woman.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, I hear you but I can tell that Bill has too much sensitivity and humanity and is far too handsome. I’m not sure a human could play Jared, come to think of it.

    • cine says:

      LOL. I skimmed the frontpage and I got all confused thinking why Kushner thought publicly admitting making children cry would help his (lost, completely lost and irretrievably broken) cause at the moment. I had to do a double take.

    • Alba says:

      He looks nothing like Kushner. Kushner has a long face with thin lips and smaller eyes.
      Kushner wishes he had Bills beauty.

    • Alex says:

      Someone call Lin to get started on this.
      You win

  3. Faye says:

    LOVE him in Hemlock Grove. He’s absolutely beautiful and supremely talented.

    • Caroline says:

      Wait, people for real thought he was good in Hemlock Grove? Yikes.

      • Tan says:

        Different strokes for differenr blokes.

        There is no set standard for liking or not liking something.

        I liked his stiff weirdo act.

      • hanna77 says:

        Lol that makes it sound like being a “stiff weirdo” was an active acting choice and not just a sign of him being bad. But as you said, different strokes.

      • Ebba says:

        I went to school with him. He has always been a bit weird/up himself. His sister Eija is lovely though and very cool.

      • Goats on the Roof says:

        Can we not make fun of people for liking different things? It’s incredibly childish. 🙄

      • hanna77 says:

        Yes, I’ve also heard from people in Stockholm that both Bill and Gustav are pretentious as hell. All the other siblings and parents are lovely though.

      • Emma says:

        From a good source who lives in Sodermalm where all the skarsgards live: Gustaf is very very pretentious and thinks very highly of himself. If you approach him on the streets and politely ask for a pic or autograph he will most likely refuse. Bill is nicer than Gustaf but still very stuck up

        If you mention Alex anywhere near Gustaf or Bill, you will see their wrath. They both HATE being compared to Alex. Gustaf gets visibly upset. Bill ignores that you even said that name. So if you ever see either of them, do not mention Alex.

        Their father is very very nice. Alex is the sweetest celeb of them all. So polite and always obliges his fans. Their sister is very sweet but also very aloof. Loves to party and manages a nightclub with her boyfriend who is a promoter and PR type of the person. Valter is very quiet.

        The physician they mentioned in the interview is Sam. He works at a very big hospital in Sodermalm as an Anesthesiologist. Multiple people have said he is the nicest human being alive and a very nice doctor. Very kind, thorough and smart with great bedside manners. He might earn less money than Alex and Bill but he is very rich himself. His wife comes from a rich family too. Sam and Gustaf are best friends of all the siblings.

      • Bethy says:

        That’s a shame about Gustaf being a jerk. One of my favorite movies he starred in is Patrik, age 1.5.

    • JellyBeans says:

      Same here!

  4. savu says:

    Bill looks like his name should be Will.

  5. V4Real says:

    It better be good because the original was the bomb. It seems that Hollywood has ran out of original ideas because we seem to be getting a lot of remakes. Over the years there seems to be more movie remakes than songs.

  6. LooperFor says:

    Can’t wait. He has a beautiful face but I still rate his dad more in looks :D

    • Alba says:

      I think he looks like his father when he was young the most in the old photos I have seen

      • maisie says:

        Dunno – I see more than a little Steve Buscemi in him. Young cute Buscemi, but Buscemi just the same. Sorry.

  7. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    He can traumatise me any time and all day ;)

    I loved him in Hemlock Grove and will def be watching him in ‘It’. I hope he makes better career decisions than big brother when it comes to roles in movies.

    • Sunya says:

      “I hope he makes better career decisions than big brother when it comes to roles in movies.”

      Bill was in that shitty Insurgent movie and just did a shit movie with Bella Thorne, so………………………………………..

    • cr says:

      Do you mean big budget movies? Because Alex does excellent in indie/smaller budget films.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree, I really like most of his movie choices. He occasionally does a big budget one, and those are rarely as good a film.

  8. Aims says:

    The Skarsgård genes produce stunning people . I know I sound superficial , but not one Skarsgård offspring is hard to look at.

  9. PIa says:

    He is 26?!! Wow, he could be 18. Baby face for sure.

  10. Rapunzel says:

    I’m 37 and just got brave enough to watch IT for the first time. I had to watch in pieces and cover my eyes. This new Pennywise looks even more terrifying. I will not be watching this… Kudos to those who are brave enough.

    • Kristen820 says:

      I watched the original broadcast, and I’m *still* traumatized by it. So I’m currently having issues with the fact that Pennywise is legit hot…

    • Zuzus Girl says:

      Nope. I won’t be watching either. Hate, HATE clown. Not because of the original just always have. (John Wayne Gacy didn’t help.)

  11. Lillian says:

    There’s refreshing to hear him talk about money. I know actors work long days on set but man, some make a ton of money.
    I making minimum wage right now.

    Looking forward to seeing It

    • Esmom says:

      His comments reminded me about Robert Pattison’s comments during Twilight — feeling like a fraud, feeling guilty for making so much money. The struggle is real, lol. But I give them props for not taking their jobs and their status as celebs for granted.

      His comment, “Hopefully, there will be a lot of 10-year-olds who will be traumatized forever based on my performance” made me laugh. He seems funny and normal.

      I find him far more handsome than his brother. I confess I still don’t get the fuss about him. *runs and hides*

  12. Incredulous says:

    He is a natural at Blue Steel.

  13. Lucy says:

    HOT. Err, sorry, I meant, great interview. Not looking forward to the movie, though. The trailer is already scary AF.

  14. Sara says:

    He’s an OK actor but I can’t stand all these Skarsgårds. Definition of nepotism.

    • Caroline says:

      How is it nepotism? No one is casting them because they’re the sons of “That guy from Good Will Hunting and I think he also played the professor in those Thor movies…”

      • Lipreng says:

        You’re kidding, right? It’s rare enough for one person to get that level of acting work, let alone 3.

      • cr says:

        Other than Alex’s first role as a child, nepotism hasn’t played a role, especially American roles. Stellan’s fame in the US isn’t all that. Nor do I think the younger brothers are getting roles because big brother was ‘that Viking vampire on True Blood”.
        Stellan has 8 children, the odds of some of them going into his line of work were pretty good.

    • Olive says:

      Agreed. How many are there? People are mentioning a sister and yet another brother named Gustav in the thread. Dull, dull, dull.

    • msd says:

      I think of them as the Scandinavian Hemsworths.

  15. Caroline says:

    He’s alright in Swedish movies but he was AWFULin Hemlock Grove on Netflix. Hopefully he got better. Also kind of weird that he’s dating the much older ex-fiance of his brother’s best friend, but I digress.

    Nothing Stephen King as ever wrote has been scary to me. His racist, cocaine-fueled books are pretty lame. As are people who say they’re scared of clowns.

  16. Alba says:

    Sigh! I love his face. Hes hot in a more interesting looking, darker way than his brother (who is more the perfect looking masculine male in the conventional way).

  17. Onerous says:

    So looking forward to this!

    If you guys haven’t already – you should listen to the audiobook version of IT. Steven Weber gives a stunning performance as the narrator- it’s insanely good.

  18. hanna77 says:

    Eh, not really a fan of this guy. I remember when he was doing that hemlock grove show (terrible) he gave an interview and said something along the lines of how people who are fans of actors are dumb. He seems way more pretentious and into himself than his brother. That’s clear from reading the entire interview.

  19. L84Tea says:

    I have never seen this guy in anything and am really trying to find out as little about him as possible because I want to see him as IT with nothing else about him to remind me. I’m super excited to see what he does.

  20. Cee says:

    I think there’s another Skarsgård brother in Vikings. Plays Floki.

    • LAK says:

      Yes. That’s Gustaf. Older than Bill, but younger than Alex.

      • Esmom says:

        What? I had no idea there were so many. It’s Hemsworth-esque!

      • cr says:

        @Esmom, Stellan has 8 children, 6 with his first wife, of those all of them tried acting at one point though, Sam became a doctor like his Mom, and Eija does something else entertainment related. Valter acts and is a gamer.
        The youngest two are under 10.

      • Drumpf says:

        Gustaf is the best actor of all the skarsgards. Bills acting in Hemlock Grove is atrocious

    • Yup, Me says:

      I LOVE FLOKI!!! Gustaf does/did such an excellent job in that role.

      This new one has a little piggy face. It’s cute enough. We’ll see what happens with future roles where he’s not completely covered in clown makeup.

  21. Char says:

    He looks like Steve Buscemi in that Interview photo. It’s the eyes.

  22. Kate says:

    There is no way in HELL that I will see this movie. I watched the original with Tim Curry as a child and didn’t sleep for weeks. NO CLOWNS! NO!

  23. Talia says:

    Looks like he is already typecasted: not his first creepy yet strangely attractive role. Check out Hemlock Grove.

  24. Neva_D says:

    Bill is my favorite of the Skarsgards!

  25. Lipreng says:

    I sort of loved him on Hemlock Grove, but his accent was atrocious.

  26. JoJo says:

    I first came across Bill in Hemlock Grove, and I’ll admit it, I ended up loving that show. It was so weird, it ended up being one of those “so bad it’s good” shows for me (and it did have its moments of actually being good.) I might watch the whole series again at some point. I liked Bill in it, but then, it really doesn’t take much to get me to watch any of the tall Swedes like the Skarsdards and Joel Kinneman, etc.

  27. lucy2 says:

    I will not be watching It, because hell no to scary clowns, but Atomic Blonde looks really good.

  28. Aerohead21 says:

    Hemlock Grove was good because of Bill’s acting – though the accent was bad. He was easy on the eyes for sure. And yeah, he gives me the vibe that he can be an ass.

  29. Blackbetty says:

    I have never seen this guy in anything before. But I sure want to now. I think he’s features are more interesting than Alex’s. I can’t believe this hot guy was under All that Pennywise make up!!!

  30. Marianne says:

    I totally understand the guilt of making millions of dollars when someone who actually saves lives doesn’t……but the amount an actor makes is fair when you think about how much money a movie rakes in.