"Up until the novel of 'It' there wasn’t a collective fear of clowns"
With a career-making performance as Pennywise the clown, Bill Skarsgård has become immediately synonymous with the terrifying clown. The actor responds to the association and the recent scary clown epidemic.
Following the ‘killer’ clown craze last year where creepy red-nosed entertainers were cropping up in strange places seemingly out of nowhere, our collective fear of clowns is at an all-time high.
Speaking to NME about taking the role of actual-killer clown Pennywise in the reboot of Stephen King’s ‘It’, Bill Skarsgård revealed his relationship with the scary clown association.
Read more: ‘It’ – Film Review
“The clown thing is strange… I found this documentary”, the actor begins, “It stressed that up until the novel of It there wasn’t a collective fear of clowns… Then this book was released and it really changed how everybody viewed clowns. “
“If you look at the depiction of scary clowns in films, you don’t really see any prior to It. Then in the late ’90s they started popping up all over the place.”
Skarsgård concludes: “Certainly this movie’s not going to help these poor professional clowns who are just trying to entertain kids”, which is actually true, as reported by real life clowns.
Watch the trailer for ‘It’ below
Elsewhere in our interview, Skarsgård revealed that Tim Curry’s original performance single-handedly traumatised one of his best friends: “You could make him have a panic attack when he was 15 just by talking to him about clowns”
Read more: 11 of the scariest creepy clowns ever
Skarsgård also revealed how isolating it was being the only adult actor on set, also one that had to be kept separate from the cast in order to maintain suspense: “My co-workers were all kids and they got really tight and became best friends on the shoot… while I felt really isolated and lonely”
Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, the specialised cinema is hosting clown-only screenings of ‘It’.
Read the full NME interview with Bill Skarsgård here.