Bill Skarsgard Says Pennywise In Stephen King’s ‘IT’ Is Not Real [Video]

Bill Skarsgard Says Pennywise In Stephen King’s ‘IT’ Is Not Real [Video]

Stephen King’s IT is only a couple of days away, but there is a new twist in the legendary tale that might have fans freaking out a little bit, especially if you have not read the book. To put it mildly, we now question whether the whole story is just a dream-like sequence of events or are they products of the character’s imaginations.

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Bill Skarsgard sat down for a roundtable interview and Michael Klug over at Horror Freak News was in attendance to get his responses to various questions. But there was one question in particular that really stood out above the rest.

The question posed to Bill Skarsgard about Stephen King’s IT was simple: “What was the psychology of Pennywise?”

Now for most people who have been anxiously waiting over a year for Stephen King’s IT to come out, this is the kind of question that could essentially spoil a movie for a fan. Skarsgard could not simply come out and say something like “he was a killer of children,” or that Pennywise is “an alien entity that takes the form of a person’s worst fears.” But for those who have read the books, we already know that.

No, Bill Skarsgard had to be really careful with how he answered that question because even though Stephen King’s IT is based on the novel of the same name, it will be setting itself apart from the novel and the ABC mini-series. So he answered it with some vague, yet very revealing details.

“After I booked the job – we had like 10 days or something before we started shooting,” Bill Skarsgard responded. “I need to go through this 1200 page book! But I also had that whole stage before I tried the make-up on – it was just me intellectualizing the character. ‘What was the psychology behind him? How does he function, how does he work? Why does he work? Why is he even around? Does he even exist, apart from in the imagination of kids?’ This whole thing – almost existential things that is very true in the book if you read it. And then once I get the make-up on, now I need to embody this thing and this is the third and final stage of the process.”

Bill Skarsgard posed a very interesting question that makes me as a fan of Stephen King’s IT wonder if Andy Muschietti approached the film with that in mind. In the book, it was really a question that was up for debate. But there is a distinct possibility that Pennywise in Stephen King’s IT really does not exist, but rather is the product of an overactive imagination fueled by a collective of children who were trying to make sense of a cruel world.

What we know for sure is that in Stephen King’s IT novel, after the kids finish their work in Derry at their young age, they all left the town for different lives when they grew up. After leaving town, it was only Mike Hanlon who stuck around, sort of as a gatekeeper, to make sure that Pennywise didn’t come back. They had all made pacts to come back if he did, so Mike beared the sole burden of scrambling his warriors in the event of his reemergence.

As all fans of Stephen King’s IT know, Pennywise did come back – 27 years later. But when Mike made the calls, know one remembered what had happened. It was like it had been erased from their minds, except for Mike.

So that could essentially mean that the whole story, including the character of Pennywise, could have been the product of Mike’s imagination. The story itself could have been something that The Losers Club participated in, maybe because Mike had been sick, or something like that.

Now I know this is a bit of conspiracy theory and those reading this could be scratching their heads right now, wondering if I’m off my meds, but there needs to be an overpowering residual difference between the two previous variations of Stephen King’s IT in order for the movie to be successful. Otherwise, it will just end up like Psycho with Vince Vaughn on the cover.

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No matter what, go see Stephen King’s IT this Friday when it opens in theaters nationwide. There is a good chance that you will be surprised.

[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]

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About Nick Younker 161 Articles
Nick Younker has spent over fifteen years working in the local and national media. After transitioning from television to online journalism, he honed in on his lifelong love of horror entertainment and blended it with his unique abilities as a writer. He is the father of two gifted children and has spent most of his life in southern Indiana, excluding 3 years in Atlanta while working with Turner Entertainment. You can catch up with him on Twitter at @NYounker, or on his website,, where he publishes his daily news articles about updates in the horror, sci-fi and entertainment industry.

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