Ryan Kiera Armstrong is only 12 years old, but already she is well on her way to becoming a veteran of Stephen King movies. This week audiences will get to see her play Charlie McGee in the new remake of Firestarter, but just a few years ago fans will remember that she played Victoria Fuller in IT: Chapter Two. In the 2019 sequel, Armstrong is featured in one of the film’s most horrifying scenes – featuring Victoria getting attacked by Pennywise The Clown (Bill Skarsgård). Now, however, she is playing a character who is quite a bit more powerful, and it sounds like she is itching for a rematch with the monstrous otherworldly entity known at IT.
It was just a few weeks ago that I asked The Stand’s Alexander Skarsgård about what would happen in a battle between Randall Flagg and Pennywise, and recently I found myself with the opportunity to ask a similar question to Ryan Kiera Armstrong. I recently interviewed Armstrong and co-star Zac Efron during the virtual junket for Firestarter, and I asked her how a showdown between Charlie McGee and Pennywise would go down. If she were to place a bet, it would definitely be on the former:
In IT: Chapter Two, Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s Victoria Fuller is an innocent girl who is attending a Little League baseball game with her mother and gets lured under the bleachers trying to catch a firefly. It’s there that she encounters Pennywise The Clown, and while she is hesitant to approach a stranger, IT gets her sympathy by crying about how people make fun of the way it looks. Because Victoria has a large birthmark on her cheek, she can relate to the clown’s woes (which of course, IT is trying to take advantage of). Pennywise tells her that it could simply blow the birthmark away if she were to get a little closer, and when she does, it lunges and kills her.
Firestarter’s Charlie McGee is definitely not Victoria Fuller, though, and would surely handle the situation very differently. Because her parents were involved in a special drug trial when they were in college, Charlie has special psychic gifts – the primary one being the ability to set fires with her mind a.k.a. pyrokinesis. If Pennywise were to approach her not knowing what she can do, it would probably be in quite a lot of trouble.
Zac Efron, who plays Charlie’s dad Andy in Firestarter, is definitely on Team Charlie as well when it comes to a battle between his on-screen daughter and Pennywise. Adding to Ryan Kiera Armstrong’s comments, he said,
To get your own sense of how a Charlie McGee vs. Pennywise fight would go down, you can check out Firestarter when it arrives in theaters and on Peacock this Friday, May 13 (if you don’t already have one, get your Peacock subscription now). In addition to Zack Efron and Ryan Kiera Armstrong, the film also stars Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben, Kurtwood Smith, and Sydney Lemmon.
Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interviews with the filmmakers and stars of Firestarter, and to stay up to date with all of the Stephen King projects that are presently in development, check out our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide. And for a deep dive into the history of adaptations, check out my weekly Adapting Stephen King column.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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