How Bill Skarsgård Found Pennywise's Voice For IT


The very first images released from IT of the titular monster, Pennywise, didn't exactly scare the pants off of anyone. However, that demon clown is a lot scarier when he's actually moving around the screen and biting limbs off, creating one of this year's top horror villains. Pennywise doesn't just look terrifying, either; he's got an extremely unsettling voice that gives you goosebumps. Bill Skarsgård went through a lot to bring his version of Pennywise to life, but finding the voice was key to nailing the character. Here's what Skarsgård said:

Something I found disturbing was that I wanted Pennywise to feel entirely unpredictable at every moment, and also his voice doesn't have a predictable way of sounding. It can go kind of up and down and crackle, you can go really high pitch and low pitch, even in the same sentence. I wanted it to be sort of colorful in that way. It can be soft and it can be whispery and it can be alluring, then it crackles and breaks a lot of times. He's not entirely there, you know?

As a viewer, you're never quite sure what's going to happen when Pennywise is on screen. He just stand there staring creepily, or appear in a projection, and then try to jump off of the screen as a giant and eat some kids. It's a wild and unpredictable movie from director Andy Muschietti, but you can't forget to give credit to Bill Skarsgård for suiting up every day and throwing his all into playing a supernatural clown monster. Half of selling Pennywise is his voice, a really unsettling high pitch that can go deeper in an instant.

That voice needed to be able to sell the unpredictability of Pennywise, according to Bill Skarsgård, who told Entertainment Weekly all about how he built his performance for IT. It wasn't enough to just look the part; the voice had to be there too. I think we can all agree that Skarsgård totally nailed that part. Anytime Pennywise appears on screen, you just have no idea what's going to happen. That's what helps make IT so scary, and likely played a big part in helping to make IT the highest grossing horror movie ever.

You can relive Bill Skarsgård's performance as Pennywise the Dancing Clown in IT, which is on Digital right now. The DVD and Blu-Ray hit store shelves on January 9, 2018. IT has a sequel on the way, so be sure to stick with CinemaBlend and we'll be sure to keep you updated on new information as soon as it is available. For movies hitting theaters in the new year, check out our 2018 movie release guide.

Matt Wood

Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.