Bill Skarsgård seems like a pleasant enough person, but we don’t want to see him smile any more than he has to. Clown makeup or not, he’s really good at being super creepy at it. And on “The Late Show” Monday, Skarsgård managed to teach Stephen Colbert how to look just as freaky.
The “It Chapter Two” actor demonstrated how to do Pennywise’s smile and practically dragged Colbert down a storm drain in the process. That curled, drooped lip and lupine points to his teeth isn’t just makeup, that’s all Skarsgård. Colbert’s wasn’t bad either.
Skarsgård had to figure out how to play Pennywise without doing a copy of Tim Curry’s iconic, campy performance in the original “It” TV movie. He had, quite literally, “big shoes to fill.” And he looked to nature documentaries of all places as an entry point into Pennywise.
“As I was playing the character, I guess I realized he’s a little bit hyena, a little bit grizzly bear,” he said. “Because of the lip. Have you ever seen a grizzly bear scream with all the drool?”
Skarsgård is the son of actor Stellan Skarsgård and brother to actor Alexander Skarsgård, and though they joked that he’s also related to Peter Sarsgaard, Colbert noted that Bill Skarsgård looks most like another actor, Steve Buscemi.
“I’ve heard it my whole life,” Skarsgård said of being compared to Buscemi. “There’s an Instagram account that’s literally dedicated to the two of us. I take it as a huge compliment, because I think he has one of the best faces in the business.”
Check out the clip of Skarsgård on Colbert above. “It Chapter Two” is in theaters now.