Bill Skarsgard Teaches Stephen Colbert How to Do Pennywise's Creepy Smile (Video)

“I guess I realized he’s a little bit hyena, a little bit grizzly bear,” “It Chapter Two” actor says on “The Late Show”

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.

9 Fall Horror Movies to Keep You Up All Night, From 'It: Chapter Two' to 'Black Christmas' (Photos)

  • From movies about life-like dolls to terrifying clowns, 2019’s fall movie calendar is packed with horror.

  • Sept. 4: “IT: Chapter Two” 

    After the success of “IT” in 2017, we’re so looking forward to the sequel that will take place 27 years after the Loser Club crossed paths with Pennywise the Clown. 

    New Line

  • Sept. 13: “Haunt” 

    “A Quiet Place” co-writers Bryan Woods and Scott Beck write and direct this one, about a group of friends who visit an “extreme” haunted house on Halloween. 


  • Oct. 18: “The Lighthouse”

    You wouldn’t think a festival favorite starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe would qualify as a horror movie, but it is! The movie follows two lighthouse keepers who live in a remote and mysterious island in the 1890s. 

    Photo by Eric Chakeen

  • Oct. 18: “Zombieland: Double Tap” 

    OK, we know — it’s more of a comedy than a horror film, but it’s still all about the guts and the gore. Woody Harrelson, Emma Roberts, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin return to fight evolved zombies.  


  • Oct. 18: “Eli” 

    October 18 seems to be THE day for horror releases this fall! In Ciaran Foy’s film, a boy receiving treatment for his autoimmune disorder realizes the house he’s in isn’t as safe as he thought. 


  • Nov. 8: “Doctor Sleep” 

    In a sequel to Stephen King’s “The Shining,” a grown-up Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) meets a young girl who houses the same abilities he has — they’re just much stronger, and that’s why she’s being hunted by a cult known as The True Knot. 

    Warner Bros.

  • Nov. 15: “The Lodge” 

    “The Lodge,” by the “Goodnight Mommy” filmmakers, made a splash in January at Sundance. The movie stars Kiley Keough, Richard Armitage and Alicia Silverstone and will make you cringe in fear for days.

    Sundance Institute

  • Dec. 6: “Brahms: The Boy II” 

    “Brahms: The Boy II” is the follow up to 2016’s “The Boy.” This one stars Katie Holmes as a woman whose son makes friends with a life-like doll named Brahms.


  • Dec. 13: “Black Christmas” 

    Blumhouse’s remake of the 1974 horror film of the same stars Cary Elwes, Imogen Poots and Brittany O’Grady and goes old-school horror: A group of friends are stalked by a stranger during their winter break. 


Fall Movie Preview: Scary films are a hot commodity this season

From movies about life-like dolls to terrifying clowns, 2019’s fall movie calendar is packed with horror.

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