Bill Skarsgard is best known for his role on Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, but the actor has landed a part that could change his career. The fourth child of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard and the brother of Alexander Skarsgard plays Pennywise The Clown in Warner Bros.’ new adaption of Stephen King’s It. The studio released the first trailer for the film on March 29.
It opens on September 8, 2017.
Here’s what you need to know about Skarsgard.
1. Skarsgard Is Dating Alida Morberg
However, it appears that Skarsgard’s fans figured out that her name is Alida Morberg. The two were seen at the premiere for The Divergent Series: Allegient in March 2016. According to her Facebook page, Morberg lives in Stockholm.
Morberg is an actress, appearing in the films Sensoria (2015) and Insane (2010).
2. He Wasn’t the First Choice to Play Pennywise
It, which comes from Warner Bros.’ New Line label, went through high-profile creative shakeups on its way to the big screen. Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation) was supposed to direct it, but he left over creative differences. When Fukuaga was still attached, Will Poulter (We’re The Millers, The Revenant) was supposed to play Pennywise. Poulter had to drop out when the film was delayed.
In June 2016, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Skarsgard would play Pennywise The Clown, who terrorizes a small Maine town. Tim Curry played the role in the 1990 miniseries based on King’s novel.
“It’s such an extreme character. Inhumane,” Skarsgård told Entertainment Weekly of his role. “It’s beyond even a sociopath, because he’s not even human. He’s not even a clown. I’m playing just one of the beings It creates.”
After Fukunaga quit, Andres Muschietti (Mama) took over in the director’s chair. Fukunaga still gets a co-writer credit on the film.
3. He’s a Member of the Famous Skarsgard Acting Family That Includes Stellan & Alexander
Skarsgard is a member of the famous Skarsgard acting family. His father is Sellan Skarsgard and his mother is Stellan Skarsgard’s first wife, My Sonja Marie Agnes. His brothers Alexander, Gustaf, Sam and Valter have also become actors. His other siblings are Ossian, Kolbjorn and Eija. Osian and Kolbjorn are his half-brothers, from his father’s marriage to Megan Everett.
His older brother Alexander is easily the most famous of the Skarsgard children. Alexander stars in HBO’s Big Little Lies and also appeared in True Blood.
In an interview with Hero Magazine conducted by his father, Skarsgard said that he sees Gustaf and Ossian the most.
“Gustaf and Oss – yeah,” he told his father when asked if he sees his siblings in Los Angeles. “I had a BBQ here in my little house I’m renting with Brian McGreevy who actually wrote Hemlock Grove – we’re roomies in Los Angeles. We a had little BBQ to celebrate Landon, who you met Dad – he was in the show… Landon Liboiron. He was supposed to come to LA. But he didn’t show because he had two auditions.”
His father also asked Skarsgard why he chose to go into the acting business, since he wanted to travel for a year after graduating school. He even majored in science while in high school. He didn’t want to be seen as an actor who’s only successful because of who his family is.
“The main reason why I didn’t really pursue acting early was because I thought people would say, ‘Yeah OK, here comes another one, he’s been fed on a silver plate of course he’s an actor,'” Skarsgard told Hero. “That’s something I still struggle with because I’ve done four leads in Sweden – you can make the argument that I am the most established for my age in Sweden – and still every time I do an interview they always ask, ‘So Bill, do you really want to be an actor.’”
4. He Played Roman Godfrey on Netflix’s ‘Hemlock Grove’
Skarsgard spent his early career in Sweden, starring in White Water Fury, Arn: The Knight Templar, Simple Simon and Simon & The Oaks.
In 2012, he appeared in Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, which led to his role as Roman Godfrey in the Netflix horror series Hemlock Grove. The show ran for three seasons from 2013 to 2015.
In a 2013 interview with Collider, Skarsgard explained the character he plays:
I play Roman Godfrey, who’s a son of the Godfrey family. Basically the Godfrey family runs Hemlock Grove town; they used to do it throughout the steel industry, but then my dad on the show decided to change that. When the steel industry was going out, he started investing in biotechnology, so it’s an old steel town that’s now very weird high tech. It has a grungy Pennsylvania look to it, but in the middle of this town there’s a huge white tower where all of this biotechnology is happening. So my character is from that background.
Netflix kept Hemlock Grove alive for three seasons, pulling the plug in 2015. In an interview with Variety that year, Eli Roth teased a future for the show somewhere, but it’s never been revived.
5. Andres Muschietti Tried to Keep the Child Actors in ‘It’ As Far From Skarsgard as Possible During Filming
It director Andres Muschietti attended SXSW in March 2016 to give audiences a preview of the film. As JoBlo reports, Muschietti praised Skarsgard’s performance as Pennywise.
“What I can tell you is that he is terrifying, and there was a lot of work involved in bringing a new version of that character to life. The work I did with Bill Skarsgård was great, and he was amazing and a very impressive, talented, sweet young man,” Muschietti said.
The director also said at SXSW that he tried to keep the child actors in It away from Skarsgard during filming for as long as possible. That way, he really freaked them out when he showed up on the set in full costume.
“We tried to keep Bill away from the kids as much as possible, and there’s of course that first moment of confrontation, but I tried to delay that as much as possible,” Muschietti said at SXSW. “He was with them for the read-through, but then that was it, and all the kids were like, ‘It’s okay, he’s not going to scare us,’ but that first day he got onto the stage, they fucking freaked out. I can’t even describe how scary he looked in person.”
It also stars Finn Wolfhard, Javier Botet, Nicholas Hamilton, Megan Charpentier, Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis.