Bill Skarsgård Drove Around Hollywood as Pennywise The Clown

Bill Skarsgård didn’t go full method when auditioning for It, but he did leave his clown makeup on while driving around afterwards.

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

When we look back on the 2010s, the decade will probably be described as “confusing” at best. For example, remember that summer when clowns were popping up everywhere and terrorizing everyone in their path? And then the following year a remake of a Stephen King classic called It landed in theaters and everyone was obsessed with Pennywise The Clown once they realized he was played by Bill Skarsgård?

People were thirsting for the face behind the made up mask of a homicidal clown, and no one thought anything of it. Surely there must have also been a spike in usage of the “clown face” emoji. And feel free to perform your own cursory search of “pennywise the clown hot” in Twitter’s search bar if you don’t remember. Skarsgård, the youngest in a family of performers, seemed to lap it all up at the time.

Now, he is further commenting on his transformation into the “hot clown” while also giving some notes on the nature of acting and being celebrity in Hollywood, in his cover interview for CR Men. “In America, stars are taught to say they are boring, but they don’t expect us to believe them,” he told the magazine, then followed up with some other lightly eccentric bon mots, like “Acting is a very expensive way of letting that inner child play again,” and “[I’m] a bit strange but definitely not an outsider.”

And if the way he transformed into the hot clown in the first installment of It (the sequel starring Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy premieres next month) is any indication of his personality, he is anything but boring, and probably telling the truth when he says he is “a bit strange.” He didn’t go full method for the role, Skarsgård took his performance far enough that he slathered on that scary white clown makeup—with an exaggerated red lip and hollowed out eyebrows—while riding around Hollywood after he had just finished his second audition for the role of Pennywise The Clown. But Skarsgård wasn’t interested in pushing forward the trend of terrorizing the locals, he was just participating in what he calls “a metaphor for what the profession of acting feels like.” Pagliacci could never.

Now, just reminisce on those 2016 clown sightings. Could one of them have been Skarsgård in clown drag? Did he carry the red balloon, too? And now that we’re thinking of it, just how much of those clown sightings were It sponcon in the first place, and can we get a makeup tutorial?

Related: Bill Skarsgård’s It Followup is a Stephen King TV Series and It Looks Just as Spooky