A big reason why I’m so enamored by Stephen King‘s Pennywise is because it’s not one clear-cut thing. Pennywise isn’t a slasher with a knife you can run from; it’s a shapeshifting entity that targets its victim’s worst fears. As we see in the novel It and now in Andy Muschietti‘s movies, one’s biggest fear changes over the years. Perhaps it’s something that doesn’t truly exist like Stan’s Flute Lady or maybe it’s a very real, tangible fear like abusive relationships in Bev’s life.
The horror of Pennywise is that there’s seemingly endless possibilities. Will it target my fear of bees or something internal and far darker, like a fear of failure? It’s something I’ve thought about quite a bit since first reading the novel so wanted to pose that question to It Chapter Two stars Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Isaiah Mustafa and Andy Bean at the film’s press day, but with a unique spin on it. While talking to TotalFilm about the upcoming Joker movie, Joaquin Phoenix said the following about fear:
“I always say there’s motivating fear and debilitating fear. There’s the fear where you cannot make a fucking step, and there’s the kind where it’s like, ‘OK, what do we do? That’s not good enough.’ And you’re digging deeper and deeper. I love that kind of fear. It guides us, makes us work harder.”
This felt especially applicable to the epic battle between Pennywise and The Losers Club, so I asked the cast to name one thing Pennywise might turn into scare them and also one motivating fear that might help them get the better of the infamous dancing clown. Check out the video at the top of this article to hear their answers. And, in case you missed it, click here to find out who they’d fan-cast as the “old Losers” and here for my full chat with Muschietti.
It Chapter Two hits theaters nationwide on September 6th.
Here’s the official synopsis for IT Chapter Two:
Because every 27 years evil revisits the town of Derry, Maine, “IT CHAPTER TWO” brings the characters—who’ve long since gone their separate ways—back together as adults, nearly three decades after the events of the first film. James McAvoy (“Split,” upcoming “Glass”) stars as Bill, Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Mama”) as Beverly, Bill Hader (HBO’s “Barry,” “The Skeleton Twins”) as Richie, Isaiah Mustafa (TV’s “Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments”) as Mike, Jay Ryan (TV’s “Mary Kills People”) as Ben, James Ransone (HBO’s “The Wire”) as Eddie, and Bill Skarsgård returning in the seminal role of Pennywise. Andy Bean (“Allegiant,” Starz’ “Power”) plays Stanley, and reprising their roles as the original members of the Losers Club are Jaeden Martell as Bill, Wyatt Oleff as Stanley, Sophia Lillis as Beverly, Finn Wolfhard as Richie, Jeremy Ray Taylor as Ben, Chosen Jacobs as Mike, and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie.