James McAvoy on Standing Next to Pennywise: 'I Don't Like Being Here'

Oh hey there, Pennywise.
Image: Warner Bros.

Gonna have to agree with my fellow James here. I would also not like arriving at work and being immediately placed next to a petrifying killer clown.

Appearing on Good Morning America recently, McAvoy discussed his time on the set of It: Chapter 2. And while Bill Skarsgård was more than happy to hang out with the grown-ups this time around, the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual on McAvoy’s behalf at first—because having to come up against Skarsgård’s creepy take on Pennywise led to the actor having to face his own coulrophobia:

He’s amazing. [Skarsgård] is terrifying. He’s a lovely guy, and yet he really freaked me out. I remember standing there with the rest of the cast, all these adults, and we’d all done weird, freaky stuff. And we are all looking at each other going, ‘I don’t like being here. I don’t like being an actor today.’

He really did, he really freaked me out. I never liked clowns as a kid.

The clown talk starts around 5:20 if you want to hear it for yourself:

Poor guy. At least you’ll know that when Bill and the rest of the grown-up Losers’ Club confront Pennywise in Chapter 2, not all of the fear on McAvoy’s face will be acting.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!