Going up against bullies and a killer clown may not be easy, but when it comes to starring in the film adaptation of one of Stephen King's most beloved novels, the kids of "IT" might make it out just fine. Cast members Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis, Chosen Jacobs, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and Wyatt Oleff drop by BUILD Series to discuss the highly anticipated horror flick of the season.
"I guess when we first started, we were a little anxious just because most people go 'The miniseries! The miniseries,' and so all of us were kind of scared to live up to it," says Finn Wolfhard who plays the nerdy motor mouth, Richie Tozier. When asked about working on a project with an eerie atmosphere similar to his show "Stranger Things," he responds with, "I think it was weird because Stranger Things was a lot based off of 'IT,' so it all came full circle."
One of the best aspects the movie has to offer is the performance of Bill Skarsgård who does a phenomenal job making Pennywise scarier than ever before. The cast shares their experience working with Skarsgård.
"It was really exciting because when I first saw him, I was like 'this guy is going to scare a lot of people.' This gave us a lot of relief because we didn't know if it was going to be good or not," says Jeremy Ray Taylor who played the role of Ben Hanscom.
"When the first picture was released, everybody really didn't like. They were like, 'oh no this is going to suck.' And that really bummed us out, but we kind of forgot it because it was the best summer of our lives and it was fun, and I don't think anybody could've ruin that summer for us."
Wolfhard recalls how Skarsgård tried to stay in character during filming. "He did it once or twice. We have this battle scene towards the end, and he tried to psych before the scene, and he went "SCREAM! EVERYBODY SCREAM," and I was like 'no.'" Sophia Lillis who plays Beverley Marsh adds, "It was a really awkward situation."
For a film that was in development for nearly a decade, the cast call to mind their audition process and securing the role. Lillis reminisces "I auditioned over a year ago because we had a different director [Cary Fukunaga] and somehow it didn't work out, so I auditioned again a year later because the new director [Andy Muschietti] saw my tape, so I got a callback and met these guys."
"I had the same situation about two years ago, and my mom and I decided I didn't want to do it because I'm actually [a] year younger than everyone else," says Wyatt Oleff who plays Stanley Uris. "So we went 'Well maybe not.' But it rolled around again a year later and we decided this time we should go. I originally went for Jaeden's role Bill, and I guess Andy just saw me as Stanley, so I went back in as Stanley, and then I met in with him and the rest of history."
Wolfhard recollects his audition process explaining how he landed the same role twice. "I auditioned for Richie when it was under the other director and I got it. I was like, 'yes my first movie!' But then the director dropped out because there was a lot of controversy with that, which allowed me to do 'Stranger Things.' Then after I wrapped 'Stranger Things,' they were like 'IT' is coming back with a new director. Do you want to audition again?' They didn't know who I was either and they didn't ask me to. It was like a coincidence and I got it again."
Taylor, on the other hand, had it very simple. "I did a tape audition and I got the role. That's all I did." And finally Chosen Jacobs who plays Mike Hanlon said, "First I went in for Beverley, but they said I didn't fit the description so I don't know. Then I went back for Mike and I guess they liked what I did and now I'm here with you all."
Since the story of "IT" is divided into two parts where the second half takes place 27 years after the events of the first, the cast responded on who would they would cast to play as the future versions of themselves for the sequel. Taylor would want Chris Pratt to play the future version of Ben, Wolfhard would want Bill Hader to be Richie, Jacobs hopes for Chadwick Boseman, Wyatt would want Joseph Gordon Levitt "if he grows out his hair," and Willis hopes for Jessica Chastain who previously worked with the director Andy Muschietti on his previous film "Mama" which released in 2013.
New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," directed by Andrés Muschietti ("Mama"), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
"IT" hits theaters everywhere September 8th.