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Tilda Swinton Was Considered to Play Pennywise in STEPHEN KING’S IT

Tilda Swinton Was Considered to Play Pennywise in STEPHEN KING’S IT

There’s something otherworldly and defiantly androgynous about acclaimed English actress Tilda Swinton that makes us think she could pull off just about any role. And we’re not alone. While on the set visit for New Line’s creepy adaptation of Stephen King‘s IT, we discovered that Swinton was even considered for the role of the child-murdering clown Pennywise (A.K.A. Bob Gray).

Director Andrés Muschietti and his producing partner and sister Barbara Muschietti looked far and wide when trying to cast their creepy clown. “We auditioned literally hundreds of potential Bob Grays or Pennywises,” Barbara told us, “And it was an amazing process. We got to audition people that don’t audition anymore and a huge gamut of talent; women, younger age, older age, we really went through the spectrum of actors.”

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One reporter joked, asking if Tilda Swinton was approached, perhaps because the actress had surprised Marvel fans when she won the role of Doctor Strange‘s Ancient One, a character in the comics who was Asian and male. To our collective surprise, Barbara said, “She wasn’t available.”

The room of reporters broke into a chuckle, but Barbara went on, “No, no I swear to God.” The Muschiettis had actually inquired about Swinton’s schedule. “We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn’t available, so she didn’t even audition,” Barbara said, “But of course, we all thought about her.”

Tilda Swinton Okja

“I was basically hoping for someone who would surprise me in any way,” Andrés said in a separate interview of the wide net search. And it was handsome 26-year-old Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård who surprised the Muschiettis.

“Bill came in and blew our socks off,” Barbara remembered. “Because he was doing his very own interpretation of Pennywise, very erudite…very very familiar with the novel and with Pennywise in the novel, which for us was a huge help, because we went in the casting process with the book in mind.”

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“I saw a lot of people,” Andrés admitted of the audition process, “but there was very few, a small short list, and Bill was on top of it.”

Better luck next time, Tilda.

Would you like to have seen Tilda Swinton play Pennywise?

Images: New Line, Marvel, Netflix

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