Even if you haven’t seen the new It movie (currently smashing records at the box office), chances are you’ve seen an image of its terrifying monster: Pennywise the Dancing Clown. With red lips in a bloody upturned smile, horrifying yellow buckteeth, and a menacing “come closer so I can murder you” glare, Pennywise is the stuff of nightmares even before he actually gets to the murdering. Since Tim Curry’s 1990 rendition of the character, he’s the primary archetype for our cultural fear of clowns, and Bill Skarsgard has taken up that metaphorical baton with a version of the character more than equal in its visceral horror.
But there’s something even scarier about Skarsgard’s updated Pennywise: what he looks like out of makeup.
Because Bill Skarsgard is a babe. He is a genuine, bona fide hunk. Bill Skarsgard is six feet, four inches of doe-eyed, soft-lipped, marble-skinned, let-me-play-you-a-love-song-I-wrote-on-piano-and-also-I’m-fluent-in-four-languages sexy. The last name should have given him away — he’s Swedish (a nation of tall, attractive, blonde people by law), and he’s brothers with Big Little Lies‘ Alexander Skarsgard. But no amount of intellectual preparation will keep your brain from bleeding when you realize you kind of want to hook up with a murder clown.
So what should you do?
Go see Bill in Atomic Blonde, and then rewatch all of True Blood for some more Skarsgard goodness. Watch Bill’s appearances on late-night shows and pretend he’s promoting a different movie, maybe one about a prince who falls in love with a girl he follows on Twitter or something. Google pictures of Bill Skarsgard and pretend he’s your European boyfriend that you met while you were abroad in college who always wears a scarf and taught you how to order a coffee in Swedish. Denial, denial, denial.
And if that doesn’t work, I guess lean into your new clown fetish. Have you tried becoming a juggalo?