Starting the clown nightmares young

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September 10, 2019 at 02:07 AM EDT

It’s usually good advice not to take your work home with you, especially if your job is to play a murderous clown.

But on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, It Chapter Two star Bill Skarsgård revealed that he’s brought his terrifying character, Pennywise the Dancing Clown, home to watch over his little girl.

“I’ve gotten a bunch of … fun merch and stuff throughout the years, so her little baby room is just filled with Pennywise teddy bears,” the Swedish actor said to laughs (and some gasps) from the audience.

“That’s nice. You’re softening her up,” Colbert responded. Softening her up to nightmares, it seems.

Colbert advised Skarsgård to “never let her see this movie,” which is also good advice. Although to be fair, a Google search of “Pennywise teddy bear” turned up mostly innocuous results, but parents should hope this is one toy that doesn’t come alive when the grownups are away.

Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros.

Skarsgård reprised his role as Pennywise in the It sequel, which debuted Sept. 6. The horror movie, also starring Bill Hader and Jessica Chastain, was the winner at the box office this weekend, bringing $91 million domestically.

The actor also talked about his inspiration for playing Pennywise and the difficult task of filling the “huge clown shoes” left by Tim Curry, who first embodied the iconic Stephen King character in the 1990 miniseries It.

“I draw inspiration from weird stuff. I just like watching these animal documentaries and so forth,” Skarsgård explained. “And as I was preparing the character, I was like, ‘Oh I guess he’s a little bit of a hyena, a little bit of a grizzly bear.’ … Because of the lip, have you ever seen a grizzly bear scream with all the drool?”

Skarsgård also tried to teach Colbert how to do his character’s famously terrifying smile, and while both men nailed it, we hope that’s another thing they keep away from the kids

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