Whether you know it or not, we are living in the age of Skarsgård. Showing a photo to guest Bill Skarsgård on Monday’s Late Show of father Stellan and brother Alexander, Stephen Colbert only touched the tip of the Skarsgård iceberg, leaving out younger brother Valter and everyone’s favorite Viking holy fool, Gustaf. (There are even more Skarsgård siblings who haven’t gone into acting… yet.) Still, the outwardly amiable Bill gave Colbert a pass, even shouting out older brother Gustaf for coming up with the unnerving lip portion of Bill’s Pennywise the clown’s pants-wetting visage. (That eye thing is all Bill, however.)
And while It Chapter Two is receiving similarly so-so reviews to Andy Muschietti’s first installment in this two-film adaptation of Stephen King’s infamous breeze-block of a horror novel, Skarsgård and company can take comfort in the sequel taking the top spot at the box office last week. (While unanimously praised movie-stealer Bill Hader no doubt remains characteristically humble about the whole thing.) Still, Skarsgård was as charming and disarming as an unmasked 6-foot-5 clown-demon can be, gamely admitting that he follows the Instagram account dedicated to comparing his sleepy-eyed mug to Steve Buscemi’s and that he’s bemused at people’s assumption that Peter Sarsgaard is somehow a long-lost Skarsgård, and telling Colbert that he hit the nature documentaries to come up with just the right combination of predators upon which to base Pennywise’s boogeyman physicality. (Hyena and grizzly bear, if you’re wondering.) Showing Colbert how his naturally lazy eyes and ability to turn his lower lip into a drool-catching rain gutter transforms his amiable (if Buscemi-like) countenance into a flesh-toned mask of pure nightmare fuel in an instant, Skarsgård attempted to teach the Pennywise look to Colbert, who… sort of got there. Colbert’s no Skarsgård (who got gasps from Colbert’s audience when he turned on the clown), but he gave it a shot.