In It: Chapter Two, the now-adult members of the Losers Club return to Derry, Maine, to once again confront the shape-shifting monster best known as Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Twenty-seven years after the events of the previous film, the estranged friends are now jaded adults, and still bear the scars of their childhood traumas. The older Lords are played by a star-studded cast, some of whom have revealed the most entertaining (and difficult) parts of filming It: Chapter Two.
During a press event attended by CBR, Bill Harder (Richie) and Jessica Chastain (Bev) spoke about on-set injuries, working with Skarsgård, and Chastain's least-favorite part of filming.
The movie features more moments of excitement and escape, with Pennywise taking his scares to the next level. While many of the stars have some experience in action-driven productions, Hader is more accustomed to comedic roles. He revealed that, during one scene, "I pulled my groin muscles simply running. I was running away from [Pennywise].
"[Director] Andy [Muschietti] said, 'OK, now run away from the clown!' I turned around and [Jay Roach] is doing barrel rolls, [Isaiah Mustafa] is jumping over and sliding, doing kick-ass things like an action star. [James] McAvoy is finding stuff to jump pirouettes over. And I just turned and went 'ugh!' I pulled a groin muscle and had to have this nice Canadian doctor give me an MRI going, 'Oh, wow, how'd you do that? Oh, running from a clown? That's nice.'"
Part of the appeal of the cast of characters in the first film is its natural charm. That's an element the filmmakers were dedicated to recreating in the sequel with adult actors. But that natural sense of playfulness and comedy took Chastain by surprise. "There are actually two little moments where you can see me... I had a lot of trouble keeping a straight face," she said. "There are many takes, [Muschietti] was saying that editing the film, there was some difficulties because of it. There was a lot of improvisation in this film. You can be prepared to a point, and then someone will say something ridiculous, and it's impossible to keep it together because it's a joke, and I'm not a monster. So while [Muschietti] was editing the movie, there were lots of shots of my character hiding her face."
"I come from that world of sketch comedy," Hader said. "And there's a scene... she does this amazing performance. And when [the cameras were on us], she started doing it again and crying. I'd go over to her and go 'you're not on camera,' like I'm the world's laziest actor. 'The camera isn't on you, what is that?' And she said, 'I'm trying to give you something to act with!' She's busting her ass to make us look good, and I'm like, 'duh, but why?' She's really bringing it."
One sequence, however, wasn't a personal favorite for Chastain. Late in the film, there's a moment where Bev is caught in a rising pool of blood. It's a grisly scene that was even worse to film. "There's no way to really prepare for it, because there's no way to know what it's going to be like," she explained. "We had done a rehearsal with water. But water was a lot thinner than the material, whatever liquid they used. And there's visibility with water.
"So it's kind of the fear of, when it fills up and I go under, no one can see me if something... and it was kind of deep. So you have those little fears. But I had said to [Muschietti] and [Executive Producer Barbara Muschietti] before we did it, I said, "I'm happy to do it. The only thing that will make me super happy at the end is, when I'm finished and you guys call wrap, I want you guys in white T-shirts and I'm going to give you guys a bear hug and we're going to take a photo of it.'"
It only got worse for Chastain as it continued, as she revealed that "what I didn't understand, I thought that the blood would magically disappear because it was in her imagination, so I just imagined when the scene was over, she'd be back to being normal Beverly. But [Muschietti], because he loves to torture me, dressed me in blood for the whole end of the film. Which was probably the most miserable part... before every take, they had a kiddie pool filled with [the blood], and they had to pour it on me."
Laughing with the other members of the cast, Hader recalled how "[we] would be off in a corner and [the crew] would be like, 'all right, we're almost ready. We've got to take Jessica in the back to put the blood on her.' And we would be sitting there, and then you would hear them splash it on Jessica and then you would [hear] Jessica [shivering]. That was our signal to get on our marks because we were about to shoot."
Despite working on a movie that heavily features a magical murder clown, Hader revealed that filming the movie "wasn't that scary." Asked if co-star Bill Skarsgård, had ever tried to mess with Hader in-character Pennywise, Hader pointed out that "he can't really do that to us. Because we'd be like, 'Bill, what are you doing? Buddy, don't do that.'" However, Chastain was quick to admit that "[Skarsgård] got me at the read-through. I didn't really know him that well and we all showed up, we were all meeting each other for the first time.
"It was a room full of like fifty people and all the Warner Brothers executives were there. So, we were all playing it cool, and [Skarsgård] was sitting on my right. We started a scene, and I guess I'm a jumpy person because in the middle of a scene he got in my face and went, 'boo!' And I screamed because I wasn't expecting it to happen."
IT: Chapter Two stars Bill Skarsgård, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Jay Ryan, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Teach Grant, Jess Weixler, Will Beinbrink, Xavier Dolan, Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff and Nicholas Hamilton.