Emily speaks to yahoo for the 25th anniversary of IT — Back to Derry: An Oral History of ‘Stephen King’s It’

SKIT (246)

Here’s to us, cherry picking Emily’s comments for everyone! The full article and other cast members comments are here

Emily Perkins: I was only 13 at the time I auditioned to play young Beverly, so I hadn’t read the book. But I’d already done a movie that was [a little scary], based on a true story about a mom who shot her kids. I thought it was fun having corn syrup put on me [as] fake blood; it was like Halloween. As a kid, I was always sensitive to the dark side of humanity and was sort of looking for undercurrents of tension and stuff. I think the reason that I do so well in auditions for horror films is that when I have to pretend that I’m scared, I really am scared.

Perkins: Tim would sit in his chair chain-smoking in his make-up. Whenever the kid actors got too close, he would grin at us with his horribly pointed teeth. He really tried to intimidate us, because he wanted the fear to be real in our performances. He didn’t make any effort to be nice, at least not to me!

Perkins: The kids hung out together when we weren’t shooting. I remember we went and saw Dick Tracytogether in the theater. I thought the boys were very silly, whereas I thought of myself as very mature. They were always on their Game Boys when they were supposed to be rehearsing. I probably spent the most time with Brandon Crane, who played young Ben. He was a really nice, down to earth guy. Some of the others were more Hollywood kids. I remember that Seth Green was constantly cracking jokes and wanted to have the whole crew laughing. He seemed like a real professional at that point, whereas some of us were just regular kids.

Perkins: I don’t remember having a lot of contact with Annette. If I had spent more time with her, I might have been able to pick up some of her mannerisms and stuff. I remember we had an acting coach who said that we didn’t really need to watch them and that we were similar looking enough that it would work to be playing the same character.

Perkins: I had a huge crush on Jonathan Brandis. He was really cute, and a very nice kid. I remember John Ritter being very funny and really wanting to connect with the kids. Of all the adults, he was the one who really made an effort. I had grown up watching Three’s Company,so I was really starstruck when I met him. I remember him going, “Pull up a chair and come talk with me for awhile.” He was a very kind man.

Perkins: We had to do multiple takes of my scene in the bathroom, when the balloon comes out of the drain. I was really focused on the mechanics of it. They had 10 pairs of pajamas with different amounts of blood spatter on them, and some clean ones in case they had to redo it. It was challenging, blowing up the balloon and having it explode at the right moment. And when you’re filming in a room with 60 people in it, it’s not really all that scary at all. In the next scene, Beverly goes and tells her dad that there was a spider in the sink. So during the bathroom sequence, I pretended that I did see a spider, because for me that would have been scarier than what I actually was seeing.

Perkins: I remember the boys getting together in one of their trailers to read the part about Beverly. They were like, “She doesn’t know!” And I said, “What are you talking about?” And they said, “We all have sex!” I remember feeling really embarrassed. They kind of sprang it on me just to watch my reaction.

Perkins: People see It as an important part of their childhood. I was at a fan convention, Hal-Con, recently and a lot of people wanted to talk about It with me, especially women who really loved Beverly and wanted to be her because they felt like an outcast, and saw her as a character with a lot of strength. Someone made this really beautiful cross-stitch of all the characters and Pennywise and asked me to sign it. That was really beautiful.

O’Toole: I met Emily and I remember that the kids were around a little bit. But our shooting schedules were so different, so there wasn’t a lot of time. Someone pointed out to me that she and I fire Beverly’s slingshot with different hands. For some reason, the left one was the one I pulled back with. That’s really supposed to be the aiming hand, so I did it backwards. It never occurred to me.

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