Hulu’s upcoming Stephen King-inspired horror series Castle Rock is intended to scare and unsettle fans, but it might also arouse them. Actor Bill Skarsgård plays a creepy, nearly mute young man found in the bowels of the Shawshank prison, but many fans think he’s hot, despite (or because of) his deathly stare. Many of those same fans also thought that Pennywise the Dancing Clown from It was hot, in part because it was still Skarsgård underneath that makeup. So, Inverse asked the Castle Rock showrunners to settle things once and for all.
It’s a worthy question. After It premiered, several fans posted phrases like “make me float daddy,” expressing an attraction to not just the actor but the cannibalistic child-murdering demon-clown he played. When the latest Castle Rock trailer came out, fans got another chance to see a de-clowned Skarsgård. Mashable called Skarsgård “hot Satan,” while we at Inverse said he looks like he was grown in a lab by Tim Burton, but in a good way.
In a Wednesday phone interview, showrunners Sam Shaw and Dustin Thomason played a little game of hot or not, offering their takes on how hot Pennywise, Skarsgård’s nameless Castle Rock character, and the real-life actor are.
“I’m really partial to strong silent types,” Thomason said of Skarsgård’s Castle Rock character. “And so, for me, I find inexplicable mystery and haunting eyes without too much dialogue at the beginning to be quite hot.”
Shaw would not have swiped right on Pennywise the Dancing Clown, though.
“I tend not to be super interested in partners who wear a lot of makeup,” he said, gamely. “Sort of more of a natural beauty kind of dude, so Pennywise doesn’t really rev my engine, but that may be a personal taste sort of measure.”
As for Skarsgård himself, Shaw said there’s no question about the 27-year-old actor.
“Having attended New York Comic Con with Bill, and seeing a crowd of autograph hunters chase him down as if he was a long-lost Beatle, I’m pretty sure that the universe has decided objectively that Bill is hot,” Shaw said. “And, who are we to argue with the universe?”
Castle Rock premieres on Hulu on July 25, so fans will get a chance to decide for themselves if Skarsgård’s character is hot or if he’s the goddamn devil personified, freed from prison. Or, you know, maybe it’s both.
Stay tuned for more from Inverse’s interview with the Castle Rock showrunners next week.