Add “startles easily” and “nervous smiler” next to “emotionally intelligent” under the Bill Hader entry in the proverbial book of reluctant internet boyfriends. While It Chapter Two topped the weekend box office, a series of behind-the-scenes snapshots from the set of the Stephen King horror sequel rose in the ranks of the Twitter meme economy.
The candid photos appear to show Bill Hader, who plays the all-grown-up version of Finn Wolfhard’s character Richie, palling around on set with Bill Skarsgård, in full Pennywise regalia. Then, so the story goes, Skarsgård moves his eyes in two different directions, freaking gentle, sweet Hader out and making him run away. The moment has already been meme’d aplenty, on account of Hader’s gleefully expressive terror and the joy of seeing Pennywise just joshin’ around.
It’s also definitely based on a true story. During a Conan appearance back in January, Hader addressed the photo of him and Skarsgård clowning around after Conan O’Brien brought it up:
When he’s playing that character, it is terrifying. Like he’ll be talking about … we were probably talking about music or movies or whatever, and the minute they say ‘action’ he’s so terrifying. And he can do, I go, how do they do that thing in the first movie, where your eye kinda goes out? Pennywise, I don’t know if you saw the movie, but when he senses something, he kinda goes like [insert Bill Hader doin’ his darndest Pennywise impression here], you know, and his eyes kinda go like that? And I go, ‘Is that a digital thing?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, you mean this?’ And he did it! I was like aaaaah! Aaaah!
Hader also added that It Chapter Two was hard for him to film because — get this, stan accounts — he smiles when he’s scared. Aw!