Bill Skarsgård began his twenties as merely the younger brother of Alexander Skarsgård, playing parts in Swedish indies and dressing in an unsettled mix of the bright athletic wear of his teens and the requisite Nordic skinny jeans. He’ll finish the decade as an actor in his own right, crossing over into big-time American movies and adopting the globe-trotting uniform of muted minimalism.
“Until your mid-twenties, you’re still growing up mentally,” he says. “It’s fair to say that there’s a bigger difference between 20 and 25 than between 25 and 40 in terms of who you are, how you relate to your work, and what you want out of it.” With his turn as Pennywise, the demonic clown popping out of sewer grates and terrorising children in this year’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic It, Skarsgård is staking his claim to work that poses a real challenge. And though he’s more sure of who he is and what he wants, he knows it’s far too soon to get comfortable. “Playing Pennywise will change my life and career forever. It’s going to change my path. And who knows where that path might lead me?”
That’s one lesson he’s learned sooner than most of us: never make the mistake of thinking you know where you’re headed. Shearling jacket by Tod’s; jacket, shirt and trousers, all by Brunello Cucinelli.