On July 26th, Cinedigm is releasing the documentary, Pennywise: The Story of It, chronicling how the famed 1990 miniseries was made. In honor of this, we spoke with one of the actors from the original miniseries, Marlon Taylor, who played the young Mike Hanlon. Below he talks about everything from working with Tim Curry to what he thinks about the reboot!
Pennywise: The Story of It was co-directed by John Campopiano (Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary) and Christopher Griffiths (Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser) and can be found on platforms such as Amazon Prime, Apple and Bloody Disgusting’s streaming service Screambox.
Interview with original IT star/Losers Club Member/Pennywise survivor, Marlon Taylor
1428 ELM: Is it true that Tim Curry scared all the younger actors on set?
MARLON TAYLOR: For me, I only got to work with Tim in the sewers. My character never really had any other interaction with Pennywise. My arch nemesis was really Henry Bowers (Jarred Blancard / Michael Cole). But outside of that when he turned it on It was 110%. He wasn’t scary until the director said “ACTION”. Then it was on (No turning back now).
1428 ELM: What are your thoughts on the newer versions of It, including the Pennywise concept and the new Mike Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs)? What (if anything) did they get right and what (if anything) did they get wrong?
MARLON TAYLOR: I really enjoyed the newer version. I thought that they did an awesome job casting the kids. They had great comradery together. I also liked how they chose different portions of the book to create another version of the story, as well as bring other representations of Pennywise to light. I really enjoyed Chosen’s performance as Mike Hanlon, I think he did a great job.
I wish I was able to see more of him or a little more of his story. I was surprised that they took the historian part of young Mike’s story away from him. I think that would have played a little bit better in part 2, as to why he was still in Derry and continuing to research the entity known as Pennywise. But that’s just me.
Marlon Taylor on The Losers Club vs. Pennywise, young and old
1428 ELM: Have you kept in touch with the “Loser’s Club” actors over the years?
MARLON TAYLOR: With the resurgence of the new version, we started being asked to do cons. Until that point, I hadn’t talked to any of them since 1990. But since 2017 we have been in touch a bit. I realized that I lived in Seattle with Adam [Faraizl, who played young Eddie] So we have been hanging out.
Ben [Heller, who played young Stan] was down in Oregon, so we’ve done some
camping, fishing, and snowboarding. Brandon [Crane, who played young Ben] is a bit farther away, but we talk on the phone every few months or so. Since 2017 we have been more in contact. It’s been fun catching up.
1428 ELM: What are your thoughts on the second half of the mini-series, which some people (including the older actors themselves) have said is inferior to the first half of the story?
MARLON TAYLOR: I just think the second part was a bit rushed. They had a great lineup, but I think the comradery that the kids had was missing with the adult portion. They did a great job, but I did enjoy part one more.
1428 ELM: The original Mike Hanlon was sort of a historian character helping the other kids understand Pennywise’s longevity and feeding cycle. Do you think that gave the Loser’s Club an edge?
MARLON TAYLOR: I do think that gave them an edge in dealing with Pennywise both as kids and adults. I also think that it plays into why Mike stayed in Derry and continued his obsession to find answers. As well as keeping a line on all his old friends.
1428 ELM: My nephew asked: What kind of music do you like (he is a big fan of the 1990 series and the newer version)?
MARLON TAYLOR: I like all kinds of music. More into the music being played more so than what’s being said. I still love my Ole Skool Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rock, Blues, R&B…the list goes on and on. I grew up in the 80s, so I am familiar with all the music for the remake, that’s what I grew up on. LOL, I know all about New Kids on The Block.
1428 ELM: Which two scares are your favorite from It (One that you were part of and one that involved another character)?
MARLON TAYLOR: Ohhh, that’s a hard one, I’d have to say it was for another character I loved how Georgie lost his arm in It (2017), but I also loved how Pennywise came out from under the bleachers in [It: Chapter Two]. I wasn’t that taken aback in our filming of it. I love horror.
Favorite horror movies?
1428 ELM: What are some other horror movies you like (if any)?
MARLON TAYLOR: Some of my favorite Horror movies are Killer Clowns from Outer Space, the first Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, Halloween, and [the] Nightmare on Elm Street [films] 1-3…there are so many I like though. Too many to name them all.
1428 ELM: What would you say to the Henry Bowers of the world?
MARLON TAYLOR: Be careful who you F*%@ with, you never know what you are getting yourself into. But seriously, appreciate what makes us all different, that is our superpower. Those are the things that make us who we are. Keep an open mind even if you don’t like someone or something, you never know what you might learn. Every day is a new day to live and learn.
1428 ELM: This is a silly question, but if there was a Pennywise vs. [insert horror villain here], which villain would you choose?
MARLON TAYLOR: I think it would be Pennywise VS. Freddy Krueger, just thinking about the banter back and forth is awesome in itself. They may not even have to fight. It would be an awesome roast, with a lot of clowning around. See what I did there? [Lol]
Thanks to Marlon Taylor for taking the time to answer these questions! Of course, don’t forget to check out Pennywise: The Story of It!