Bill Skarsgård says it took a while to ‘shake off the demon’ of “Nosferatu ”vampire Count Orlok

“It was like conjuring pure evil.”

Bill Skarsgård is haunted by one of his scariest characters.

In an interview with Esquire, the It actor teased his upcoming role in Robert Eggers’ remake of the silent horror classic Nosferatu. The film will star Skarsgård as Count Orlok, the vampire antagonist originally played by Max Schreck in F.W. Murnau’s unauthorized Dracula adaptation in 1922. “It took its toll,” he said of the character. “It was like conjuring pure evil. It took a while for me to shake off the demon that had been conjured inside of me.”

<p>Dia Dipasupil/Getty</p> Bill Skarsgard

Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Bill Skarsgard

The profile revealed that Skarsgård’s makeup for the character — whose look has yet to be revealed — took three to six hours every day, and that he trained with an opera singer to maximize the depth of his voice. “I do not think people are gonna recognize me in it,” he said. “He’s gross… but it is very sexualized. It’s playing with a sexual fetish about the power of the monster and what that appeal has to you. Hopefully you’ll get a little bit attracted by it and disgusted by your attraction at the same time.”

Related: Nosferatu summons chilling first footage of vampire Bill Skarsgård

Eggers, who also helmed horror gems like The Witch and The Lighthouse and directed Skarsgård’s brother Alexander in The Northman, said that the actor’s commitment to the character exceeded his expectations.  “I remember early on, him trying to talk to me about what it meant to be a dead sorcerer — and I’m into some pretty heavy occult s---, but he was on a different level,” the filmmaker remembered. “Somewhere in that second makeup test, I was like, ‘He’s become the character.’ It was eerie to see in the footage. Anything he did, anywhere he turned or looked, you were like, ‘He’s got it.’”

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<p>Everett</p> Max Schreck as Count Orlok in 1922's 'Nosferatu'


Max Schreck as Count Orlok in 1922's 'Nosferatu'

Skarsgård initially threw his hat in the ring to play supporting character Friedrich Harding, who is being played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. When Eggers didn’t cast Skarsgård in the role, he offered the actor the protagonist Thomas Hutter. The project then fell apart, and when it re-materialized, Nicholas Hoult had been cast as Hutter. “I wrote this long, pleading email to Robert,” Skarsgård said of his attempt to re-attach himself to the movie. “I think the title was like Wisborg in Flames or something. I was just desperate to rekindle this thing and be a part of it.” Eventually, Eggers shifted his vision for Orlok and offered Skarsgård the part.

Related: Bill Skarsgård and FKA Twigs take flight in gothic first look at The Crow

Skarsgård is in the midst of a hot streak. Following a key supporting role in 2022’s Barbarian and a fittingly hateable villain in last year’s John Wick Chapter 4, the actor led the action movie Boy Kills World and will soon debut as the titular antihero in the upcoming new adaptation of The Crow, which releases Aug. 23.

Related: Willem Dafoe debuts as a 'crazy vampire hunter' in Nosferatu sneak peek

The actor also teased a possible return to Pennywise in the near future — he was recently in Toronto, where both It movies were filmed, at the same time as It filmmaker Andy Muschietti. But he wouldn’t disclose what he was shooting there. “I don’t want to spoil it,” he told Esquire. When asked if he’d play the demonic clown again — or if there had been discussions about the actor returning to the fictional town of Derry, Maine — he only responded, “Maybe.”

Nosferatu his theaters Christmas Day.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.