Back on September 9th, we ran a feature exploring the other terrifying manifestation of Andy Muschietti’s IT; while Bill Skarsgård’s portrayal of Pennywise the Dancing Clown is instantly iconic, we were immensely impressed by the Woman in the Painting, aka Judith, played by actress/model Tatum Lee. Muschietti had explained his personal inspirations for the terrifying apparition in an interview with the New York Times. To recap:
Muschietti: “In my house [growing up] there was a print of an [Amedeo] Modigliani painting that I found terrifying. And I thought of meeting an incarnation of the woman in it would drive me crazy. His visions of humans were with elongated necks, crooked faces, and empty eyes most of the time. It was so deformed that, as a child, you don’t see it as an artist’s style. You see it as a monster.”
It turns out we weren’t the only ones delighted and terrified by Judith. In a recent interview with Collider, Muschietti’s sister and IT co-producer Barbara Muschietti revealed Stephen King himself was also deeply effective.
Muschietti: “Our mom had a print of a Modigliani painting at home and actually, there’s a bit of a precedence in Mama there; Mama looks very Modigliani-esque. It was something that terrified Andy always, that print, and here you see it in the form of Judith. Judith is that fear for Andy. And then, the hair, for instance, with Beverly, that was actually a combined [effort] … I collaborated there because I felt very attached to her hair and when she cut it, I felt that her hair should come back for her. That it wouldn’t be so easy to get rid of, you know, of womanhood, that it was coming back for her.
“And it’s something that actually, Stephen King, the first email he sent to Andy when he had seen the movie, the one fear he wrote back, he said, ‘I fucking love the woman in the painting, it scared the shit out of me’.”
Official Synopsis: When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, neighborhood kids band together to square off against Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), an evil clown whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.
In addition to Skarsgård and Jacobs, IT stars Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things), Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Nicholas Hamilton.
Related Article: Video Explores the Science of Shapeshifting Pennywise