When producers first saw Sophia Lillis for the role of Beverly Marsh in It (2017), they thought she wasn't "girly" enough for the role.
"There was controversy on — I don't look like a girl enough," Lillis explained on People TV Tuesday. According to Lillis, director Andy Muschietti wanted Beverly to look like a tomboy, but Warner Bros. wanted her to look more feminine. "I didn't look girly enough for other producers."
Muschietti wanted her for the role, though, so he flew Lillis back to Toronto, where the movie filmed, so she could meet the producers one more time.
"[Andy] put me in extensions and a dress and did the whole [audition] all over again," Lillis said. In person, Lillis, who is 15, has a an Audrey Hepburn-style pixie cut.
Lillis' co-star Finn Wolfhard added that the "payoff" was even better. Director Andy Muschietti directly disobeyed the orders of the producers. After seeing Lillis with extensions, production insisted she have long hair in the film. Which she does, for a time.
"The second scene [in the movie], I cut it all off," Lillis said. "It actually worked so well in the movie."
In the movie, Beverly is plagued by a vicious, slut-shaming rumour. When a school bully taunts her for being "easy," the female protagonist heads home and slices off her locks. For the rest of the movie, she has a choppy short cut that's almost the same style as the boys in the Losers Club. It's a sly workaround — and it works quite well in the context of the movie.
Beverly is one of the bravest members of the Losers Club — in fact, Lillis told Vanity Fair that's what drew her to the role.
"I learned about [Beverly] and how strong she is and how desperate she is. It was kind of like someone I wanted to be," she explained. "How brave she is, and how she went head-on to defeat this clown that could have killed her at any second."
To be clear, Beverly would be just as badass with or without extensions. But Lillis, it seems, is more comfortable with a short cut, and we totally support that.
Watch the full interview with the cast of It, below.
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