Tuesday , June 18 2024
Patty Hawkins and Tim Reid (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

Nightmare Weekend: Tim Reid on ‘Stephen King’s IT’

At Nightmare Weekend, GalaxyCon’s first horror convention in Richmond, Tim Reid (Stephen King’s IT; Sister, Sister) shared that he began his career in marketing, not acting.

In the late 1960s, he served as a marketing representative with DuPont. After hiring him, the company couldn’t decide where to assign him. They said, according to Reid, “No, if you send him to California, he’ll go into show business. They sent me to Chicago, where I went into show business!”

He met Tom Dreesen, an insurance salesman at the time, at a conference. Reid and Dreesen hit it off, sharing conversation and jokes, and eventually decided to put an act together. They formed the first ever black and white comedy duo.

They encountered a lot of challenges. “Things would happen that we could not see coming. We were attacked on stage. Run out of town. I was poisoned!”

Reid and his comedy partner remained undeterred and pushed on. “When the Playboy circuit began to happen, we started traveling to all the clubs [including] New Orleans, Cincinnati. It gave us a chance to work our act and try different things.”

On Clowns

Later in the panel, Reid joked about Stephen King’s IT, the 1990 TV miniseries with the scary clown. “Like you know, I stay away from clowns! That show killed the [business of] clowns coming to your kid’s birthday party. All of a sudden, it was gone…Who would invite Pennywise to their house for their kids?” 

Photo of Tim Reid answering a question from moderator Patty Hawkins
Patty Hawkins and Tim Reid (Credit: Pat Cuadros)

Getting the right makeup and tricks to create a terrifying clown posed a challenge in the planning stage. No matter what director Tommy Lee Wallace tried, the actors thought that the clown looked silly. After talking with them once more, Wallace instructed the crew to simplify their approach with white makeup, a little red nose, teeth, and a hairpiece—the combination that Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) donned for filming.

Reid and the other actors found it scary and fun to shoot many of the scenes. “Most of the stunts or things that happened, we didn’t know until they yelled ‘action’ what was going to happen.”

On Petersburg and Streaming

In addition to acting, Reid takes an active role in production. In Petersburg, Virginia, he opened a studio, which Steven Spielberg used a bit during Lincoln. The city itself retains its historic charm and appeal.

“Petersburg was one of the few places in the entire United States where [Spielberg] could go and shoot a movie based in the 1800s and do a 360 with the camera on the buildings.”

During the pandemic, Reid launched a streaming network. LGCY TV is streaming in the Caribbean for now, but it’ll expand to other regions soon. Reid enjoys the flexibility and creativity of the endeavor. He and his partner are “trying things and staying under the radar as much as we can. It’s fun!”

About Pat Cuadros

Pat Cuadros is Pop Culture Editor for Blogcritics Magazine. She frequently covers TV, film and theater. Her portfolio includes interviews with Ndaba Mandela and actors Juliette Binoche, Fran Drescher, Derek Jacobi and Brent Spiner. She's also spoken with notable voice actors Petrea Burchard, Garry Chalk, Peter Cullen and Brian Drummond.

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