Bill Hader Reflects on Richie and Eddie’s Romance in ‘IT’: ‘This Is the Person I Love. It’s Truly Love’

Team “Reddie” forever!

For lukewarm fans of IT Chapter 2, they might be scratching their heads as to what this “Reddie” business is. “Reddie” is the fan-made couple’s name representing Richie Tozier and Eddie Kaspbrak’s relationship. Fans of this “ship” have been around since the 1980s after Stephen King’s novel was released to the bookstands. Their anticipated romance isn’t far-fetched either, considering the frequent flirtation between the two characters in the book. 

So when IT Chapter 2 finally made their relationship canon, fans were utterly ecstatic. And according to Bill Hader, an essential “Reddie” scene exposes how tender his feelings are for Eddie.

Bill Hader attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures 'It Chapter Two'
Bill Hader attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures ‘It Chapter Two’ | Emma McIntyre/FilmMagic

What does Stephen King think about the gay twist in ‘IT Chapter 2’?

In the novel, it was never the author’s intention to create a romantic dynamic between Richie and Eddie. As much as Richie shares a beautiful affection for Eddie in the novel, King insists that he didn’t intend their relationship to be anything more than a special friendship. But even so, he considers the film’s romantic twist between the characters to be “genius.”

RELATED: ‘IT’: Bill Skarsgård Says Playing Pennywise Was the ‘Loneliest Film Shoot’ He’s Ever Done: ‘I Felt Really Isolated and Lonely’

He told Vanity Fair, “It’s one of those things that’s kind of genius because it echoes the beginning. It comes full circle.” 

He is referring to the opening scene in both his novel and IT Chapter 2. In the scene, there is a gay couple who must face Derry’s homophobic bullies as well as Pennywise himself. One of the men, Adrian, has asthma (just like Eddie.) So to King, the idea of “Reddie” made everything in the story sufficiently come full circle. 

He continued, saying, “At least there’s love involved. Somebody cares for [Eddie,]” King said, “and that echoes the love that Adrian’s partner has for him. So that was cool.”    

Bill Hader says Richie and Eddie’s relationship involves true love

Jack Dylan Grazer and Finn Wolfhard attend the "Stranger Things" Season 3 World Premiere
Jack Dylan Grazer and Finn Wolfhard attend the “Stranger Things” Season 3 World Premiere | Rachel Murray/Getty Images

According to Hader, (who masterfully plays Richie’s grownup counterpart,) an essential “Reddie” scene revealed his character’s true love for Eddie. Specifically, Eddie’s death scene.

Hader said they filmed Eddie’s death scene multiple times, with several different reactions on Richie’s end. 

One reaction to Eddie’s death exposed Richie’s complete denial. He refused to believe that his first love was gone. And following that final realization was a moment of genuine affection between the two characters.

He told The New York Times,

“We did a lot of different versions of Eddie’s death scene…We did one where he’s clearly dead, and I’m refusing to recognize it. And somewhere I was very tender with him, where I’m caressing his face — this is the person I love, and it wasn’t just lust. It’s truly love.”

Bill Hader says Richie’s love for Eddie is very adolescent throughout their 27-year friendship

It’s no secret that Richie is terrified of his romantic feelings for Eddie. Considering how homophobic Derry is, Richie must keep his feelings bottled up. On top of this, Richie believes his feelings are unrequited. Hader described how juvenile his feelings for Eddie came across throughout the movies. 

He said, “I was knowing on some level that I loved him. It’s something Richie can’t connect to, so he has to hate that thing. It’s very adolescent. ‘I have a crush on you, but I don’t want to tell you that, so I’m going to push you away. But man, if he made the first move, that’d be the best thing ever.’”