How Finn Wolfhard Got Bill Hader the Job on ‘It: Chapter Two’

Finn Wolfhard has both film and television covered with his two phenomena, Stranger Things and It. Wolfhard returns in It: Chapter Two, which also shows his character all grown up. As a kid, Richie (Wolfhard) was part of the Losers Club that vanquished Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard) in 1989. As an adult (Bill Hader), Richie returns to face Pennywise again with his grown-up friends.

Finn Wolfhard and Bill Hader stand together
Finn Wolfhard and Bill Hader attend the Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “It Chapter Two” at Regency Village Theatre on August 26, 2019 in Westwood, California. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Wolfhard wanted Hader to play adult Richie all along and may have been instrumental in landing Hader the role. Both Hader and Wolfhard were at the It: Chapter Two press conference to talk about it. We’ll have more with the stars of It: Chapter Two on Showbiz Cheat Sheet. It: Chapter Two opens Friday, September 6.

Finn Wolfhard put Bill Hader out in the press in 2017

Stephen King’s It encapsulates the characters both during childhood and adulthood in its 1000+ pages. So while doing press for It: Chapter One, the young cast naturally speculated on who could play them as adults should they make a sequel with the second half of the book.

“Finn got me the job,” Hader said. “Finn talked about me in the press,”

It: Chapter Two
L-R: JAMES RANSONE as Eddie Kaspbrak, JESSICA CHASTAIN as Beverly Marsh, JAMES McAVOY as Bill Denbrough, BILL HADER as Richie Tozier, JAY RYAN as Ben Hascomb and ISAIAH MUSTAFA as Mike Hanlon in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT CHAPTER TWO” | Brooke Palmer/ Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Wolfhard acknowledges he stumped for Hader hard. 

“Yeah, because I used to talk about him a lot, wanted him [to play Richie],” Wolfhard said.

At the time, Hader simply thought it was flattering. 

“He talked about it and said, ‘Oh, I want [Bill Hader] to play it,’ Hader recalled. ‘And then my agent sent me a link saying, ‘Hey, look at this!’ And I was like, ‘That’s nice.’” 

Finn Wolfhard’s wish came true in ‘It: Chapter Two’

It turns out director Andy Muschietti took Finn Wolfhard seriously and cast Bill Hader in the same role. 

“Months later, [my agent] called me and was like, ‘Yeah, Andy Muschietti wants to meet you for It 2,’” Hader said. “And I was like, ‘Finn must be the most powerful person in Hollywood.’”

Bill Hader
Bill Hader attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures “It Chapter Two” | Emma McIntyre/FilmMagic

Wolfhard was grateful Hader accepted. 

“It’s really cool that he ended up doing it,” Wolfhard said.

Finn Wolfhard razzed Bill Hader about paying Richie in ‘It: Chapter Two’

All of the young cast members wrote letters to their adult counterparts. Since Richie is the joker of the group, Wolfhard didn’t take his letter too seriously.  

Finn Wolfhard and Noah Schnepp | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“I just wrote a letter that said, ‘I hope you’re famous when you grow up’ basically,” Wolfhard said. “There was no advice.”

Finn Wolfhard slipped back into the role of young Richie easily

It: Chapter Two still contains flashback to when the Losers were children, so Finn Wolfhard got to play Richie again. He said it was easy. Perhaps his experience playing Mike Wheeler on Stranger Things for three seasons helped.

It: Chapter Two
(L-r) CHOSEN JACOBS, FINN WOLFHARD, JAEDEN MARTELL, SOPHIA LILLIS, JEREMY RAY TAYLOR and director ANDY MUSCHIETTI on the set of New Line Cinema’s horror thriller “IT CHAPTER TWO” | Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment

“At this point, the [characters] are kind of like second nature to all of us,” Wolfhard said. “It’s kind of second nature now. We just kind of slip into it. People ask us, ‘Was it hard to get back into it?’ We’re like, ‘Honestly, it’s kind of sad how nothing changed over the course of a year.’”

Finn Wolfhard and Bill Skarsgard became equals on “It: Chapter Two”

On It: Chapter One, Bill Skarsgard took his role as Pennywise seriously and scared all the young actors. Now that they all know each other, they’re just colleagues.

“Also it was great to talk to Bill as a normal human being in between takes because it’s not fun on a film set if it’s just serious all the time and you can’t talk to anyone,” Wolfhard said. “Bill was always great about talking, being a normal person.”