‘IT’: Why Does Beverly Cut Her Hair off in the Movie?

There is a powerful scene from the film version of IT that can’t be found in Stephen King‘s novel. This is the scene where Beverly Marsh aggressively chops off most of her hair in the bathroom. She does this after an uncomfortable encounter with her father. But what is the deeper meaning behind her actions? Director Andy Muschietti goes into further detail about this crucial additional scene.

Sophia Lillis attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures "It Chapter Two"
Sophia Lillis attends the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures “It Chapter Two” | Emma McIntyre/FilmMagic

How different is Beverly Marsh in the movie vs. Stephen King’s book?

While there are a few small differences between Sophia Lillis’ portrayal of Beverly vs. King’s 1986 novel, the film stays true to the book character for the most part. In the book, Bev is eleven-years-old, while in the movie, she is about thirteen. 

But in the book, Beverly keeps her hair long, even into adulthood. While this might seem like a minor and insignificant detail, it is pretty crucial to the plot. And the 2017 film does a powerful job of portraying Beverly’s rebellion against her father that we don’t see as much in the book.

The deeper meaning behind Beverly Marsh’s haircutting scene in ‘IT’

Sophia Lillis arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures" "It Chapter Two"
Sophia Lillis arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures” “It Chapter Two” | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

RELATED: ‘IT Chapter 2’: Why Bill Hader Tricked His Kids Into Thinking ‘The Sandlot’ Was ‘IT’

The reason Beverly cuts her hair off in the movie is rather tragic. Yet, at the same time, it is a moment of strength for the character, who is learning to fight back against the abuse going on in her own household. And according to the film’s director, there is a reason why her hair comes back to haunt her.

In The World of IT, Muschietti explains the scene in further detail. 

“Beverly’s hair is basically a reflection of her acting against the abuse,” he revealed. “Her hair is something that her father is fixated on, and it sort of represents her abuse. She takes control by cutting it off. And she cuts it off in the bathroom, and the hair goes into the sink. The way IT terrorizes her is attacking her with her own hair.”

He went on, explaining, “There couldn’t be a more terrifying incarnation than that because it’s not about a creature that attacks you. IT attacks you with your worst fear. Beverly is basically entrapped by a monster made of her own hair. And that’s when the blood comes out. It’s pretty intense.” 

Did Sophia Lillis actually cut her hair for the movie?

Sophia Lillis attends the premiere of Netflix's "I Am Not Okay With This" at The London West Hollywood
Sophia Lillis attends the premiere of Netflix’s “I Am Not Okay With This” at The London West Hollywood | Charley Gallay/Getty Images

One might question whether the actor who plays Bev chopped off her hair for the movie. The answer is no. Lillis already had a pixie cut to begin with, so she had to wear extensions for her first scene. 

And according to Refinery29, the brilliant actor almost wasn’t cast for the role because Warner Brothers didn’t think she was “girly” enough. While the director wanted someone more tomboyish for the part, the studio disagreed. 

But when Lillis redid the audition with extensions, they cast her in the role. Fittingly, she got to chop the extensions off during her second scene in the movie. “The second scene [in the movie], I cut it all off,” Lillis said. “It worked so well in the movie.”