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Ethan Hawke on what convinced him to play the 'monster' in 'The Black Phone'

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Jun 21 2022 03:28 PM

Ethan Hawke started acting in the mid-80s when he was only 15 years old and has since become one of Hollywood’s highly respected actors.

Ethan Hawke plays The Grabber. Courtesy: Universal 'The Black Phone'
Ethan Hawke plays The Grabber in 'The Black Phone.' Courtesy: Universal "The Black Phone"

In 'The Black Phone,' he plays what he considers his first truly evil role as the sadistic killer The Grabber.

"The life of an actor, you wear different clothes and you take on all these different shapes. And I loved playing a priest in First Reformed and I love playing (The Good Lord Bird’s) John Brown, somebody I really admire. And then now here to play, basically, a monster," Hawke shared.

Ethan Hawke in The Black Phone. Courtesy: Universal 'The Black Phone'
Courtesy: Universal "The Black Phone"

'The Black Phone' is a horror story set in the 70s in small-town America. Directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson, it delves into how a pair of siblings do their best to outsmart Hawke's character.

Derrickson, who was also the writer-director of Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Marvel’s Doctor Strange, said he based some of the looks in 'The Black Phone' from his own youth.

Ethan Hawke interview for 'The Black Phone'

Hawke admitted that he didn't really like playing villains.

"It doesn't really interest me, inviting that kind of darkness into your psychology. But I really admire Scott Derrickson. He's a wonderful film director. We had a great time doing Sinister and I wanted to work with him again. And I warned him when he first sent the script, when he told me what we wanted me to play, I was like, ‘I’m not playing anybody called The Grabber. Not gonna do that.’ He's like, ‘Well just read it.’ I was like, ‘I want to work with you but —‘ But then I read it and I fell in love with the kids with their story. This brother and sister and that story really felt like worth telling," the actor said.

Madeleine McGraw and Mason Thames. Courtesy: Universal 'The Black Phone'
Madeleine McGraw plays Gwen (left) and Mason Thames plays Finney (right). Courtesy: Universal "The Black Phone"

The children in 'The Black Phone' were played by Mason Thames and Madeleine McGraw, whose performances have been praised by Hawke and critics alike. The movie will be out in the US on June 24.

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