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Why Gwen Shaw From The Black Phone Looks So Familiar

For horror fans, "The Black Phone" is proof that well-adapted source material and a menacing, magnetic antagonist can yield terrifying dividends. For those who keep their finger on the pulse of the national box office, "The Black Phone" is even more meaningful. In its opening weekend, Scott Derrickson's horror film grossed over $23 million dollars, marking the first weekend in the pandemic era that four movies grossed more than $20 million (the other three being "Elvis," "Jurassic World Dominion," and "Top Gun: Maverick"). With this surge in the box office comes a much-needed dose of optimism for theaters in the age of COVID-19.

Set in the 1970s, "The Black Phone" is a supernatural take on the creepy abductor genre. As the masked "Grabber," Ethan Hawke gives the film its anchor, not to mention a flourish of star power. But it is his child actor co-stars — particularly Mason Thames as Finney — who imbue "The Black Phone" with pathos. Finney's sister, Gwen, is also central to "The Black Phone." Here's why the actress who plays her looks so familiar.

Madeleine McGraw had her film debut in American Sniper

Born in 2008, child actor Madeleine McGraw has been performing since she was 6 years old. In 2014, the youngster bagged her first two on-screen roles. The first was a TV appearance in a Season 9 episode of "Bones." In addition to working alongside stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, McGraw got to share a guest star credit with the drag queen Shangela (via IMDb).

It's one thing to make your feature film debut at age 6, but it's even more impressive for your first big-screen director to be Clint Eastwood. The same year as her first television role, McGraw appeared in "American Sniper" as the daughter of Bradley Cooper's character, Chris Kyle. The film follows Kyle as he struggles being both a deadly marksman for the U.S. military and a family man. A few years after the film was released, McGraw revealed that her twin brother Aidan played the other Kyle child. "We were never on set at the same time," she explained on Instagram. "We both loved our time on that set!!"

McGraw honed her horror chops on Outcast

After appearing in a few shorts and animated series, Madeleine McGraw nabbed her biggest role to date in "Outcast." Ahead of "The Black Phone," McGraw honed her horror chops on the supernatural Cinemax series. Developed by Robert Kirkman, the creator of "The Walking Dead," "Outcast" is based on his comic of the same name and delves into the eerie world of demonic possession.

McGraw originally joined the series in a recurring capacity before being bumped up to a main role for the second and final season. She ultimately appeared in 14 episodes between 2016 and 2017. McGraw plays Amber Barnes, the daughter of the main character, Kyle, who is played by Patrick Fugit. In an interview with InStyle, Fugit commented on his experience working with the young actress. "Being on a show like this is probably pretty intimidating waters to step into as a kid, so I wanted to hang out with her on set and get a good rapport going," said Fugit. "Now we're buddies for life."

She went big in Pacific Rim Uprising, and small in Ant-Man and the Wasp

2018 proved to be a busy year for Madeleine McGraw. The actress appeared in two big-budget action flicks, in both of which she played the young version of female protagonists. With "Ant-Man and the Wasp," McGraw made her entry into the MCU as a young Hope van Dyne. McGraw wasn't the only young star to make waves in the film, as she suggested in a social media post. "My friend @abbyryderfortson plays Cassie Lang and is so great in the film," she wrote on Instagram. "She steals every scene she's in!!" She also appeared as the younger version of Amara Namani (Cailee Spaeny) in "Pacific Rim Uprising," where she shared a scene alongside John Boyega in a monster-filled flashback.

McGraw also got a few TV gigs in 2018. She can be seen in a Season 14 episode of "Criminal Minds," as well as a three-episode arc in NBC's short-lived sci-fi series "Reverie" (via IMDb). As in "Pacific Rim Uprising," her character, Brynn, appears via a tech-assisted flashback of sorts.

Secrets of Sulphur Springs is McGraw's biggest TV role yet

Between a busy 2018 and "The Black Phone," McGraw picked up some voice work, as well as roles in a few made-for-TV movies. In 2019 she starred in "The Mandela Effect," the sci-fi film that turned a simple "Berenstain Bears" conspiracy into a horror-tinged interpretation of quantum physics (via IMDb).

In 2021, McGraw landed her biggest TV role to date with "Secrets of Sulphur Springs." When 12-year-old Griffin Campbell (Preston Oliver) moves into the haunted hotel in Sulphur Springs, Louisiana, he and his new friend Harper begin to unlock the paranormal side of their sleepy town. McGraw stars as Zoey, Griffin's younger sister and twin to Wyatt (Landon Gordon). McGraw has appeared in all 19 episodes of the Disney Channel series, and in February 2022, Disney renewed the mystery adventure series for a third season (via Deadline). McGraw took to Instagram to celebrate the news. Congratulations to my cast mates and crew that I love like family!!" the actress wrote. "Can't wait to see you all soon!!"