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The Black Phone Star Mason Thames Reveals The One Thing That Had Him Spooked While Filming

For budding Hollywood star Mason Thames, filming Scott Derrickson's new horror flick "The Black Phone" was something he'd thought would be much scarier. But in actuality, there was really only one thing that had the young actor spooked while filming. 

"I was wondering if it was scary to film a horror movie," Thames told The Hollywood Reporter in a June 2022 interview. "It's not at all. It's so much fun. And Ethan's performance is so great, so my inner self was kind of smiling at it. One time, Scott had to literally look at me and say, 'Mason, stop smiling.' 

In the movie, Thames plays a teenage boy named Finn Shaw who gets captured by Ethan Hawke's character, the Grabber. After being locked away in the Grabber's basement, Finn begins communicating with previous victims using a disconnected phone on the wall. According to Thames, he is a huge horror movie fan and got the role through a Zoom audition. "I've got to say one of the scariest movies is still [Derrickson's 2012 film] 'Sinister,'" the teen said. "There's something about watching with a group of friends and you are sitting in your seat waiting for someone to jump out — I just love the thrill of that." 

Knowing how frightening Derrickson's work can be, Thames expected to be petrified while shooting "The Black Phone." However, there was only one thing that conjured up true fear inside of Thames.

Seeing Ethan Hawke's mask for the first time scared Mason Thames

According to Mason Thames, the one thing that managed to actually terrify him while filming "The Black Phone" was coming face-to-face with Ethan Hawke for the first time while he was in his menacing Grabber getup. The young actor told The Hollywood Reporter, "Seeing the mask that Ethan was wearing definitely was scary." 

Throughout "The Black Phone," Hawke wears several different versions of the hair-raising face covering, which has become one of the movie's most intriguing selling points. The mask was created by famed horror artist Tom Savini, whose previous work includes Hollywood classics like 1978's "Dawn of the Dead" and 1980's "Friday the 13th." Hawke has described himself as also being taken completely back by the mask, which fueled his entire performance. 

"The mask did a lot of the work for me," Hawke told the Arizona Republic in an interview published on June 20. "I found that mask absolutely terrifying," he said. "Scott's idea that the mask would constantly change — there were nine of them, each with subtle differences. It made me feel like I was playing hide-and-go-seek with the audience, and hide-and-go-seek with Finn, the character. It works to be terrifying, because the most mundane action, making a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, is terrifying if you have that mask on."