Ethan Hawke’s Black Phone Villain Is His Only Character He Can’t Defend

Ethan Hawke’s Black Phone Villain Is His Only Character He Can’t Defend #Ethan #Hawkes #Black #Phone #Villain #Character #Defend Welcome to Lopoid

Ethan Hawke calls The Black Phone’s Grabber “reprehensible,” saying that the villain is the only one of his characters that he can’t defend.

Ethan Hawke’s murderous villain in The Black Phone is the only one of his characters whose actions he cannot defend. The Black Phone is based on a 2004 short story of the same name written by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill. It centers on a suburban town in 1978, in which children keep going missing. When 13-year-old Finney is abducted by the serial child killer “The Grabber” (Hawke) and locked into a soundproof basement, he realizes that he can contact the ghosts of the killer’s past victims through a mysterious black phone in the basement. Through the help of these slain victims and his own intelligence, Finney must work to outsmart his captor and break free. 


While Hawke plays the terrifying villain in The Black Phone, his filmography is not commonly associated with this type of role. Though the actor has appeared in several other horror films including in Taking Lives, Daybreakers, and Sinister (also helmed by The Black Phone director Scott Derrickson), Hawke doesn’t usually take on the antagonist’s role in these films. So far, trailers indicate that The Black Phone’s Grabber is by far Hawke’s most chilling and disturbing part yet. 

Related: Ethan Hawke Horror Movies, Ranked

Sure enough, Hawke finds the Grabber and his murderous ways impossible to excuse, according to Uproxx. When asked about his The Black Phone role, Hawke described the character as “reprehensible.” Despite Hawke’s usual attempt to be his “character’s lawyer” and not place judgment on their choices, the actor found that The Grabber was too nefarious to be defended in any way. Check out Hawke’s full statement: 

“He’s pretty reprehensible. My whole life people say, “Well, did you like your character?” Or whatever. And I say, “I don’t think in judgment of my character.” My line is that I’m my character’s lawyer. I see the world. I defend his position. I justify his actions. But there is no lawyer in the world that wants to have The Grabber as his client.” 

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Based on his statement, Hawke’s approach to acting is to hold a very generous view of the characters he inhabits, so as to better understand them and their worldview. Clearly, The Grabber goes several steps too far to be a forgivable person, even when seen in the most empathetic light. To prepare for his role in The Black Phone, Hawke may have had to take a different approach, given that rationalizing the Grabber’s decision-making was rendered impossible by the character’s unrelentingly malicious actions.

The trailers for The Black Phone already hint at a horrific history of the masked and bloodied killings by The Grabber. With Hawke’s inability to defend the character, however, comes the question of whether The Grabber acts out even more abhorrent actions than the murder of several children, which is in itself despicable. The film will likely reveal more about the gruesome killings involved, or how the Grabber tortures Finney. After Hawke’s endorsement, as The Black Phone is now in theaters, audiences can judge The Grabber’s actions for themselves. 

More: Black Phone & Sinister Exist In The Same Universe – Theory Explained

Source: Uproxx

The Black Phone (2022)Release date: Feb 04, 2022


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Hannah Gearan
(71 Articles Published)

Hannah Gearan is a news writer for Screen Rant. She joined the platform in Spring 2022, whilst completing her final year as an undergrad at Wesleyan University, where she studied Film, Environmental Studies, and Writing. A lifelong film fan, Hannah has a wide-ranging taste including dark comedies and documentaries, and she loves a good miniseries. Based out of the Northeastern United States, Hannah spends her free time writing, listening to folk music, visiting covered bridges, and trying to find the best ice cream in New England.

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