Ethan Hawke's Black Phone Villain Is His One Character He Can't Defend

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

Ethan Hawke calls The Black Phone’s Grabber “reprehensible”, saying the villain is the only one of his characters 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 focuses on a suburban town in 1978, in which children continue to disappear. When 13-year-old Finney is abducted by serial child killer “The Grabber” (Hawke) and locked in a soundproof basement, he realizes he can contact the ghosts of the killer’s former victims via a mysterious black telephone in the basement. With the help of these slain victims and his own wits, Finney must work to outsmart his captor and break free.

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While Hawke plays the terrifying villain in black phone, hThis filmography is not commonly associated with this type of role. Although the actor has appeared in several other horror films, including take lives, The day breakersand Claim (also led by The black phone director Scott Derrickson), Hawke generally does not take on the role of antagonist in these films. So far the trailers indicate that The black phone‘s Grabber is by far Hawke’s scariest and most disturbing part to date.

Related: Ethan Hawke Horror Movies, Ranked

Sure enough, Hawke finds the Grabber and his murderous ways impossible to excuse, according to Uproxx. Asked about his The black phone role, Hawke described the character as “objectionable.” Despite Hawke’s usual attempt to be his “character lawyerand not to pass judgment on their choices, the actor found The Grabber too nefarious to be defended in any way. Check out Hawke’s full statement:


It is quite condemnable. All my life, people say, “Well, did you like your character?” Or whatever. And I say, “I don’t think about the judgment of my character.” My line is that I am my character’s advocate. I see the world. I defend his position. I justify his actions. But no lawyer in the world wants to have The Grabber as a client.


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Based on his statement, Hawke’s approach to acting is to have a very generous view of the characters he inhabits, in order to better understand them and their view of the world. Obviously, The Grabber goes too far to be a forgivable person, even when viewed in the most empathetic light. To prepare for his role in The black phoneHawke may have had to take a different approach, given that streamlining the Grabber’s decision-making was made impossible by the character’s relentless malevolent actions.

The trailers for The black phone already hint at a gruesome story of The Grabber’s masked and bloody murders. With Hawke’s inability to defend the character, however, comes the question of whether The Grabber is acting even more heinous than murdering multiple children, which in itself is despicable. The movie will likely reveal more about the gruesome murders involved or how the Grabber tortures Finney. After Hawke’s approval, as The black phone is in theaters now, 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: February 04, 2022

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