Mason Cook may only be 16 years old, but he already has an incredible acting career. You might recognise the young star from shows and films such as Grey’s Anatomy, Spy Kids 4: All The Time in the World, The Lone Ranger, Mockingbird Lane and The Goldbergs. He even has an Emmy nomination under his belt for his guest lead role in The Haunting Hour. His performance earned him a Daytime Emmy nod for ‘Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series’.
You’ll currently find Mason on ABC’s Speechless, where he plays Ray DiMeo. The voice of reason in a chaotic family, he craves the attention of his parents (Minnie Driver and John Ross Bowie), who are all-consumed with the needs of their other son JJ who has cerebal palsy. Whilst the show is a comedy series, it also tackles the realities of a family living with cerebal palsy. The accurate portrayal has ensured that viewers keep tuning in for more each week.
When he’s not busy acting, Mason is into sports such as surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. He also loves playing soccer and video games, and actively participates in charitable services.
We recently caught up with Mason to talk about Speechless, his charity work and more. We also asked him some quick-fire questions – check out his responses below!
You currently star as Ray in Speechless. What’s the best and most challenging thing about this role?
For me the most challenging part of playing Ray DiMeo is also the best thing about playing the role. Speechless is not your typical TV sitcom. Yes, our #1 goal is to make people laugh, but having the added dynamic of a special needs character also gives us a serious responsibility to portray families like the DiMeo’s with accuracy and respect. In playing Ray, I am representing all the siblings of someone with special needs. Ray is based off the life of Speechless creator, Scott Silveri, who knows first-hand the struggles of growing up in a family with a disabled sibling. Siblings often feel over-looked or invisible because so much of the family’s focus is on the disabled family member. I have tons of those siblings reaching out to me on social media, and in public, thanking me for bringing their struggles out in the open and giving them the recognition they deserve.
You’re only 16 but you’ve already starred in so many shows. Which has been your favourite role so far?
That is a tough question because I have been acting since I was 8 years old and have done TV, films, comedy, drama, I have been mentally unstable and been in a lot of hospitals, haha. They are all so different and each represent a stepping stone in my career. That said, few roles have felt more surreal than doing The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp. Before I was even an actor he was my idol, so working one-on-one with him for several months on a big movie was amazing.
Can you share any funny experiences you’ve had when filming?
One thing people who know me well will say about me is that I have a great sense of humor, I love to laugh and I want to have fun. I also love to scare people and have spent a lot of time doing just that on Speechless. I hear there are a LOT of crew members planning to get me back before we wrap the season next week.
If you could star as any TV or film character, who would you pick and why?
Wow that is a hard question. I am going to go with Maverick (Tom Cruise) from Top Gun. I was obsessed with that movie as a kid. Funny story: I thought his name was “Fabric” for several years. My dad didn’t correct me because he thought it was funny… thanks a lot Dad.
You’ve already worked with loads of famous stars like Johnny Depp, Jessica Alba and Jim Carrey. Which other famous person would you love to work with one day?
For me it is not so much about working with someone who is “famous” as it is working with someone I admire and could learn from during the experience. One person who’s career I really think is impressive is Matt Damon. He blew me away in Good Will Hunting (which of course earned my TV mom Minnie Driver an Oscar nomination) and Saving Private Ryan (one of my favorite movies), but is also so good as Jason Bourne and in the Oceans 11 films. He is great at drama, action films and he is also very funny on and off screen. He also works behind the camera which I can see myself doing someday.
Can you tell us about your charity work?
I am super excited about my charity work. I recently became a Celebrity Ambassador for Shane’s Inspiration (http://shanesinspiration.org), whose mission is to create inclusive playgrounds and programs to unite kids of all abilities and foster a bias-free world for children with disabilities. In my role, I will be contributing to their “Together We Are Able Social Inclusion Education Program,” an in-school program designed to promote awareness, communication, and understanding between children with and without disabilities, eliminating opportunities for conflict and bullying.
I am also involved with Farm Sanctuary (https://www.farmsanctuary.org), the nation’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization that combats the abuses of factory farming. Most of my family is vegan so there is a big focus on animal rights and preservation in my house.
Quick fire round!
Skateboarding or surfing?
Snowboarding. Sorry to throw you off, but I am obsessed with snowboarding!
Filming TV shows or filming movies?
There is equal love there.
Who is your favorite superhero and why?
Iceman from the X-Men because he creates ice slides and ramps and skates across them.
What’s your current favourite song?
I currently have Ed Sheeran’s new album, Divide, on repeat. Off the album I really love ‘Eraser’.
Would you rather never use the internet again or never watch TV again?
I am going to have to say never watch TV. Might sound weird, until you realize you can watch anything that is on the TV on the internet now! Tricked ya!
Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?
My dad will laugh at this one. He makes sure I am never late. His quote is, “when you are late you are saying that your time is more important than those waiting on you which is selfish and unprofessional.” As you probably guessed – I am always early.
Tell us your best joke!
I love to prank and joke around but I am terrible at jokes! “What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.”
Thank you to the adorable Mason Cook for his time! Catch Speechless on ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30|7:30c.
Keep up to date with Mason on his social media accounts:
Twitter – @masoncook
Insta – @masoncook
Snap – realmasoncook
Facebook – MasonCook
Are you a fan of Mason Cook? Let us know your thoughts on this interview on Twitter @CelebMix