Mason Gooding is tempted to show me his closet (two white doors concealing what I imagine to be an impressive collection of chic knits), but he catches himself mid-thought: “That feels like a mess,” he laughs, sitting back down in his chair. The actor happens to be somewhat of a sweater connoisseur, more specifically of the turtleneck variety, and his love for the cozy piece seems to know no bounds. At the moment, he’s obsessing over a chunky Coach version that “looks like yummy sugar cereal” from the brand’s resort 2022 collection. “I need to be told when it’s available because I want it more than I want to breathe,” he admits with a cheeky smile.
Gooding flashes that smile many times throughout our 30-minute Zoom conversation. It’s just one of the things that make the 25-year-old so damn likable both on screen and off. (That, and the genuine excitement he has for his craft coupled with his enthusiasm for things like sweaters, superheroes, and collecting manga.)
Despite having spent the majority of his life in and around Hollywood—his father is Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., by the way—he’s refreshingly grounded and genuine in these moments. Since his breakout role in the critically acclaimed buddy comedy Booksmart, Gooding has become somewhat of a rom-com fixture, charming audiences in a slew of feel-good projects such as Let It Snow and the Hulu hit Love, Victor. This month, however, we’re seeing the rising star in an entirely different light as he takes on the horror genre in the beloved slasher film Scream.