Benjamin Flores Jr. has perfected the art of looking terrified. The widened eyes, the slacked jaw and the furrowed brows are all weapons that have been tucked in his acting arsenal since he first appeared on Nickelodeon’s spooky sitcom The Haunted Hathaways eight years ago.
And it’s just as well. Now 18, Flores has graduated from kid friendly scares to slasher screams, with a starring role in Netflix’s adaptation of R. L. Stine’s book series, Fear Street. Telling the tale of fictional town Shadyside and its grisly history of inexplicable killing sprees, Netflix tackles the series by breaking it down into three films, each one revealing more about the town’s murderous past.
Stepping into the shoes of Ben, the younger brother to Kiana Madeira’s Deena, Flores’ character is the baby of Fear Street’s cast of hunted teenagers, but that doesn’t make him any less resourceful. When many younger brothers might run away, Flores’ Ben rises to the challenge, ultimately proving to be the brains of the bunch.
“I actually do feel like The Haunted Hathaways kind of prepared me for Fear Street, because I was already used to that horror theme,” says Flores. “I got that taste for it and this is kind of the next step up.”
Naturally, the filming experience wasn’t that scary behind the scenes. In fact, according to Flores, it was actually a lot of fun. “Outside of filming, there was a vegan burger spot at the bottom of a hotel that [the cast] would go to all the time, or we would go to a coffee shop, to the park together or watch movies,” he says. “Working on the project was probably one of the top three experiences I’ve ever had. We all got a chance to bond so it was a pretty fun time.”
From filming memories to treasured trainers, Flores recently caught up with THE FACE to share his five most precious possessions, each one providing a chance to reminisce and reflect.
ADIDAS YEEZY FOAM RNNRS
“I love those shoes, because they’re very functional and super innovative to what shoes can be like in the future. I can understand where Kanye was going with [the design]. I normally collect a lot of Yeezys, but these are my favourite. They’re so interesting looking and very unique compared to all the other shoes. It’s like a new take on a sandal or Crocs. I purchased them when they’d just come out earlier this year, but I’d been contemplating it for a while. That was probably one of my happiest purchases I’ve ever made.”
VIEWS BY DRAKE
“I purchased this on Apple Music in 2016 and that album was my go-to that whole time. Each song felt like a new vibe, basically. I learned a lot from the album, as I was growing up at the time. The album really stuck with me. Whenever I hear the songs or see the album cover, I’m drawn back to what it was like when I first heard it. Even if I’m driving somewhere where I listened to it, it reminds me of the album. My favourite songs are probably Western Road Flows and Keep The Family Close. Keep The Family Close is just so beautiful, in terms of what he’s talking about. Drake can be so relatable sometimes.”
HIS SWEET 16 BIRTHDAY PRESENT
“My parents bought me this white gold necklace for my 16th birthday. I hold that really close to my heart just, because that’s a piece I can always keep from for the rest of my life. I’m just really thankful that they decided to give me something like that for my birthday. I celebrated by spending the day at the beach with my friends and then we went to get sushi. We went back to my house and just spent the rest of the night around the fire pit.”
THE LIFE OF PABLO BY KANYE WEST
“I also bought that one around 2016 and it was like the next step after listening to Views, as I was getting older. What Kanye was talking about on the album and everything he’d gone through leading up to it… the way he just poured himself open with dope lyrics, but a beautiful sound at the same time. I would listen to it while driving through LA, trying to understand what I’m doing, so the album really reflects my time in LA as a teenager. It’s really sentimental to me.”
“My iPhone, MacBook and Apple Watch are all such functional necessities. Everything that I ever worked on is on my Mac, whether that’s a design or some music I’ve made, or photos I’ve taken. It’s all on my Mac and my iPhone is like a mini version of that. I mean, hey, we’re doing this interview on iPhones right now!”
Fear Street 1994: Part 1, the first of the Fear Street Trilogy, is available on Netflix now. Fear Street Part 2: 1978 and Fear Street Part 3: 1666 follow on 9th and 16th July.