With the Twilight saga now laid to rest, supporting actor Chaske Spencer wonders how he will morph beyond Werewolf Sam Uley. “I don’t know. Twilight has been amazing for my career, and I’ll always be thankful for that. I like the fact that being involved in this franchise has helped out my career a lot. I went into it as a gig and have always treated it as such, as respectfully as I can be.” But now: “I can branch out; I think every actor wants that.” Though, when contemplating the notion of ever having to play Sam again in the distance future, Spencer chuckles “Oh god, no, I don’t think I could keep that type of body.”
Shooting Breaking Dawn (the final installment to the Twilight series) with intentions of it being a two part film meant a more-than-double long shoot schedule, committing all the actors for longer stays than before and more adherence to a character. Chaske Spencer feels fortunate here for having a supporting role. “I was very lucky where I didn’t have to be there that long. As a ‘character’ it didn’t take much, ‘cause I’d already been working on it for a couple years; it’s like a third arm.” However, that doesn’t mean his focus was any less than others. “I think what helped me stay in that frame of mind was, actually, the work outs. It’s a physical role. And, knowing it was going to be the end, I appreciated it more; I don’t know how lucky I’m going to be after this.” Spencer also reminisced, with good humor, about the downtime on a shoot. “Some days they would bring us in, and then just send us home again because there was so much [other] filming going on.” And in those instances, Chaske often spent time watching movies with co-star Booboo Stewart. “Booboo would come over to my trailer and we’d watch King of New York. He and I were really into movies, and I’d give him all these movies to watch because he’s so young, he's just like a little sponge. We watched Dog Day Afternoon and Days Of Heaven, and would break them down. A lot of time on movies, especially when you’re a supporting role, you have a lot of time on your hands. So we did that or push-ups.”
After all is said and done, Spencer is happy with his own portrayal of Sam Uley. He never feared disappointing readers of the book series, who may have already built a different Sam in their own minds. “As an actor, I really stay focused on what I want to do [with a role]. I talked to the fans before getting involved, while I was auditioning, and they told me Sam was a bad guy. And I thought ‘I don’t want to make him a bad guy, just one dimensional.’ I wanted him to be more a guy with a job to do; there’s a story behind that. From what I gather, the fans liked my take on that. For the role I was given, I tried to make as much as I could. I think every actor should give more depth to their characters.” And in the end, Chaske never resented being cast as a Werewolf over a Vampire, and losing a significant portion of his screen time to a CGI counterpart. “No, I liked that I was a werewolf, and didn’t mind kickin’ it with the CGI came in. Some of them were a little let down, and said they wanted to be in the battle scene. The battle scene was probably a lot of hard work. I think it took a month to film, from what I understand.” If he had to work with anyone else from the Twilight cast again, Chaske’s mind immediately jumped to one name. “I really liked watching Billy Burke. That’s someone I’d like to work with on a different film. I really admire his work, and have seen a lot of stuff he’s done. Watching him, what he does with his role in Twilight, he’s brilliant.” He also showed reverence for the variety of directors who’ve come and gone during the Twilight saga. “I would work with Chris Weitz in a heartbeat. I really liked Bill Condon, too. He’s a very nice man.”
Now that it’s over, Chaske Spencer is contemplating another passion of his: Photography. “I like taking pictures of rock bands. I hung around with 5 O’clock Heroes for a while, [taking pictures]. I take landscapes. I would love to get more into Third World photography. A lot of photographers have themes, a subject they’re doing, and I have a couple ideas I really want to do. I had a show last year in New York, sold my first photo and I was happy about that. I’d love to come to Chicago and do a show.” He cited the iconic Annie Leibovitz as a major influence. “I really like Annie Leibovitz, and I’m a big Rolling Stones fan. I like the fact that she went on tour with them, and she captured a lot of their images.” Although, he’s far from done with acting in films; Chaske Spencer expressed his fondness for character actors, and how he loves to stretch his own talent. Chaske Spencer will appear next in a film called Desert Cathedral; which he was not at liberty to discuss in detail due to director Travis Gutiérrez Senger’s secrecy. “He’s playing that close to chest right now. It’s a powerful movie. I don’t normally like to sit there and watch myself on film, but with Desert Cathedral I forgot I was in the movie.”
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, part 2 is now available to own on DVD/Blu Ray everywhere.