Chaske Spencer first came to prominence in the mega hit Twilight franchise and the Cinemax series Banshees, and has since gone on to wide acclaim as Teddo in the film Wild Indian opposite Jesse Eisenberg. Here, He fills us in on his latest project, playing opposite Emily Blunt in the western drama Amazon Prime miniseries The English.
Tell us a little bit about The English. What drew you to the role of Eli Whipp?
The English is a western genre story about a woman named Cornelia [played by Emily Blunt] who comes across the ocean to embark onto the western frontier to seek revenge. During her journey, she happens to run into Eli Whipp as they serendipitously cross paths. I don’t want to spoil what happens next, but let’s just say that Eli accompanies her on her adventure. It’s a beautiful show and the cinematography is amazing. Hugo Blick’s writing is what drew me to the role and I think the audience will understand why after watching it.
Did you have to learn any new or specific skills for the role?
Yes! I learned to handle a shotgun and through my stunt training, I also learned how to use the weapons of that time period. They put me through a month plus of stunt training to get them all down. I had a wonderful time doing it. I thrive learning about new things and working on stunts like that. Plus, that kind of training really helps get me further into the character.
What was the most challenging part of shooting the series?
I have a few different thoughts. First, the elements. The weather was something we had to work around. Also, working with animals – mainly horses – is challenging, as you can imagine. You can’t control animals. There were definitely times they had their own agenda! They took lunch when they wanted to [laughs]. And again, the weather is the weather. There’s no way to control that whatsoever.
Tell us about working with Emily Blunt.
A pleasure. Really fun. She really is a tremendous, wonderful, down-to-earth person. Such a talented actor. I can say that she made it easy going to work in the morning and I am proud of what we accomplished together.
You’re probably still best known for the role of Sam Uley in the Twilight series. Has being a part of such an enormous franchise been a help or a hinderance to your career and the parts you’ve gotten?
I always tip my hat to Twilight. If it wasn’t for Twilight, maybe I’d still be bartending. I had a wonderful experience on that franchise, and I didn’t have a difficult time working again at all after Twilight. I just continued to work on projects that I really enjoyed filming and it was a blessing. I am grateful for the experience and how it opened doors for me.
Do you have a favorite film or experience you’re most proud of?
I’ve had a wonderful experience on all the films I’ve done. I’ve been very fortunate and lucky that I’ve gotten to work with such amazing people. I’m really proud of the movie Wild Indian. I think we did some really good work on that movie with Michael Greyeyes and Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., the director. It was also really exciting to receive the Independent Spirit Award nominations for our work.
Is there anyone in particular you haven’t gotten to but would love to work with?
Oh wow. There are so many people! If I say it, I might jinx it [laughs]. Francis Ford Coppola is someone I would like to work with someday. He’d be an incredible director to engage with and I know it’d be a ton of fun. Steven Soderbergh is another director I would love to work with for various reasons. I could keep you here all day because my list goes on and on.
Is there anything you would tell your younger self that you think you could learn from?
Keep doing what you’re doing and have fun.
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As ex-cavalry scout Eli Whipp in the Amazon Prime miniseries starring Emily Blunt, The English