Interview with a New Moon Werewolf

Chaske Spencer, who plays the leader of the wolf pack, talks about training, Taylor Lautner and more.
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BC: Did you guys have a celebratory reunion party when you started shooting Eclipse?

Chaske: No, we just pretty much came in and started working right away. We just picked up where we left off. We see each other a lot anyway, between films, so we keep in contact, the wolf pack and I. We are all really good friends now. We will call each other from time to time or text each other. We’ll see each other at Twicons [Twilight conventions] and so it is almost like we never left.

BC: Who are your closets friends from the set?

Chaske: Kiowa, Alex, Bronson and Tinsel [Korey, who plays Emily] and I would go out and grab dinner after shooting, and after a workout, we would go grab lunch. Basically we hang pretty tight. So we are together on the set and when we are not on the set, we go out and do things. We’ll go to the movies or something.

BC: I am curious if you still live in Brooklyn — I read that on a couple of websites.

Chaske: Yes, I do. I actually dropped out of college and moved to NYC with $100 and a one-way ticket. [Laughs]

BC: Wow, that sounds like the title of a country song.

Chaske: Yes, I know. I probably wouldn’t do that now but when you are young, you have this feeling of being invincible which is good, you know? So I crashed on a lot of couches and I started waiting tables, got into bartending and also catering. I just did the whole struggling actor thing — I started getting bit parts here and there and started working my way up.

BC: Can you tell me about any funny moments that happened while you were filming New Moon?

Chaske: Well, one day we were filming with our shirts off and it was really cold. They had a rain machine going too. It was REALLY cold out. So between takes the boys and I would huddle up against each other and try to keep the warmth through our bodies. It was really awkward but you know, when you are really cold, you will do anything. [Laughs] We did a rugby circle — our teeth were chattering and we were just trying to keep warm. When we see that scene [in the final cut], we will probably laugh, because we know what was really going on. It was pretty intense.

BC: You’re only 34 but you’re one of the older New Moon cast members. Did the others see you as a big brother?

Chaske: Yeah. [New Moon director] Chris Weitz did a really good job of casting. A lot of us are sort of our roles. Alex, Bronson and Kiowa, they are younger than me, and Bronson has been a working actor for a while. He really knows what he is doing — not to say the rest of them don’t. I have been working as an actor for 10 or 11 years now and starred in a couple of films, so I have been around the block a few times. I help give them advice and suggestions if they want them, but yeah, they are like my little brothers, so I try to do what I can to help guide them because this is a business and you have to be very aware of that.

BC: Can you tell me what your impressions are of Taylor?

Chaske: He’s a good guy. I think that he is a talented actor and he is really nice — and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. His parents raised him really well. He’s a “please” and “thank you” kind of guy; just an all-around sweetheart. He is a good human being and I am very impressed with how he conducts himself in terms of everything [happening] around him. He is very down-to-earth and very levelheaded. I enjoy his company — he’s good to hang out with on the set and is a fun guy.

BC: Who would you like to play in a biopic?

Chaske: Oh, I never thought about that. I would say Mick Jagger. I can imitate him pretty well. I can do a good impersonation.

BC: What do you like to do when you’re not acting?

Chaske: I play drums. I like photography, I like to observe a lot. That is the coolest thing about being behind the camera — I can observe people and take pictures. The only thing about that now is that my anonymity is slowly going away. I was at the mall the other day and I was just looking at people, and then I realized they were looking at me because they knew who I was. [Laughs] I was like, “No, no. I cannot do that anymore!”

Anne M. Raso is a NYC-based freelance entertainment journalist who has written for Time Out New York, Real Health, Today’s Black Woman and other popular magazines.

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