June 27th, 2010 21:26 EST
Chaske Spencer Bares All for Twilight's Eclipse
Growing up in Idaho, the tall, dark and handsome, Chaske Spencer dreamed of pursuing a career in photographer and later an acting career.
The son of a mom, who is a teacher at a local alternative high school, and a dad who is a counselor at another high school, Spencer never in his wildest dreamed imagined he would be a pivotal part of the /Eclipse/ and the /Twilight /phenomenon. The long-anticipated summer movie /Eclipse/ will be released on June 30.
The 34-year-old hunk enjoys skydiving, new music, film, Native American culture, politics, world issues, travel, books, and people.* *Chaske had to put on 15 pounds of muscle for the film /New Moon/ to maintain his high energy on the set he would watch films like Let/hal Weapon /to keep the testosterone going.
During a recent, exclusive chat he also says he bonded with the guys in the werewolf pack as well as his Eclipse co-stars Kirsten Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Rob Pattinson.
For those who have not been paying attention to this recent cult classic, in /The Twilight Saga: Eclipse/, Bella Swan once again finds herself surrounded by danger as Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge.
In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward [Rob Pattinson] and her friendship with Jacob [Taylor Lautner] - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between vampire and werewolf. She is in vain trying to make Edward and Jacob make peace and be friends.
Bella is torn between the love she feels for Edward and the strong friendship between her and Jacob, who has the unique support and brotherly bonding of the other werewolves, including Chaske`s character Sam Uley.
Chaske is a Native American Indian or First Nation descendant of Lakota (Sioux) Nation. His heritage includes Sioux, Nez Perce, Cherokee, Creek, French, and Dutch.
He currently shares a house in Brooklyn, New York with Adam Morse, a bass player with the band Five O`Clock Heroes.
Chaske (pronounced Chess-Kay) Spencer was born in Oklahoma. He lived through his childhood in Montana, Kooskia (pronounced Kooskie), Idaho, Lapwai and Lewiston Idaho.
When Chaske was young he dreamed of being a photographer, but before long he found himself in front of the camera pursuing an acting career. He moved to New York City and in between bar tending and waiting tables, he was cast in Dracula, his very first off-off-Broadway play, playing the title role. So I guess one could say vampires were in his future.
From there he did a number of New York Theatre pieces and was fortunate enough to be discovered by television/film casting director Rene Haynes. She cast him in his first feature Skins as well as the lead in Dreamkeeper and Steven Speilberg`s Into the West.
He is involved in several projects to that end. Partnered with his manager Josselyne Herman and veteran producer Ted Kurdyla, his production company, Urban Dream, is in development on a feature length documentary as well as a feature film.
His heroes are many, including The "Champ" Mohommand Ali, Crazy Horse, Bob Marley, Steve McQueen, Bruce Lee, and Lance Armstrong.
An avid music lover among his favorite music artists are Jay Z, GMiles Davis, Steve Wonder, Kings of Leon, Strokes, The Stones, Q Tip, John Legend, The Black Keys, Volta, Johnny Cash, and anything Motown.
From his first acting role as a vampire in Dracula to his most current role in /Eclipse /as the lead werewolf, it seems he has truly come full circle.
Chaske, I heard that you were pretty protective of the other guys in the werewolf pack and you became pretty good friends with them, can you talk about that?
CHASKE SPENCER: I am really protective of them. They are my brothers. They are guys I have bonded with and we are all going through this Twilight phenomenon, and they are good, young men. I think we all lean on each other for support. I`ve got their back and they`ve got mine.
Your first aspiration was to be a photographer before you took up acting?
CS: I`ve always taken pictures and I liked being a photographer, and I thought I`d be able to do that professionally. I got the acting bug and I just started wanting to explore that part of my life and it all worked out.
But you never imagined you would be in a cult favorite like /Twilight./ What is that like?
It`s often compared to having the same fan intensity of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones.
CS: Being a part of this /Twilight /franchise, it`s a lot bigger than me. It`s a huge, huge story and movie, books and the fans are great. They are very supportive. It is a world of it`s own and I don`t really question it much because it is a ride. I`m just enjoying it for what it is. That`s all you can really do.
Can you share an unusual fan story?
CS: Let me think. The girls that cry always makes me feel very uneasy because I just don`t know what to do or how to respond to them. I don`t know if I should hug them or tell them I am sorry they are crying, I just don`t know what to do. It really makes me uneasy. But most of the fans have been pretty respectful.
People get their own idea of what some of your co-stars are like. You can tell me what your co-stars Taylor, Kristen and Rob are really like?
CS: The media seems to have a misconception about them. Most of what`s being said is pretty positive, but there are some times when it can be pretty negative. These actors, Kristen, Rob and Taylor, that`s all they are, they are just actors. They are regular, nice, down to earth people, when you get people writing crap about them, you don`t know who they are and people don`t understand what they are going through. I think the media can be unfair. I`m a part of the franchise, but I don`t have anything of the heat that they have.
Tell me more.
CS: Some days you just want to tune out. Some days you just want to enjoy your life and simple things and you have to remember that these three people can`t. And you`ve got to remember they are very young. But I`d say they handle themselves really well. Taylor is a good guy, Rob is too, and Kristen is a sweetheart. When they are doing their work and their job, they are actors and actresses and at the end of the day they want to go out and do stuff on their own but they are not allowed to. I think the media can be a little harsh on them from time to time.
Can you still do what you want without being mobbed by fans?
CS: Oh, yeah. I`m fine. I go out and do what I want and no one recognizes me. I kind of like that.
What is it like when your parents and sisters get to see Eclipse and the other Twilight films and they know you are getting this recognition?
CS: They are very proud. I come from a really good family and we are pretty tight. They know that I`ve been doing this for a long time and they are very proud that I am working on this phenomenon called Twilight.
What are you doing music-wise now?
CS: Nothing really, I just buy a lot of music on Itunes. I used to play drums. I still do from time to time. I have a drum set downstairs in my basement. I love to see bands and shows. I`m living in Brooklyn and it`s really a hot spot for music. I like the fact I can go out and check out new bands, plus meet some people that I have admired and pretty much worshipped when I was a kid. And I get to meet these people finally. So it`s very surreal. Musically, I am always keeping my ear open for new sounds.
What`s in the future, plans, projects, personally and professionally?
CS: I just finished a movie called Shining Secrets and signed on to do Winter of the Blood. The two Breaking Dawn movies are coming up. Then I`m going to sleep. I`m going to sleep a long time.
CS: I`m tired.
You put on 15 pounds of muscle for Eclipse and drinking protein drinks. Please talk about that.
CS: The health food store GNC has been very generous. We were go to their store in Vancouver and I would buy protein shakes and drink three to four of those a day, plus eat six meals a day, plus the workouts. We`d work out for an hour and a half and sometimes me and another cast member would go back to the gym and work out twice a day. It`s all about the diet and hitting the gym. I`ve packed on more weight. I`ve got a trainer I`m going to be working with through Crunch Gym. It`s definitely changed my body.
The women seem to think you look great.
CS: Thanks; I appreciate that.
Are you going to keep up with it?
CS: Sure, until the films are done. Then I will relax for a while.
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