With the “Twilight” film trilogy behind him actor Chaske Spencer is returning to a slightly slower paced life, although things will never be as they were before he was cast as shape-shifting werewolf Sam Uley.
The Clearwater Valley High School graduate will be the featured guest Saturday at the 2013 Chocolate Fantasy in Kamiah. The event is a fundraiser for the Kamiah Community Partners Coalition, which promotes substance-free activities for local youth. Inland 360 caught up with Spencer before his visit. He was walking home from a meeting in New York City where he has lived for more than a decade.
360: What is your life like post-“Twilight?”
CS: “It’s like big franchise, it definitely altered my lifestyle. I’ve talked to the other actors about it. It’s a double-edged sword. I’m glad it’s over but I miss it too. There was always another job six or so months down the road and there were so many amazing things I got to experience.”
360: How often are you recognized by people when you are out in public?
CS: “Quite a lot, actually. In the past year I get recognized a lot more, especially in airports. (Laughs) I’m walking home right now and someone just recognized me.”
360: Do you worry about protecting your privacy? Google “Chaske Spencer” and all sorts of fan groups come up, including one in Latvia.
CS: “Oh yeah, I do. No one knows where I live. I’ve been in this neighborhood a longtime. I haven’t changed where I live. I look at acting as a job. It’s a job that I happen to like to do. There’s publicity and stuff that comes with it. After “Twilight” ended I stopped doing interviews. I’d been doing them three or four years without taking a break. I think you can get a little too caught up in it if you don’t watch out.”
360: You have your own production company now called Urban Dream and you’re working on a documentary about indigenous water rights and feature film?
CS: “Yeah, projects are lined up and now I’m in the process of securing funding. To make movies you’ve gotta have a lot of money. With the documentary we picked a subject that’s got lots of controversy around it and a lot of red tape. With the feature film it’s four steps ahead, two steps back. … Movies you see now it took years to get them made. I’m getting schooled in the producing process.”
360: Do you want to produce or continue to act or both?
CS: “I’d like to do both. There’s a lot of projects out there I’d like to get a hold of. I’m choosy in what I pick. I’m working on two films in the coming months. One is with an Oscar-winning actor, I can’t say what it is. That will help out a lot. I’ll be filming “Indian Summer” in Scotland in May or April. It’s a good script by Brian Ward, who has done a lot of film and TV in Europe. I play the lead.”
360: You were one of the stars in a proposed NBC Western series called “The Frontier.” After the pilot was filmed NBC decided not to pick it up. Is there any chance people will be able to see the show?
CS: “I don’t think so. … Out of 50 pilots three or four get the green light. They flew us down to Australia (for filming). I guess it just didn’t fly. Once it gets to the network it’s pretty much out of your hands.”
360: Michelle Obama recruited you for her “Let’s Move! Indian Country” campaign to support youth in creating healthier lifestyles. Did you get to meet the first lady?
CS: “I didn’t get to meet her. … Things got thrown off and she showed up a day after I left. I got to hang out with the Secret Service guys who were awesome.”
What: Kamiah Community Partners Coalition 2013 Chocolate Fantasy
When: Saturday, 3 p.m. auction; 6 p.m. dinner catered by Grangeville’s The Gallery
Where: American Legion Hall, 618 Main St., Kamiah
Cost: Entry to the auction is free. Dinner tickets are $28 and available online at http://kcpcchocolatefantasy.weebly.com