Fans following the career of actor Chaske Spencer can now watch him in the Cinemax series “Banshee.”Spencer joined the cast of the show as the recurring character Billy Raven, an ostracized former tribal police officer who joins the Banshee police force. The series’ third season started this month. It stars Antony Starr as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Penn., where he continues his criminal activities while being hunted by gangsters he betrayed years before. Hood has come to town to try to re-connect with his former flame, Carrie, once a notorious jewel thief now living under an assumed identity with a husband and children who know nothing of her past.
The show is from the creator of “True Blood.” In an interview earlier this week with Indian Country Today Media Network, Spencer, 39, said that what his character encounters while on the force in Banshee is definitely not what he expects.
“It’s a pretty gritty show,” said Spencer, who received police training for the role.
Spencer grew up in Lewiston, where he performed at the Lewiston Civic Theatre; Lapwai; and Kooskia, where he graduated from Clearwater Valley High School. He is best known for playing werewolf Sam Uley in the “Twilight” film series.
His other recent projects include several independent films, including 2014’s “Desert Cathedral.” Spencer plays a private investigator in the mystery thriller, which is winning praise at international film festivals. Based on a true story, it blends archival and found footage to tell the story of a real estate developer who mysteriously disappears from his Pacific Northwest home in 1992. Facing massive debt from a failed business endeavor, the man leaves behind a series of cryptic VHS tapes.
Spencer plays a detective in the upcoming indie crime thriller “Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale,” now in post-production. It’s another true story about a family man who was a dope fiend working in the underground porn business in 1968 New York City.
Here’s his complete interview with Indian Country Today Media Network:
“Your character on Banshee, Billy Raven—what’s his story?
My character is a tribal police officer for the Kinaho tribe. He leaves the tribal police force on the reservation due to the corruption and he joins the Banshee force. What my character Billy Raven runs into in Banshee is definitely not expected. It’s a pretty gritty show.
What’s it like to work with this cast?
They are all truly great to work with. The show itself runs like a well-oiled machine and Antony Starr is just a very nice guy. As I said, the show is gritty—and it’s cool to see these guys flip that switch to become their characters.
How does the show handle the Native storyline?
It’s great, especially considering it is one of the only ones we’ve got. (laughs) There are not many TV shows where Native Americans get to work. You rarely if ever see this type of idea on television where a Native person is taken from the reservation to work.
My character is truly a great character I can work with. This is just really one of those few shows out there—Longmire is another. For Banshee, I feel that they are doing a pretty good job with the Native element.
What’s the coolest scene you got to play?
Well, I don’t want to give too much away, but there are a few scenes that I get to play as a police officer where I’m running around, I get to scrap a bit, I use a gun quite a bit which is all pretty great. I actually received police training to ensure I was doing things right as a police officer would, in terms of holding a gun and other things.
What’s next for you?
There are two projects coming up that I have worked on and I am very proud of. One is Desert Cathedral, written and directed by Travis Gutiérrez Senger—I play a private investigator named Duran. The other is Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale, directed by Tate Steinsiek, in which I play Detective Barrone.
In both roles, I show my attempt at growing a mustache. I’m Native, so I can’t really grow the big chops!
Overall, I have a lot of gratitude for the work that I get and where I am at in my career. As a Native American, I feel that we still have a long way to go in the entertainment industry because there is not a lot out there for us. But we do what we can. ”