Oklahoma-born actor Chaske Spencer becomes leader of the pack in "Twilight: New Moon"
From left, Alex Meraz plays Paul, Kiowa Gordon plays Embry and Chaske Spencer plays Sam in “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
“Twilight” saga new phase for actor
State native Chaske Spencer plays Quileute Indian, werewolf in latest chapter of paranormal saga
LOS ANGELES — For Chaske Spencer, playing a werewolf in “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” was more than a chance to appear in one of the biggest movies of the year.
The film offered the opportunity to embody American Indians in a positive, modern-day fashion.
“We try to represent well, because “We’re very fortunate to be here and to represent our people in a contemporary way, and a lot of responsibility does come with that,” Spencer said in a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom, where he was surrounded by fellow Native American actors Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Bronson Pelletier.
“We’re getting offers as well for roles that are non-specific for Natives — some guy that doesn’t have to be Native. We’re very fortunate and blessed for that.”
For Spencer, 34, his first major role as an actor was playing the title character in an off-Broadway production of “Dracula.” The Oklahoma-born thespian finds himself at the other end of the supernatural spectrum in “New Moon” as Sam Uley, a Quileute Indian who becomes first of his generation to tap his people’s genetic ability to transform into werewolves. Their job is to protect the tribe from vampires, and Sam becomes leader of the pack.
“No one wants this. It just happens, this is what we’re dealt. When the Cullens came around, that’s when we started phasing. My character, he was the first one to phase, so my relationship to these guys, I’m sort of the big brother, the mentor, the father figure to help them,” Spencer said. “We are like a band of brothers, like a rock band, and suddenly Jacob starts to phase, and …he has some choices to make and he has to join us. we surround him and tell him it’s not that bad.”
In “New Moon,” the second film based on Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling book series, human heroine Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is devastated when her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) leaves over concerns for her safety. Bella takes comfort in her friendship with her Quileute pal Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), but her life again gets supernaturally strange when Jacob turns into a werewolf.
The sequel took in a monstrous $140.7 million when it debuted last weekend, giving it the third-biggest opening weekend on the all-time domestic box-office list.
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