“There’s a good idea,” I think while stepping into a Williamsburg coffee shop to meet Chaske Spencer, the actor who plays Sam Uley in the Twilight films, “Hipster werewolves. Remember to pitch this TV concept.” That was before I saw Chaske, who is 6’1 and the guy next to Taylor Lautner looking menacingly hot in all the Twilight: New Moon posters: he smiled and waved me over.
“Haven’t we met before?” he starts out. We hadn’t, but if hipsterdom is defined as being too cool and aloof, Chaske doesn’t fit the bill at all. Like Sam, he is Native-American, and spends most of his down time on the Twilight set hanging out with the other wolves (Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Bronson Pelletier), but the similarities end there. Chaske (pronounced Chaz-KAY) is warm and laughs at everything, uses his fame to spotlight issues in the Native-American community, and has a stunningly wide breadth of topics he’s interested in. (He was on Parker Spitzer last night to talk about Prince William‘s engagement, Washington politics, and his charity organization Shift the Power to the People.)
There is one other quality, of course, that Chaske shares with Sam. They are both really really, ridiculously good looking.
Do you actually live in Brooklyn? This is like, the “cool” part.
It didn’t used to be! I’ve lived here for about 8 years now.
So are you a bona fide hipster?
No…well, I have the glasses. But they have thin frames.
A genuine hipster then. Do you think people recognize you here, but are too cool to say anything? There was a GIANT New Moon poster at this bus stop a year ago with your face on it.
No…well, some of them do. (Motions to the baristas.) I think they know. Things changed a little, after New Moon. I had all these late fees at the video store, about $60 worth, and the guys said that they’d forget the fines if I signed their poster.
It must be insane once you start doing the publicity tours.
Oh my god…for New Moon I was actually in Australia, which was cool. But for Eclipse, definitely. And right now for Breaking Dawn, well it’s just starting. I know Rob and Kristin are in Brazil shooting, and a couple people are in Baton Rouge shooting the interiors. And then I go in around February.
Have you heard much about the gruesome birth scenes?
No, I hope they keep the gruesome birth scenes! I’ve read the books, I had to. When I first got to set in downtown Vancouver I would walk around with New Moon and Eclipse, and girls would come up to me and say ‘Oh, you’re reading that!’ And I’d say yeah and then they’d look at me and go ‘Oh. You’re reading that.’ What’s that even mean?
Probably thought you played for Team Edward. Speaking of, do people actually ask if you are Team Edward or Team Jacob? Because your character literally runs Team Jacob.
All the time. I usually say I’m for Team Gill. When we were doing publicity the first time, for New Moon, it was the whole cast. I was like a walking PR machine. But this time around it was Julia Jones, Alex Meraz and I. I remember there was just one question I couldn’t answer during this interview, and I lost it. I just started laughing, and Julia looked over and had to swoop down to save me.