Fansite Friday: Chaske Spencer & Gil Birmingham

We’re back with another Fansite Friday! This week we are covering Gil Birmingham, Billy Black, and Chaske Spencer, Sam Uley. They were both on set the day that we visited back in April.

You need a little backstory for these interviews. Gil was what you could call an unexpected interview. What was funny, was that originally when we saw Gil, we asked our rep, “Will Gil be coming over and can we interview him?” Gil had only just gotten in and we were told “no” because he had to get wired up for sound to shoot his scene. So we thought, OK that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Well, what we started to notice is that we caught Gil’s attention. He’d be talking to the crew, then looking at us. He’d talk to Graham Greene, then he’d look at us. This pattern went on for awhile. However, we then ended up interviewing producer Wyck Godfrey, and we sort of lost track of Gil. Not that we don’t like Gil, but Wyck said the magic words “Breaking Dawn” and he kind of had our rapt attention.

So we finish with Wyck, we turn around and “BANG” right in front of us is Gil Birmingham with the oddest expression on his face (If you ever see Matt from Twilight Source he does a great imitation of this moment). He says, “Who are you people?” We explained, we had a good laugh and then Gil gave us a few brief thoughts before he had to go back to work. (Audio file at the bottom of this entry.)

Transcript Gil Birmingham Interview
The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Fansite Press Junket: His Golden Eyes, Twilighters Anonymous, Twilight Lexicon, Twilight Moms, Twilight Source/Imprint, Twilight Series Theories

Transcribed by Laura of Twilight Lexicon

Q: What’s this movie like compared to the first movie. What’s the production been like overall?
Gil: It’s much larger (laughs) I’ll tell you that. I don’t know. That’s a good question. How was it different? Being in Vancouver is slightly different. You know the cast members are still like a family. You take a little break, and you’re back together again. So, it picks up where we left off.

You know they found such a great location to-look at that house-(indicates the newly created Bella’s house set) it looks like the other one exactly.

You know I’m not here that much. I just got in this weekend. So this is my first day on-I was here a couple of weeks ago when we did the shoot (speaking of scenes shot at the Black House location). Now I’m here for today and I’m gone tomorrow. So, I don’t know whether I’m in a position to tell you if there is a whole lot of difference.

Q: The weather better?
Gil: The weather is nice. The restaurants are great.

Now next up is Chaske Spencer who plays Sam Uley.  In the scene that was being filmed, being true to the books, Chaske only wore a pair of shorts.  However, since it was very cold outside, pretty much as soon as Chris Weitz yelled cut Chaske would put on a very warm, thick coat.  When he approached us for the interview, his coat hung open, and I noticed how he never pulled it tight around his body in a way that said he was uncomfortably cold.  His possible immunity to the freezing temperature was rather impressive.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Chaske at one of the many events he’s been attending recently, you know that “tall” doesn’t really do him justice.  My first impression of him was that his height alone gave him the real presence of a leader.  He was very personable and friendly, and quite good looking to put it mildly.

Unfortunately, we were not able to record the interview and had to resort to basic note taking.  Since my own notes were something akin to chicken scratches and I only wrote down the answers and not the questions, I had a feeling that the other fansites might have similar problems and asked if we could pool our resources.  Thus, we all got in on a conference call and shared our notes with each other to bring you the best and most complete interview possible.  It should be noted that none of these answers are word for word perfect on what Chaske really said to us.  However, there were a few key phrases that we all took notice of and those can be found in quotes with in the text.  So if you see a part in quotes, that means that we all agreed that Chaske said those exact words.

We want to thank Summit for giving us the opportunity to do the interview and thank Chaske for taking a few minutes to stand in the cold and talk to us about the wild ride that the Twilight fandom is sending him on.

Chaske Spencer Interview
New Moon Set Visit, April 2009

His Golden Eyes, Twilighters Anonymous, Twilight Moms, Twilight Series Theories, Twilight Lexicon,Twilight Source/Imprint

Q: Why are you working out so much between takes? Is the workout regimen that strenuous?
Chaske: It’s cold outside it’s survival.

Q: What was your casting process like.
Chaske:It was a long casting process with Rene Haynes. It lasted several months, but when they decided on me it was just two weeks before the first scene I was in was shot.

Q: Have you read any of the Twilight books?
Chaske: I have read up to Eclipse and New Moon is my favorite. I read the book first and then the script.

Q: So what was it like working with Chris Weitz?
Chaske:He’s a “laid back director” and one “cool dude!” He’s a “guy’s guy” and is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Q: What’s your favorite scene so far?
Chaske: The scene where Bella confronts the wolfpack. “It was pretty epic”.

Q: How did the wolf pack bond together?
Chaske: We were all rooming in the same hotel, so we always saw each other. We trained together and hung out together playing basketball.  We knew we “needed to be a band of brothers” on screen, so we tried to bond on and off screen. We made sure that we would go to meals together and sit as a family.

Q: What do you do when you’re not shooting?
Chaske: I train a lot and explore  Vancouver.

Q: How has the role changed you?
Chaske: So far, it hasn’t really.

Q: What was it like dealing with the press and the new found fame?
Chaske: I didn’t really know what to expect, but “it’s been surreal”. When there are too many press around, “I just put on my sunglasses and hoodie, and I get my Jason Bourne on. I sneak off into the sunset.”

Q: Did you do any research on the Quileute people? Can you tell us about the pack tattoo?
Chaske: I didn’t have as much time to research as I would have liked because everything happened so fast. I only had two weeks from when I was cast until I had to be on set. But I did a little bit. The tattoo is a circle with two wolves based on a Quileute legends.