news

October

6th

LA Times Visits Chaske Spencer’s “Winter in the Blood” Movie Set!

Los Angeles Times recently visited the set of Chaske Spencer’s new film, ‘Winter in the Blood.’ You all know Chaske as Sam Uley in the Twilight Saga movies.

Lead actor, Chaske Spencer studies his script between takes. Photo taken August 16, 2011.

Photo by Patricia Williams/For The Times

 

Reporting from Havre, Mont. ——

If, as has been said, Montana is a small town with really long streets, that’s never more true than in the remote but stunning area known as the Hi-Line.

Originally created by the tracks of the Great Northern Railway, this region close to the Canadian border features venerable hamlets such as Cut Bank, Shelby and Rudyard (“596 Nice People, One Sorehead”) strung out along U.S. 2 like links in a long and stubborn chain. “When you drive Highway 2,” says Chaske Spencer, shaking his head, “you really go back in time.”

Despite brooding grain elevators dominating the skyline and lonesome freight trains bisecting the endless fields of winter wheat, no one has brought a movie star like Spencer — he plays werewolf Sam Uley, a mainstay of the “Twilight” series — to the Hi-Line in years. Until Alex and Andrew Smith’s “Winter in the Blood,” based on the landmark novel by James Welch and featuring Spencer, “Twilight” colleague Julia Jones, David Morse and Gary Farmer, filmed here this summer.

Brimming with so much vibrant Montana history and connections that the good wishes of the entire state have lined up behind it, “Winter” is the quintessential little film that has used what one crew member called “smoke and mirrors and miracles” to get made. A genuine passion project for everyone it’s touched (including Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who made his plane available to fly in potential financiers and visited the set over the Labor Day weekend), the film got on its feet against considerable odds.

Welch, who died of a heart attack at age 62 in 2003, was a product of the Hi-Line, born in Browning of a Blackfeet father and Gros Ventre mother and raised on the Ft. Belknap Reservation. He put everything he knew about the area and about modern Native American life into “Winter in the Blood,” a landmark debut novel published in 1974.

The story of a nameless young Native American man who struggles with his heritage and his life, who feels “as distant from myself as a hawk from the moon,” “Winter” is a book where not a lot happens but everything is revealed. As costar Farmer explains, raising his outstretched arm ever so slightly, “the character’s arc goes like this, nothing really changes. It’s the audience who grows. I’ve known this author my whole life, and that’s what I love about his writing.”

The book, which has been translated into eight languages and remains in print, was a foundation stone of the literary Native American renaissance and has inspired countless writers, from Louise Erdrich (“what astounded me was that something so familiar could be made into literature”) to Sherman Alexie.

Alexie returned the favor by becoming an associate producer on “Winter in the Blood.” When he spoke at a fundraiser in Missoula, remembers co-screenwriter Ken White, he said that reading the book “was the first time I read a story about myself, the first time I saw my story represented in literature. It gave me permission to speak. It’s why I became a writer.”

White’s co-screenwriters, the twin Smith brothers, have deep Montana connections as well. Born and raised in the state, their first film, the Ryan Gosling-starring Sundance hit “The Slaughter Rule,” was also shot on the Hi-Line, and their mother, writer Annick Smith, was the co-editor (along with William Kittredge) of a renowned anthology of Montana writing, “The Last Best Place.”

More than that, the Smith brothers had been close to Welch for as long as they could remember. “We just grew up knowing him; he was one of the constants in our lives,” says Andrew. A friend of the boys’ parents, Welch even met his future wife, Lois, at a party at the Smiths’ house. Adds Alex, “after our dad, Dave, died [in 1974, when the twins were 6], we looked around at men and wondered, ‘Would he have been a good dad?,’ and Jim was always high up in that category.”

Once the brothers read “Winter in the Blood” in high school, says Alex, “it was, ‘Whoa, this guy who’s been so sweet at Thanksgiving and Christmas has this sadness, this depth he didn’t display all the time.’ He became someone we admired.”

The novel, which features a narrator who deals with the deaths of his father and his beloved brother, haunted the Smiths. Says Alex, “Obviously, we’re not Indians, but we grew up isolated and rural, and we suffered the traumatic loss of a family member.” Adds Andrew, “The book is also about losing a brother, and we had such a tremendous fear of losing each other.”

Despite all these connections, the brothers never thought of filming “Winter in the Blood,” even after the success of “The Slaughter Rule” made them bankable directors. “Maybe,” says Andrew, “we were too close to see it.” Instead, they pitched other ideas and wrote any number of screenplays without anything coming to fruition.

Then in 2007, White, an actor-writer friend of the brothers, house-sat at their mother’s place near Missoula. “I couldn’t sleep that night and opened a copy of ‘Winter in the Blood,’ which I had never read,” White remembers. “At 5 in the morning, I emailed Alex and Andrew and said, ‘Why are you not making this movie?’”

Convincing everyone took awhile, but, says Alex, after years of “getting so close on so many projects that were not getting made, we thought we should go back to how we did it on ‘Slaughter Rule’ and make something close to our hearts.” Not surprisingly, agents and managers said, “‘What? You want to do a period drama that’s 80% Native American?’” Adds Andrew, “They thought it was suicide.”

Read this entire article HERE!

Via

April

3rd

Hot New Chaske Spencer Photoshoot!

Photographer Nadia Itani shot this new sexy shoot with the Twilight Saga‘s Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley.) Here are two, but you can see them all here!

Via Team–Twilight

Edit: And also, while I was browsing Nadia Itani’s website I came across these older portraits she took with Chaske that I’ve never seen before:

April

2nd

New Pic of the Wolf Pack at Dinner!

Here’s a cute pic that Gil Birmingham posted on his facebook page of various wolf pack members dining out.

Via Team–Twilight

March

25th

Julia Jones & Chaske Spencer Will Go ‘One Day Without Shoes’ April 5th

On April 5th, Twilight actors Julia Jones & Chaske Spencer are participating in the ‘One Day Without Shoes’ campaign by Tom’s Shoes. Summer is on the way, so remember: for every pair of Tom’s shoes you purchase, a new pair will be given to a child in need. One For One.

To learn more about this movement and to shop online for fashionable Tom’s Shoes visit the website here.

Via Diario Twilight

March

6th

Chaske Spencer at 2011 Fall Fashion Show

Here is a new video interview with Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley) where he chats briefly about his upcoming projects. This is from the 2011 fall fashion show last week in New York.

Chaske comes in at :57


Via BlackPack

February

13th

Chaske Spencer In OUCH Magazine!

Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley) is featured in he newest issue of Ouch! Magazine. Check out his pics below:


This is a side of him I didn’t know existed, lol!

Thanks BlackPack

February

11th

Chaske Spencer Attends The Rag & Bone Fall Fashion Show in New York

Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley) attended the Rag & Bone fall fashion show in New York February 11th.



Thanks FoForks via DiarioTwilight

February

10th

Chaske Spencer At Los Angeles Clippers vs New York Knicks Game

Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley) attended the Los Angeles Clippers vs New York Knicks game yesterday (February 9th) at Madison Square Garden,
New York.

Thanks FoForks


February

4th

Chaske Spencer Attends Jeffrey Fashion Cares Event

Chaske Spencer (aka Sam Uley) attended a shopping event benefiting Jeffrey Fashion Cares hosted by Details and David Yurman at the David Yurman Townhouse last night (February 3rd) in NYC.

Thanks BlackPack

January

31st

Video: Chaske Spencer Behind The Scenes Of his March 2011 Cover Shoot With ‘Ouch’ Magazine

Here’s a new behind-the-scenes video from the cover shoot with Chaske Spencer did with Ouch! Magazine which will be out in March 2011!

Click here to go to Visit Ouch Magazine.

Thanks BlackPack

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