When Chaske Spencer joined English he felt a deep connection with his character, Eli Whipp, a former US Indian cavalry scout who was “alien” like him, said the actor. Newsweek.
Hugo Brick’s tale of love and revenge, set against the backdrop of the American West, follows Lady Cornelia Locke Spencer and Emily Blunt, who by chance or by chance meet and help each other achieve their goals.
For Cornelia it is avenging her son’s d*ath by killing the man who m*rdered him, for Eli it is regaining the land that was taken from him.
“English” star Chaske Spencer on joining Eli: “I never fit”
Spencer felt an affinity with his character, explaining how much he wanted to portray his image of Eli by bringing his own experiences and adding them to the role.
– I can not help it. How could I not, you know? Spencer said. “I have my own experiences of being Native American in this environment and growing up on a few Indian reservations, just drawing on a lot of experiences and seeing the result of Manifest Destiny and growing up with it.
“I don’t let it bother me too much, that is, if I thought about it every day, I wouldn’t even be here. I recognize the past, I recognize it, respect it and respect it, but it’s not something I always drag into production.
“I don’t represent all of Native America, I’m just an actor [and] these are my experiences, I believe that every Native American has their own unique experience and I believe that I have my own unique experience. “
“I put it in Eli because I feel like I’m sharing the character of being an Outsider with him, and that’s what I really liked about him,” added the actor.
“He’s an Outsider and I feel that way too. I never really fit in the reservation, and never really fit in the reservation, so I brought it, and that is only by growing up in my experience that I attracted to Eli. “
Eli is from the Pawnee Nation, and showrunner Blick has done extensive research on them to bring the character to life and has asked Spencer, who comes from the Lakota Sioux tribe, to investigate the work he has prepared.
When he finished reading Blick’s research, the actor “began to look beyond that” and tried to build the character in his own way, relying on stories from veterans he knew who served in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq as he felt Eli would have had the same experiences with stress disorder trauma when he was a soldier.
But it also led him to an interesting conclusion: “Somewhere along the way, I thought it would be fun if Eli was just a biker.”
“He was a motorcycle vet from Vietnam and that’s how I joined him. That’s what he is, that’s what this guy is, and although he’s from the 19th century, it’s still upgradeable, and that helped me a lot, Spencer thought.
“So I listened to a lot of music back then, a lot of Creedence Clearwater Revival, a lot of Bruce Springsteen. Before we got onto the set, I was pounding Born in the USA by Springsteen and Gypsy cyclist, these two songs i felt really captured who Eli was, and they’re just b ***** songs. I’m gonna play an ab ***** character, wanted an ab ***** song! “
About working with Hugo Blick and Emily Blunt
Reflecting on the Prime Video franchise, Spencer shared how he was “very surprised” that Blick wanted the story to be led by an Indian character when they were too often marginalized or worse.
“I was very surprised because you don’t see much of it and the Indian hero is the leader of the Western genre– Usually it’s saved for Paul Newmans and Clint Eastwood and I was very surprised by it. ” Dusk common star. “I welcomed the adventure, the challenge of making this character and just making it another spin, that was it.”
Spencer calls Westerns what Avenger, The outlaw Josey Wales, and Once upon a time in the West as his genre favorites, especially because he made him “really love this character.”
Speaking of how his series fared, Spencer added, “There’s so much in the genre and you can make it fresh, you just want to twist it a little, that’s all.
“There is nothing much [that’s different]it’s still a real western, you have action, adventure, romance and revenge, still sticking to the same elements but it’s just a little changed, that’s all. “
Spencer also shared how he felt like he was “in good hands” with his partner, Blunt, who is in the drama and executive producer.
The actor called it a “wonderful experience” of playing with Blunt, adding: “I enjoyed going to work, she is just professional, such a lovely person and one of the most talented actors working right now.
“And I just felt very supported by her, […] I just felt like I was in good hands with her and Hugo, they let me find the character of Eli, they just supported me a lot.
He explained that they practiced a lot prior to filming to “bring out the characters” and better understand each other as actors, which Spencer said was “very important because in the daytime, especially in a western, you don’t know what it’s like if it turns out, a horse can do something, you have to be prepared for anything.
“And yeah, before we started shooting, we had it down, and then we laughed and joked a little between takes,” Spencer added. “We have a lot in common, we talked about our families so it was amazing.
“This is what I love about the acting profession, you can spend time with people and bond with them for a short while, and it’s a fun adventure to continue with people who are really passionate about the project and are really nice.”
The premiere of English on Prime Video took place on Friday, November 11.
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