A young Cloverdale actor is featured in one of this spring’s most anticipated new TV shows – Fargo, a mini series starring a constellation of Hollywood heavyweights: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, and Colin Hanks.
It’s a small but recurring role on a critically buzzed-about drama that marks another credit on this 10-year-old’s already notable acting résumé – who was the subject of our March 7, 2013 story, “Actor’s (guest) star lands”, which outlined a number of TV and film project that were set to air last spring.
And for some reason the stars have aligned again for the Adams Road Elementary student this month, when a number of his projects from the past year will make their television broadcast debut, meaning anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of this local actor in action will have their pick of possibilities.
“Once again, spring seems to be when his efforts over the year blossom,” his dad, Lee Drever, told The Reporter.
“This year is even bigger for Spencer,” said Lee, who explained Fargo is executive produced by the Coen Brothers – the same duo behind the 1996 Oscar-winning crime drama the series is inspired by – and is written and directed by the same talent that produced TV hits Breaking Bad, Bones, 30 Rock, and “basically every great show in the last 10 years.”
On April 20, he guest stars with Valerie Harper in the premiere of Signed, Sealed, Delivered, a new series from the creator of Touched by an Angel, airing on the Hallmark Channel.
He’s also the voice of Brad, a lead character in Plum Landing, an animated series premiering April 21 to 25 during Arthur, on PBS.
Spencer is guest starring April 23 as the younger version of a lead character in The 100, a new show on CW.
[A scene from Episode 1 of Fargo, the TV series]
Spencer appears in about half the 10 episodes of Fargo, in a small but pivotal role, according to his dad. The series debuts on FXX, a digital network, April 15. It’s an original adaptation of the memorable movie thriller that features a different storyline, but is also set in the bleak northern winterscape of Minnesota and a similar tone.
With such a strong ensemble cast, hopes are high.
The show revolves around a drifter (Thornton) who arrives in small town Minnesota, using malice and violence to influence the populace, including hapless insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman).
Spencer plays Gordo, Lester’s “oddball nephew.”
Despite turning in a promising audition, the Drevers weren’t sure how well Spencer did, never mind actually land the part – they never got a call back. “He had to read in a Minnesota accent, which is tougher than you might expect,” explained Lee.
Spencer obviously nailed it the first time around, making the Grade 5 student one of the first actors to be cast.
Spencer and his mom, Lisa, commuted back and forth to “freezing Calgary” as needed during production on Fargo, he said, usually three days at a time.
More than once, they landed in Abbotsford instead of YVR, heading straight to school in Cloverdale. “Quite a commute!”
Spencer, who started acting in Grade 1 at the suggestion of his teacher, is known for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Happy Face Killer and Stalkers.
When not acting, Spencer loves to play hockey (he’s a goalie) and basketball. He took in a Flames vs. LA Kings game in Calgary the last time he was there.
Spencer’s younger sister Sophie, 5, “Is also a performer, with no current intentions, however, of turning pro,” noted dad.