Spencer Garrett looks at his laptop screen with a calm sense of humor, as if he’s ready to talk about anything in a Zoom interview. Her quiet smile is disarming, and welcome!
A third-generation actor, Garrett has been in this business for a long time. His grandparents and parents operated and lived in a show boat, these colorful luxury ships of yesteryear, from games to restaurants and live entertainment, when they dominated the rivers of the Midwestern United States. For Spencer’s family, this was it Gold stick, and docked on the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Basically, Spencer grew up in a floating theater, and his grandparents gave him a love of theater from a very young age, something that strengthened his parents and aunts.
He presents me with his youth honestly, and with great love and respect for cinema. Her mother was a TV star in the sixties and seventies, and the most notable was the first woman in the Screen Actors Guild. “There was a part of me that wanted to see what I could do with what my grandparents were doing,” Garrett says. “I had a lot of that growing in my blood and bones. I think it could be said that I started when I was young because I wanted to try water and see what I was good at. And, you know … I’m still trying to guess.
His family’s theatrical training gave him an advantage since he left the ship. “There’s a place in Delmar Loop called Blueberry Hill [in St. Louis]. If you go to Blueberry Hill, that is one of the great honors of my life. My picture is on the wall of stars with Joe Edward, the guy who ran Blueberry Hill. I was at the St. Louis Film Festival many years ago in a movie called Casino Jack. I came across trends then, and he said, ‘Can I take your picture and put it on the wall?’ And that was for me, having my picture on the wall of Blueberry Hill, where Chuck Berry was playing that night … it was a great excitement for my grandparents and my mom to grow up in the city. ”
When he went to LA for a performance, he found an interesting niche in the LA TV scene, lovingly playing some similar roles he called “pizzas in suits”.
“I was playing a lot with neat lawyers and crooked politicians and, you know, a lot of them, with a lot of morally questionable guys in suits and ties. I became a kind of boy. At least I’m playing with these guys on TV, and I’m living comfortably, but I didn’t feel particularly challenged. I think I would put myself on this comfortable sofa “Oh, I know if I get a call to read the Law and Order and if it’s DA self-service and smarmy, I’ll probably get it.” I played a lot of those guys. ”
Things changed after the audition film Public enemies, which had a complete change of pace thanks to some advice from the casting director.
“Michael Mann, one of my favorite directors and someone I really admire, had a character who was a former boxer, like a hat. Chicago, something I wasn’t really used to playing. All I wanted was to play the characters and be a character actor, so I got this audition and I went to the casting director Bonnie Timmerman, and I mean, she’s done a hundred films and she has a lot of respect. I went to Bonnie and asked her to read it for the FBI guy? He said, ‘Spencer, I’ve been after you for a long time. And I know you’re good at playing these guys in suits. I don’t want to see him do that anymore. I think you’re better than that.That’s why I brought you to read this Tommy Carroll character. Come back tomorrow and bring this boy. ‘ And I came back the next day. The agency gave me more work to do. He gave me a present. I went in and listened. ”
Spencer continued that experience with a personal perspective on one of his favorite parts of his profession: playing bad people. Although they are personally smooth and simple, their characters have been more often than not quite the opposite.
“I love bad guys. I’ve played a lot of them and I think after I finished playing Tommy Carroll Public enemies, who was another evil guy, a murderous murderer, that I never did. There’s just something delicious! I mean, Iago is probably one of the great characters Othello, is not it? Every evil in Shakespearean is the roles in which the actors sink their teeth. “
Spencer’s next series Lakers it’s a particularly exciting part of our conversation. Chick Hearn will play the real commentator and Lakers announcer, the role is another change for the actor. He needs to strike an interesting balance in finding how to give life to someone written on a script on a personal level and beyond to the historical person who actually existed:
“I played a lot of real-life characters, but you often don’t have the luxury of doing research and rehearsals and all that. In this case, I had a whole year to immerse myself in COVID … watching the old Chick Hearn movie and watching the Lakers, listening to her voice, doing the housework. ”
As we prepare to finish, Spencer smiles and reflects on what it means to play an icon that is still noticeable today, and the opportunity to bring new life to the screen.
“In part, I’m trying to recreate Chick Hearn. I’ve studied his ways, and I’ve studied his vocal patterns, so there’s a part of me that feels compelled to honor this guy by acting like him. hura the best I can. And at the same time, the way he writes is the way Chick Hearn would speak and act, so I have to give the ball a spin too. I’m not doing an imitation, I’m just a simulation! I want to be able to do mine as much as I can. ”