December 15, 2009


Spencer Clark has evolved from a child actor to a burgeoning movie star. He's our personal favorite--not only because he's our friend, but also because he explains so well what it feels like to watch yourself on screen (and is wholly unaffected). You may remember him as the young Lucius Verus in the Academy Award winning film Gladiator, or know him as the (all grown up!) teen son of the bad guys in The Last House on the Left .  He has also appeared in Unbreakable, Mystic River, and on the television show, The Good Wife. But these days, Spencer has been focusing on playing the role of "college student," attending Columbia University full-time and majoring in political science. He's talented both on screen and in the classroom. When asked what his upcoming projects were, he duly responded: "My only project right now is somehow making it through this next week of school!" We feel your pain, Spence. 

Insider tips: If you camp out in Morningside Heights, you might spot Spencer riding his bicycle around Columbia. And if you want to see his baby pics, click here

When did you discover your talents? 
My older sister was the actor in the family growing up, and I’d occasionally go on auditions when I was in the city with her. I got lucky and ended up getting a few things. It sort of progressed from there. It wasn't until I was a little older that I decided acting wouldn't be just a hobby. 

How many times have you seen Gladiator? 
A bunch, but let's be honest--after you’ve seen it a couple times, you’re really just watching to see Russell Crowe kick ass. 

Describe what it feels like to watch yourself on screen. 
It’s definitely strange. Sometimes it's hard to take yourself out of the experience of filming. I’ll see something on screen, and all I can think of is the stuff that happened on set when it was filmed. Like in Gladiator, during the chariot scene in the Colosseum, there were close to one thousand extras sitting in the stands. To keep them entertained between takes, the actors playing the gladiators would play football, and everyone would be cheering and going nuts. 

Your ideal co-star: 
Morgan Freeman. I’d be excited just to shake his hand. 

Your ideal on-screen kiss: 
I kind of have a thing for Hermoine Granger, aka Emma Watson. I’m pretty bummed she decided to go to Brown. 

Tell us about Russell Crowe. 
I mean, he’s the man. Super nice, really down to earth, and really good at cricket. 

True or false: "Life is a stage..." 

Your most overused phrase: 
I just took a poll among my roommates. Basically, they said I use the word “basically” a lot. 

Do you identify with the characters you play? 
Some of them I do. Some not. I think one of the coolest parts about acting is trying to put yourself in someone’s shoes who you have little or nothing in common with. 

Did you scare yourself in Last House on the Left? 
Nah. I already knew the ending. 

Your weirdest talent? 
Well, when I’m not wearing glasses or contacts, my right eye goes cross-eyed. I don’t really have any control over it, but I’d like to consider it a talent nonetheless. 

The talent you would most like to have: 
Racket sports. Tennis, Ping Pong, Squash…. If you ask me to play anything that involves a racket, I will inevitably suck at it. 

Can you cry on command? 
Yeah, but you’re mistaken if you think I’m gonna show you right now. 

Your role model: 
Well, now that Tiger Woods is out of the picturePhil Mickelson? 

Is it difficult (or cool) balancing your career with a full-time, rigorous college experience?
Both. Going to school in the New York has made it significantly easier. Taking time off from school definitely helps too. I’ve already taken a year and a half off since high school. I’ve learned so much at Columbia and have had a great time--but if I can pull it off, I’m definitely looking forward to graduating in the spring. 

Do you consider yourself a dramatic person? 
Not at all. 

Do you enjoy watching Broadway shows? 
I love going to shows. When I was younger my sister was in Les Miserables, which is three hours long. That gave my mom and me plenty of time to go see other shows while she was on stage. My sister’s actually a playwright now, so I still see a lot of theater because of her. 

Favorite movie theater in NYC: 
I love sitting in the first row of the mezzanine in the big theater on the second floor of the AMC Loews in Lincoln Center. I’m also pretty partial to the projector my roommates and I got for our living room.

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