Dark comedy features local kid

It was an eventful, frequent-flyer kind of winter for Spencer Drever.

From December until March, the young actor from Cloverdale flew to Calgary with his mother every two or three weeks, for a couple days at a time, to film his scenes in Fargo, a TV series on FX Canada.

The 10-year-old kid plays Gordo, the oddball nephew of insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by Martin Freeman. Spencer is in four of the 10 episodes.

“Filming was great,” Spencer raved, “and it was the first time I went outside the province, outside the Vancouver area, for acting. We got to stay in a fancy hotel, where there was a really nice secretary who gave me Skittles, which I loved.”

The dark-comedy series, based on the 1996 Coen brothers’ film of the same name, stars Billy Bob Thornton as a drifter who arrives in Bemidji, Minnesota, and influences the population with his malice and violence.

Spencer and his family, including mom Lisa and dad Lee, watched the series debut on Tuesday, April 15.

“We had to cover his eyes a few times,” said Spencer’s mom, Lisa, with a laugh. “There are dirty and nasty scenes, but it’s a really good show…. Spencer’s part gets really good, and it’s exciting to watch.”

While filming the first season of Fargo, Spencer didn’t miss many of his Grade 5 classes at Adams Road Elementary.

“They didn’t keep him there too long, so he didn’t miss out on too much of his regular-life stuff, like school and hockey,” Lisa said. “We only missed one game and one practice. They even changed his flight to a later time so he didn’t miss his hockey wrap-up party.”

Spencer’s first acting job was a small role in the 2011 movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. More recently, he’s worked on the TV shows Plum Landing, The 100 and Signed, Sealed and Delivered.

For Fargo, Spencer quickly learned to speak in a Minnesotan accent, and he’s the only Canadian resident in the show’s large cast. “And I’m the only kid, which I love,” he added.

Full episodes the series can be viewed at Fxnowcanada.ca/shows/fargo.

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