1923’s Brandon Sklenar Believes Spencer’s Whirlwind Romance With Alex Is Genuine!

True to the Taylor Sheridan universe, “1923” is a story about some of the toughest people you can imagine. If “Yellowstone” didn’t drive that home, then “1883” surely did, with Elsa’s (Isabel May) narration reminding us of the indifference of the prairies and planes throughout the series. This carries over into “1923” too. It would seem that every time the Duttons experience another tragedy -– as they did in Episode 3, when Banner Creighton (Jerome Flynn) managed to gun down several of the Dutton clan –- Elsa’s ghost is there to remind us how uniquely tough this family is.

But as has become apparent by now, tough does not mean invulnerable.

Case in point: Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar), the brave and stoic nephew of Cara (Helen Mirren) and Jacob (Harrison Ford). Spencer has his share of demons, for sure. Primary among them is what he saw and did in World War I, and his attempt to outrun both that past and the reality of his family has taken him all the way to tracking big game in Kenya.

Sklenar has already spoken of how his portrayal of Spencer combines the familiar western archetype of the tough-as-nails, Clint Eastwood-esque, strong-and-silent type with more contemporary, nuanced understandings of emotional vulnerability.

And if there’s anything in “1923” so far that emphasizes his sensitive side, it’s the way he has unexpectedly found love.

‘She just resonates with him in his heart’

When Spencer first meets Alexandra (Julia Schlaepfer), she is one of many rich colonial British tourists fascinated by the big game-hunting American with the steely aim and the eyes to match. There’s attraction and flirtation there for sure, at least on Alexandra’s end. But when she sets herself apart is when, as he is leaving for another part of the country, she leaps into his car to escape her own arranged marriage to a colonial bureaucrat.

It isn’t long after that Spencer asks Alexandra –- or Alex, as he’s taken to calling her -– to marry him. It may seem a bit impulsive, but Brandon Sklenar believes it is because his character is as taken with Alex as she is with him. In an interview with Collider, he said, “I think it’s all genuine, from the jump … She just resonates with him in his heart, in his soul, in a way that he’s never felt before, and she’s tapping into a part of him that’s been dead for years.”

Sklenar also emphasized that before meeting Alex Spencer had something of a low-key death wish, surviving but not caring that much if he ultimately went on living.

Alex changed that. It’s what draws him to her, and it’s what strengthens their relationship. “There’s a bit of selfishness in there in that regard,” Sklenar said, “but then it’s pure, and it’s genuine and then that evolves into something deeply profound.”

Indeed, it’s Alex that eggs Spencer into finally reading the years of unopened letters from his Aunt Cara, which in turn puts him on the path to return home and defend his family.

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