3rd April 2023
Interview & Digital Editor: Pankhuri Bhutani
Editor-in-chief: Owen James Vincent
Photographer: Jonny Marlow
Stylist: Sonia Young
Groomer: Sonia Lee
Hailing from Toronto, Spencer MacPherson is currently under the spotlight for portraying ‘Xavier,’ in the novel Paramount+ offering “School Spirits”. The project revolves around ‘Maddie’ (played by Peyton List), a girl stuck in the afterlife who decides to investigate her disappearance with a group of other students who are also stuck in limbo at their high school.
MacPherson recently adopted the role of Maddie’s boyfriend who must come to terms with the fact that he has disappointed the sole person he felt truly knew and valued him. ‘Xavier’ spends the entirety of the season attempting to redeem himself while also facing the spotlight as a suspect in Maddie’s disappearance.
MacPherson initiated his journey towards acting by involving himself in his school plays as he held the title role in “Oliver Twist”. He was also witnessed performing in “A Christmas Story.” Since successfully landing an agent merely at the age of 14, Spencer has built an impressive list of credits which includes “Reign,” “Degrassi: Next Class,” “Degrassi: Next Generation,” “Northern Rescue,” “American Gothic,” “Astrid and Lilly Save the World,” as well as “American Gods.”
We recently had a chat with our latest cover star- the wonderful Spencer MacPherson as we discussed significant insights into his acting journey, his future plans as well as his recent portrayal as ‘Xavier’ in the Paramount+ series “School Spirits”.
Hello there Spencer. So lovely to have you join us on ReVamp! How are you doing? How has the start of 2023 been for you so far?
Thanks so much for having me! I'm doing great, very excited for people to finally get to see “School Spirits.” Very proud to have been a part of this one!
Before delving into your phenomenal acting journey, I'd love to know what it really was that brought you closer to the field of acting? Was this a passion that you developed at an early age of your life or was this something you realized you had to pursue at a later phase?
I've always had a passion for storytelling in just about every aspect. My sisters are both very talented singers, so naturally, I followed in their footsteps and started doing musical theater. That led me to getting an agent and eventually my first big role on “Degrassi!”
Speaking of "School Spirits," first of all, huge congratulations on your involvement within the project! Your performance was truly impeccable! I'm very curious to know the process through which you were successfully able to immerse within the mindset of Xavier. What was your creative process like when it came to portraying him?
I love stories in the genre of a mystery/whodunnit. I think upon reading the script I was excited at the prospect of playing with audience expectation. Xavier is a complex character and a very good liar, so it was fun to always make the audience guess what his intentions are. I think that balanced with finding honest beats, particularly in the flashback sequences adds to the unpredictable nature of his character.
Now that you have done such a fantastic job showcasing his character and have a lot of experience and affiliation with Xavier, how would you personally describe him? Would you say your impression of him had somehow shifted from when you were first offered the role to when you were actually in his shoes playing the role yourself?
Xavier is tough to get a read on which seemingly makes his intentions unclear, but upon further inspection into his family life we see reasons for that. Xavier as a character is deeper than what meets the eye and ultimately even when he plays an antagonist, I always found myself very endeared to him.
While watching the show I felt like redemption and regret were two of the most significant elements revolving around Xavier's life after Maddie's death. What according to you was the most significant element in Xavier's life as well as is there any specific lesson that you would say you were successfully able to grasp while playing him?
I think you hit the nail on the head with redemption, there is no denying Xavier is guilty of being a bad boyfriend and being selfish. But it is not our mistakes that define us, and I think he is worthy of redemption.
What was your personal experience like working with the brilliant Peyton List as well as all the talented individuals affiliated with the show?
The entire cast and crew were incredible! Peyton is such a talented actress and so down to earth. I find that regardless of the dynamic of our characters, it’s important to establish trust with your fellow actors. Everyone was so game for that, so we all became such good friends.
As we can see Xavier is clearly someone who possesses the utmost ambition of redeeming his own self as he tries to solve the mystery himself but there are still certain aspects of enigma added to his personality that sometimes makes him hard to trust. I wonder what was your first impression of Xavier when you were first introduced to his character? Were there any qualities that you specifically added to his role which wasn't initially mentioned in the script?
It was important from the start to establish why Maddie liked him in first place. I worked hard with Megan and Nate Trinrud (the creators) and Max Winkler, to curate a mischievous charm and sardonic sense of humour that would contrast with the intensity we see of him after Maddie’s disappearance.
For the people who are about to be introduced to this wonderful project, how would you personally describe the overall plotline of "School Spirits"?
“School Spirits” follows Maddie, who has just woken up in Split River High only to realize she is dead. She shouts to her friends and nobody can hear her. The only people who can hear her are the ghosts who wander the halls doomed to same fate. The catch is they all know how they got there, but Maddie doesn’t.
What's next for you, Spencer? Anything else you're currently working on that you'd like to tell your fans about?
Currently overjoyed that people will get to see the show and looking forward to hearing all the theories. Fingers crossed we get to make a season 2!
(Thank you for your time!) Lastly, is there any message that you wish to convey to your fans reading this interview currently?
Thanks so much for your time! And thanks to the fans for the support -- watch “School Spirits” on Paramount+!!!