Actor Who Plays Spencer Dutton In “1923” Recalls “Bonkers” Experience Filming With Elephants

(Left) Julia Schlaepfer / Instagram / (Right) Paramount Plus / YouTube

Parts of the new Yellowstone prequel series 1923 were filmed in Africa. Those scenes feature Spencer Dutton (played by Brandon Sklenar) and his love interest, Alexandra (played by Julia Schlaepfer).

The new couple gets thrown into some dangerous situations. In once scene, a charging elephant chases their vehicle through the bush. Spencer, who is an experienced hunter, is forced to shoot the animal to save his and Alexandra’s lives.

During an interview with TVLine, Sklenar explained what it was like to film that scene. It was quite challenging for them, though in an unexpected way.


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Sklenar said the elephants on set were difficult to work with because they were “slow” and far more docile than they were trying to make them act for the scene.

I spent a lot of time with those elephants,” Sklenar recalled. “When we were flipped over in the car — the elephant charges us, the car flips over — they’re trying to get the elephant to charge so it can do that second hit just before I have to shoot it through the windshield.”

He went on to explain how they tried to coax the elephant to get in the right spot for the scene:

“The elephants are just kind of slow, kind of do what they want,” Sklenar said. “We’re laying in the car on the ground, in order to get the elephant over to us, they give us a bunch of oranges… Then we’d be like calling the elephant over with the oranges. Instead of running over, he’d just kind of like trot over. And they got these big hairy lips. It’s just great because you’re in the middle of a scene trying to hold this emotion and this intensity, and then you got this massive elephant saunters over, slowly eating oranges out of your hand.”

While he was laying there, just feet away from an elephant, Sklenar remembers looking up at it and thinking “Well this is bonkers.” Sounds like a wild experience for sure!

When 1923 last left off, Spencer and Alexandra received word from his Aunt Cara that his brother John had been killed. A preview for the upcoming episode shows the couple embarking on a treacherous trip across the ocean to return home to Montana. Watch that preview below.

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