1923's Brandon Sklenar Knows Why Fans Love Spencer Dutton And His Wife Alex

With the "Yellowstone" prequel series "1923" set to return for season 2 on Paramount+, fans of the love affair between Spencer Dutton (Brandon Sklenar) and Alexandra Dutton (Julia Schlaepfer) have plenty to look forward to as the couple continues their arduous journey from Africa to Montana. The meet-cute of a British aristocrat and a lion hunter early on in the first season gave audiences faith that there really is a such thing as love at first sight. Alexandra sacrifices her posh life and status to run away with Spencer, and their rushed romance feels like something out of a turn-of-the-century adventure serial. As they both overcome incredible odds to get back to the Dutton family ranch and restore order, their bond only grows stronger. It's an intoxicating onscreen love affair that manages to stay buoyant even when the couple find themselves steeped in melodrama.

In a recent interview with Decider, Sklenar put his finger on the reason why his character Spencer is so inextricably drawn to Alexandra when it makes no practical sense for them to be together. According to the star:

"They have an unconscious connection. That's what makes it so magical and that's why fans seem to be responding to Spencer and Alex the way that they are. Their bond is something that neither of them can explain. So much of what we see them doing is trying to make sense of this thing that they just can't deny and that they can't move away from. They fill a hole within each other, for each other, for sure." 

'They have an unconscious connection'

"1923" show creator Taylor Sheridan's approach to storytelling is highly unconventional, and he takes big risks when it comes to balancing tone and telling a straightforward, conventional narrative. The characters always come first, which is a big reason why audiences have fallen in love with Spencer and Alexander and the actors who have helped bring them to life. The stoic, blue-eyed machismo of Sklenar coupled with Schlaeper's unflinching grace under pressure has proven to be an electric combination. They have a star-crossed chemistry that makes them easy to root for.

The adventures of Spencer and Alexandra as they traverse the globe together play into Sheridan's strengths as a writer. Each death-defying situation they find themselves in feels like it could be set in a number of entirely different television shows. Yet, somehow, it all comes together, largely due to their unlikely chemistry. "What makes this show different, I think, from Taylor's other work, is that there is such a sweeping tonal shift from episode to episode," said Sklenar. "It's very hard to achieve, and I believe that we did achieve it." 

Just as the characters of Spencer and Alexandra have collided in the most unexpected of circumstances, it should be compelling television to see how Sklenar and Schlaepfer are integrated into the high drama and tragedy that's going on back home involving Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford) and Cara Dutton (Helen Mirren) at the Yellowstone ranch. The Dutton family needs Spencer to be the hero and his priorities may threaten to undermine the whirlwind courtship between him and Alexandra. Their romance has all the grandeur of Robert Redford and Meryl Streep in "Out of Africa," but they're about to wind up in the Wild West.