Anton Yelchin, the young star of Alpha Dog and Charlie Bartlett, has a bright future ahead, with starring roles lined up as Chekov in J.J. Abrams Star Trek retake and in McG’s upcoming Terminator sequel. RT caught up with the actor recently to talk Bartlett, and couldn’t resist grilling him about his burgeoning blockbuster career.
On the quick development of T4, Yelchin could reveal little except to say that cameras were due to roll in May and he was excited to be a part of the franchise. “I don’t really know how much I can say when it comes to Terminator, except that Christian Bale is in it and he plays John Connor,” Yelchin told us. “But I love the first two movies and they’re a central part of my childhood. They’re great, big, epic sci-fi movies and they’re smart and fun at the same time so I just love to watch them.”
But the actor, born in the USSR, was more forthcoming when talk turned to Star Trek. “Shooting has been great fun,” he told RT, “and I’ve just finished my part, but I think they’re still going.
“It’s a prequel, but I think it really remains very respectful to the original show while, at the same time, bringing something new to it. Older fans will be very pleased because they’ll see their favourite characters and they’ll recognise them.”
Of his take on Chekov, he reassured us that he had been remaining true to the character’s spirit. “Of course I’m doing the accent,” he laughed, “this movie is about a return to your favourite characters but with new stuff too. You’ll see the classic Chekov — I just brought something of myself to it as well.”
And it’s a take that has impressed Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original show. “I met him, but I actually did it after I was done with the majority of my part,” Yelchin said. “I got to talk to him and figure our what he thinks about us making it and he was really pleased and oddly gracious as well.”
The movie, he said, will succeed because of Abrams’ drive to do right by the franchise. “He’s wonderful,” Yelchin told us, “and he’s got so much enthusiasm and energy. More than I’ve seen in any director I’ve worked with. He’s got the same energy now, if not more, than he did on day one of shooting, and that just amazes me. I think it’s just really quite an achievement as a director to be like that because it’s a really, really difficult job and it’s time-consuming and the hours are really long and it’s hard. That he manages to be the way he is, to me, is incredible.”
Yelchin can next be seen in You and I, Roland Joffé‘s latest about two teenage girls, played by Mischa Barton and Shantel VanSanten, who fall in love after meeting at a t.A.T.u concert. He revealed to RT that the film will premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in May.