Yelchin On 'Star Trek XI' And Being Russian.By T'Bonz
February 21, 2008 - 6:52 PM
He may be only eighteen, but Anton Yelchin's work in both Star Trek XI and Charlie Bartlett has garnered notice and attention.
As reported at The Toronto Sun, being the son of two figure-skating stars doesn't necessarily mean following the path of one's parents. Yelchin knew from an early age that he wanted to be an actor. "For awhile, they wanted me to figure skate," he said. "But they got over it." His mother was supportive from the beginning. "My mom was supportive all along, driving me to auditions," said Yelchin. "She just wanted me to be doing something in life I enjoyed doing. My dad only started to become supportive after he watched Hearts In Atlantis".
Playing Chekov was interesting given Yelchin's Russian background. Yelchin was born in Leningrad. As a native Russian speaker, he found Chekov's accent a bit odd, but went along with it. "It was fun to take things from the old character and bring them to the new one. Words like 'wessels', 'wery strange' 'Wulcan', stuff like that was fun."
Yelchin discussed his Russian heritage as reported by The Star Online and TeenHollywood.com. "It is one of the most complicated histories. It produced Dostoyevsky and Rachmaninoff. And then it produced Stalins and Lenins. It is such a strange combination." Yelchin admitted that not being optimistic comes from his Russian background. "I feel like it [brooding] has its origins in Russia. Just the nature of the word. To brood. Like it is some how instilled. It is instilled in about 2 or 3 % of the population. And it is weird. Russia is very complicated."
But Yelchin did not find the character of Chekov complicated. "The acting challenge wasn't as visceral playing the Russian ensign in Star Trek," he explained. "There's only so many layers you can find to Pavel Chekov. But at the same time, it is fun to sit on the bridge of a spaceship screaming about Romulans."
Some of his filming was completed last month, but Yelchin will be returning to finish shooting in March. He dropped a few tidbits about his role. "There is an away team, but Chekov's not on it," he said. "It's like all the other movies, Chekov is there on the ship and in a couple of important scenes, but it's not like he's Kirk or Spock."