Twenty-two year old Anton Yelchin has already found himself roles in two legendary franchises by appearing in Terminator Salvation and the Star Trek reboot, but don’t think that he has only aspires to star in blockbusters. Yelchin found himself attracted to acting by the improvisation of the art, something which he was able to revisit in his latest film.
Yelchin was asked what initially drew him into acting and he explains, “I loved the improvisation part of it the most, because it was a lot like just playing around with stuff. There was something about it that I just felt completely comfortable doing and happy doing.” While the fun is what interested him, he credits his supportive parents for keeping him involved, adding, “My parents were like, OK, our kid is happy doing this. This is great. They were figure skaters and grew up going to school and skating, so for them, a person needs to have things to do. They don’t just sit around the house watching TV.”
Actually, Yelchin admits that his parents originally hoped that he would follow in their figure skating footsteps (or is that skate-steps?) Of course, he was not as graceful as they were, so they pegged their hopes on a much more stereotypical future. “They were very quick to understand that I wasn’t very good at it, and they weren’t going to make me do it if I wasn’t good, so it automatically reverted to me being a doctor or lawyer. Because, we’re Russian Jews, so naturally, what does your kid do? He goes to law school or he goes to med school.” Yelchin says it took his father a bit of time to come to terms with his decision to act. “He still wanted me to apply to college and stuff, and I did. But this is what I wanted.”
Yelchin was at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote his latest film, Like Crazy, which features Yelchin in an on-again, off-again across the world relationship with Anna, portrayed by Felicity Jones. Yelchin feels close to the part, seeing a lot of himself in his character, saying, “Even I could relate to it, watching it myself. I remember with my ex-girlfriend, when we broke up, you remember the first time you slept together, you remember the first drink you had together. You remember the dinners you had, seeing your first movie together. You remember everything and it’s just perfect, and you look at yourself now, and you look at the other person now, and they’re just not there anymore. There’s all this baggage and weight on this relationship, and if it’s at the point where it’s about to crumble; it’s just like a different universe that you’re in. The movie has so many of those moments that ring true to people.” It’s important that Yelchin was able to see so much of himself in the role, as Like Crazy didn’t have a traditional script, leaving much of the dialogue up to improvisation — which is what appealed to Yelchin about acting in the first place!
Yelchin will continue his impressive career by starring in Odd Thomas (an adaptation of the Dean Koontz novel) and reprising his role as Chekov in the next Star Trek film.