Since starting his acting career at the tender age of nine, Anton Yelchin has had a prolific number of roles on both the big and the small screen. He has played many iconic characters including Kyle Reese (Terminator Salvation), Charley Brewster (Fright Night), and Ensign Chekov (Star Trek). His latest film 5 to 7, sees him in a romantic comedy, along with former Bond girl, Bérénice Marlohe.
A New York romantic comedy might not be the most obvious project for an actor with a lot of sci-fi and horror under his belt, but it was the witty script by director Victor Levine that piqued his interest.
“I really like the writing in this film,” Yelchin says. “I like that it follows the ideas of the genre and all the rules of the genre, without constructing a story that is only following those rules. The behaviour of these people isn’t just that of genre characters, but informed by human beings. It doesn’t say this person is person is good or bad, instead it is like the world itself, grey. Brian is very different from me. Besides being more well read and better spoken, he is a lot more conservative when we meet him at the beginning. His journey is something I have already learned, the world is shades of grey.”
As for producing the on screen chemistry with his co-star, Bérénice Marlohe, apparently Yelchin had to do a lot of the work.
“Yeah, she’s pretty awful. Hard to look at. Hard to hang out with. A lot of work on my part. It’s rough,” Yelchin joked, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “No Bérénice is wonderful. She is one of the nicest human beings, I know everyone says that in an interview but this time it is true. She is kind and smart and gentle and understanding in a way that makes you feel good about who you are.” He also managed to amuse the French actress as he struggled through scenes in her native language, playing a character who is fluent in French while only actually knowing a phrase or two himself.
5 To 7 offered other challenges not the least of which is the location, “Probably trying to shut down a street in New York City would be the biggest challenge. Trying to negotiate the world and make a movie is challenging. Trying to negotiate the world in New York City and make a film is even crazier. It was a challenge to use the beauty and power of New York and get what we wanted. As a character it really makes itself known.”
As for whether Yelchin prefers working on a big blockbuster or a smaller films, either will do, he’s just glad to act, “I think the difference is the amount of time you have in making it. It doesn’t matter the kind of film you are making, doesn’t matter the size of the budget, it always feels like there isn’t enough time. On a small film you are shooting 6 pages a day, on a film like Trek you are doing an eighth of a page. Still having as many experiences as possible really helps you with film making. As an actor the job is the same, it is to understand and create my character.”