Anton Yelchin Talks (a little) about “Star Trek” [UPDATED: Rehearsal Required ‘Nuclear Vessels’]

While promoting his new film Fierce People, Anton Yelchin briefly answered a couple questions about his role as Pavel Chekov in the new Star Trek film. “There’s not much to say, actually,” he explained to, but went on to say he was excited the project and about working with director J.J. Abrams. The 18-year-old Russian born actor guessed his age and background may have something to do with his casting, joking “I can do a Russian, [I am] familiar with Russian people. Very, very familiar.”

UPDATE: Yelchin talks about audition process (see below) caught up with Yelchin at the premiere of Fierce People and asked him about getting the role for Trek. Yelchin again said that he didn’t know much and revealed that he hadn’t even read the script (it is likely that only a few cast members will have seen the whole script this early on…which is the same thing the writing team did with Transformers). Yelchin did talk about how he had to say the most famous Chekov line ‘nuclear vessels’ with a Russian accent in his audition (which he demonstrates on video). It appears Yelchin is not that familiar with Star Trek, but noted he plans to lock himself in a room and watch "box set after box set" to learn all about Trek.  

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finally first :P
in what way could he resemle chekov???? STNV’s actor looks much more like the original.

Have any of the production crew ever said that they are casting based on similarity to the original actor? I think that’s a poor way to cast the roles, if so. So far, the casting decisions seem well thought out. Not just, “He looks like William Shatner!”

Anthony Hopkins played Richard Nixon in a film. Hopkins looks nothing like Nixon. But he was still good in the role.

it is simply the shinzon problem. tom hardy acted extremely well – but was not believable as a young picard.

I guess we’ll have to set used to him. Still, Andy Bray from New Voyages is the most frightening Chekov clone alive.

None of these actors will ever be mistaken for the originals, and that’s just fine. :)

At least he’s a real Russian!:D

Muppet Babies, we make our dreams come true
Muppet Babies, we’ll do the same for you

Well, Steve, maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

One thing’s for sure: this is the movie they’re making, not some other flick that some fans want. And if this one doesn’t make a hellacious amount of money, there will be no more Trek.

some poster said something profound before that I must paraphrase
“they are hiring actors, not impressionists”

The actors need to match the character description…not the original actor in looks. But far more importantly they must be able to perform the role…and that does not mean mimic the performance – it means perform the role in the script that they have.

if you expect the new film to have matching actors, sets, uniforms, etc…all of which are spitting images of the original…you might as well remove this site from your bookmarks and take Star Trek off your appointment calendar for Christmas ’08.

Yes the film takes place in the same ‘universe’ and within Trek history, but do not take that to mean they are making a 100 million dollar copy of “The Cage”

Yelchin seems fine for Chekov…although I am looking forward to hearing his Russian accept. He also seems to have growing youth following….something that is sorely needed.

We need a “moss” of this guy… Monkees hair, gold shirt.
“Aye, keptin!”

yelchin is on Steve’s list, but I put Zoe to the top of the list to have that ready by the time I felt the story was solid enough for me to report.

Hopefully we will have a yelchin/chekov with our next yelchin story…whenever that is

FYI: the link doesn’t work; it links to ttp:// (address is missing the “h” in http).

Re: 9

Well said, Anthony. There’s just no way a big budget film like this is going to go for the same production value as a 1960’s television pilot!

Although I’m sure some people here will insist on just that, and that the money saved be used to create a perfect CGI rendition of young Shatner, thus making casting of a new Kirk unecessary…for-evah!!!

He has that very young, very green look that Chekov needs to have. Thumbs up from me!

Watching that video it seems that the beautiful Diane Lane is a trekkie. She was the one who asked about the Chekov character not the dude doing the interview.

this new film should have no red shirts…since red shirts didn’t come until later on. i hope they take the look of “the cage” and “where no man has gone before” into account. i loved the away jackets of “the cage”. i know i’m wishing for a lot…but i’m still excited about the new film and some of my hopes will not be met.


Yeah, I agree

Wasnt koenig late 20’s early 30’s when he got the part?


Correct, but he played a 22 years old (said so on screen). So a 18 yo playing a 22 yo is an improvement…

Well he certainly seems excited about the role in that interview….

I’m torn about the new movie. On the one hand I’m excited to see a TOS era film and to see Nimoy on the big screen again (wish Shatner was gonna be with him but that prob wont happen).

At the same time, I hate to think of other actors playing the original roles. Im most worried about Kirk, since he’s my all-time favorite Trek character. Will the actor they choose do the character justice? Will he bring the right qualites to the role? Will he be the usual “I wanna do something fresh and make it my own” BS that most actors do these days? Guess we’ll know soon enough.

its good that Trek is getting into mainstream hollywood with big name actors getting asked about it / making comments like Crowe, Bale, Lane , Damon etc…

Hopefully they’ll be at least two big stars in the movie (like Batman Begins and Superman The Movie)

I still fail to see what is so wrong about the designs of early TOS.

Same with hiring actors for every fricken TOS character, no matter if it makes sense.

Again, like with ENT, they are not going to take any “chances” with us schmucks from zombieland.
We, the dumb audience obviously won’t be able to appreciate Star Trek when it’s not EXACTLY like we know it.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they just used the red-gold-blue uniforms, just to not confuse us…

I made a Anton as Chekov picture and sent it to Anthony. Maybe this is the one they’ll use next story.

I just saw Yelchin in an episode of “Criminal Minds” last night & I think he’ll do fine as Chekov. He has a very vulnerable quality while appearing extremely intelligent. Remember how upset a lot of you wre early on because there was no description of Chekov in the casting notes? That was probably because Abrams already had Yelchin in mind.

hey, wat about the problem that Chekov didn’t appear until season two?

and hey, so this guy is DEFINITELY playing Chekov?
i’m only asking because with all the rumors, it’s hard to tell


Yes, he’s been cast. It’s the chick being cast for Uhura that’s still a rumor (although a credible rumor, considering the source).

25 – Well that didnt stop Meyer did it…

WOK pretty much established that Pavel was messing about on the other decks in season 1

i remember reading an interview with Konig where he said when he read the script to Khan he knew of the continuity gaff with Checkov not appearing till season 2 but choose to keep quiet in case they gave it to Sulu…

Imagine Sulu in Checkovs role in TWOK! it wouldnt have worked as Checkov is the best at screaming..and he got his fair share in that film

It’s not hard to imagine Checkov (who was a young officer) was performing a different job on Enterprise before being promoted to a bridge officer at the helm in season two. Easily explainable.

~ Suddenly pictures Sulu with a Ceti Eel entering his ear and saying “Oh My” in a very George Taikai way. ~

Okay that’s just WRONG, bad image, bad image, get out of my head.

– W –
* GAH, I need to wash my brain out now, thanks a lot Snake *

TOS never completed it’s 5 year mission (on TV) so how do we know we weren’t watching the last 3 years? I still say Chekov may have been known to the crew, gone to Starfleet Academy & then come back as an ensign (almost, but not quite like Wesley Crusher). Or he could have been below decks like others have speculated. Chekov was the one who was supposedly being groomed to be a Captain anyway, not Sulu who we saw get his own command.

in the commentary for WOK DE, they suggest that chekov occupied the restroom while khan was waiting… and that khan got angry :D
hence “i never forget a face”

a new brief interview just showed up and instead of writing a new article it has been updated to this one and moved to the top of the page

Nice…. I have to say, he does sort of have the ‘young Chekov’ look…how old is Chekov supposed to be in this movie, anyway?


Wonder if, with a real Russian actor, they’re going to make Chekov’s accent more “authentic,” or if they’re going to stick to the Koenig accent. Kind of hope for the latter, actually…it was cute. Who knows, maybe Russian accents changed in the 23rd century.

Question: Honestly … does he want to do well? I mean, ‘do’ well?

You just cracked me up–too funny.

I am so looking forward to this movie–can’t wait to see the other castings.

They just happened to get lucky and cast someone who looks like a young Nimoy for Spock. Not everyone has to look the same. It’s a reimagining. Let them cast good people for the roles and be willing to suspend your disbelief. Look, these guys have been responsible for some of the best television in the past decade in the form of Alias and Lost, so I think they could cast just about anyone they want and they’ll come out with a good product. And come on, this kid is GORGEOUS.

Thank you, SteveinSF – you were my target audience with that reasonably obscure reference :-)

They really should just headhunt Andy Bray.
He IS an actor- not an impressionist.

But then again, if Anthony Hopkins could pull off Nixon, anything’s possible.

Anton Yelchin is a fine choice. He was GREAT in the elsewise forgettable ‘Alpha Dogs’, and is getting a lot of early Buzz for the title role in ‘Charlie Bartlett’. ‘Charlie Bartlett ‘isn’t coming out for several months yet, but critics who got a sneak peak are already talking about Yelchin’s performance.

It looks as if Abrams is getting actors with a lot of “positive buzz” around them and/or their projects, Such as Yelchin, Zachary Quinto with ‘Hereos’ and Zoe Saldana with James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’.

#23 doubleofive

Loved your mock-up…his ‘Chekov’ hairstyle just made me believe in this guy a little more now…

Casting is definately on course for this thing…but an awful lot rests on a good ‘Kirk’…and in my case…a good ‘Scotty’… ;)

Yelchin knows NOTHING about Star Trek? Why not watch box sets on the weekends? :) Oh, right, all that you’ll see is yellow spandex shirts, tight pants, and space boots…and Shatner! Where the hell is Shatner? It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything from him regarding the movie except that time when he said he was disappointed about not being in the movie with that blonde interviewer. I know he’s probably busy with Boston Legal or something but by rights he should be in this movie

Since when did wessel start with a V!? He’s going to have to shake that convincing Russian accent pretty darned quick! :D

The kid definitely has the ‘cute’ factor-and that’s a good thing. It will bring in the younger, ‘teenage girl’ crowd.

I find it ironic, as it was the same reason the character was created for in the first place!

29 – “Botany Bay?,,….BONTANY BAY?!….OH MY!”

Dude doesn’t sound anything like Chekov, and he’s a friggin Russian.

If he’s Chekov…than I really need to get in contact with casting.

Conan O’brian as Charlie X. Come on folks don’t deny it!

For those opposed to having Checkov in this new one, Star says that Checkov will be a “Starfleet Cadet” in this new film.