Year in and year out, Anton Yelchin continues to make interesting choices as an actor. He’s one of the more underrated young performers out there in my estimation, so it was a real pleasure to get a chance to talk to him about his work to date. Obviously, the main thrust of the conversation was the delightful 5 to 7 (my rave review is here), which opens this weekend in limited release, but we spoke about other things. Below are the highlights of my time with Yelchin.
Take a look and be sure to check out writer/director Victor Levin‘s 5 to 7, my favorite film of 2015 so far. I loved it last year at the Tribeca Film Festival and I love it now!
On how he chooses his projects/signed on to star in 5 to 7:
Anton Yelchin – I just read it and really liked the script, it’s that simple for me, you know? It’s very elegantly written, with great characters, and I was just very very moved by it. The challenge and the arc of (his character) Brian’s journey was appealing. How do you deal with the ephemeral or the temporary? How does one deal with that, caring about someone but it being temporary. How do you deal with that, you know? It’s a plainly existential question, human feelings.
What it was like preparing for this emotional part:
AY – Um, I feel like, for me, the most challenging part is understanding where he’s coming from at first, because I’m very of the moment. In a situation with someone like Arielle, there’s genuine emotion there with her. It would be very hard for me to say that this situation in the film is “wrong”, like Brian does in this very conservative, or at least authoritarian way. Brian can do that though, so trying to figure out where he starts, that was the most challenging part, so I asked a lot of questions. I wanted to understand the behavior. It’s institutional behavior on his part, if genuine behavior. So, once I started to figure that out, it just made more sense, you know?
For me, extramarital affairs, marriage, heterosexual marriage, these are all things that are up in the air for me. They’re not, I don’t have the sort of authoritative stance on them, that you have to have a nuclear family with a mother and a father, you know what I mean. I don’t, but that is where Brian comes from, that is where his background is. Mother, father, wife, house, you know? It sort of defines this guy, and at the beginning of the film, it sort of gets him in trouble.
On the feel of the film, which fuels its success:
AY – First of all, thanks so much for everything you’ve said about the movie. I like the film a lot. I like the way that it’s crafted. I think that it’s an important thing that it’s talking about. I like the way it mixes comedy and drama. It looks at these characters and the state that they live in. The choices they make. The way it’s shot, the look of it. I value that, you know?
How the look of it mixes with the emotions contained within for something rather touching:
AY – Yeah, I’m with you. I really like how it looks at how people inhabit space. The park, the benches, space! It’s the fundamental thing we contend with as human beings. It’s not just simple two shots. That sort of cutting, choppy world that we live in now, the film is more concerned with space. The relationship that Brian and Arielle have, it happens in a particular space. I thought that was really smart and a great choice on the part of the film.
–Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!