Chekov's accent, Quinto's Vulcan salute troubles, a crew romance and more
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Anton Yelchin worked that Russian accent
Anton Yelchin probably overthought how he'd include a Russian accent into his performance as the young Pavel Chekov (it appears Abrams was never as concerned about this as Yelchin was), but more than anything he wanted to make sure Walter Koenig, the original Chekov, approved of his vocal stylings.
"Walter came on set thankfully once i finished the majority of my scenes," Yelchin says. "I was very intimidated he was going to come while I was shooting and I would have to do the accent in front of him which would have been really frightinging. So, he came when they were doing a scene that involved some playback and he was pretty complimentary and the highest compliment I felt I could get was from Walter himself."
Yelchin continues, "I felt [the accent was] essential to Chekov, and I started staying as true to that accent as possible while still messing around with it a little, but also still maintaining that general spirit he created. I really think that's made the character so special for all these years now. It wouldn't be as exciting nor as interesting to play a [regular] russian kid on a spaceship. It was Chekov on the Enterprise."
Not only that, Yelchin does something Wil Wheaton could never do on "Next Generation." He makes having a teenager on the bridge believable and cool again.