Anton Yelchin talks 'Star Trek,' 'Burying the Ex,' 'Terminator' and astronaut work
Is the Russian-American actor on for another round of 'Terminator?'
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The long-form music video/short film for Broken Bells' "After the Disco" wielded a lot of star power, including fun sci-fi work from Jacob Gentry, Kate Mara in a pink uniform and the gifted melancholy of Anton Yelchin.
I had the chance to catch up with Yelchin as the two-part project premiered, to talk about the space-bound video plus a few other projects he's on, including the next "Star Trek," the possibility of another round of "Terminator," his starring roe in Joe Dante's "Burying the Ex" and making music in his spare time.
I think between the Broken Bells project and "Star Trek," you may have a future as an astronaut.
I just always feel like I’m floating around in space.
Such is the life of the actor…
I actually just think that’s just me.
In part 2 of “After the Disco,” I was half expecting a dance sequence. Can you dance?
No. Not at all. I’m like the anti-Baryshnikov. I can’t dance for shit.
You said this was your first music video. Think you want to do something like it again?
I’d love to do something like that again. It just depends on what music is, what the idea is, I was really fortunate that this was my first music video. I thought it was really fun.
You’re a musician too, aren’t you?
I’d really hesitate to say I’m a musician. I really think that I really respect real musicians, and it’d be an insult to call myself one. I make weird noise on my guitar.
I’m into making feedbacky, drone stuff on my guitar with pedals, with lots of feedback and onto tape.
Do you have any favorite guitars and amps?
I usually play through my Deluxe… it sounds great without any pedals, it’s a beast so you really can’t even go past “1.” I’m not a techy person I just like to figure out how to make sounds.
Are there any artists or songs you listen to to get pumped up, to go to work?
I don’t want to sound pretentious, I just like listening to the city. I find in a way its sounds are very interesting. I don’t know if there’s any real difference between music and sound anyway, it’s all just sounds.
But I’m really listening to the Misfits every day driving work. I’m working on a film with Joe Dante right now, and I feel like horror punk in this character I’m playing… I’ve loved the Misfits for a long time.
"Burying the Ex" – does it qualify as a zombie film?
There’s a zombie element to it, but the genre blend of horror and comedy. I like to just think of it as a Joe Dante film.
Are there any favorite fun horror films you’ve been watching lately?
I watched “White Zombie” with Bela Lugosi. “I Walked With a Zombie,” “The Unknown” is really macabre…. Tod Browning is so fucking weird. Lots of Vincent Price. Vincent Price is the man.
Are any of those creeping into your character in “Ex?”
I’m trying to put them in, but who knows.
Are you on for the next “Terminator?”
I don’t know, no one’s said anything to me. I have no idea. I literally know nothing about it.
For the “Star Trek” films, in approaching you for the next film in the series, do they ever give you a heads up about how much your character is going to be in the film? What kind of insights do you get as they start?
I get no insights. They call, they say, “We're going to make the film, we’re going to make it at this time.” And then they say, “Come read the script.” And then I read it and then I see how much work I have.
Do you have any idea how much of you we’ll have in the next film? I know I could have used more Chekov in the last film.
I really actually know nothing about it. I thought maybe I’d know more by now. I wasn’t around much this summer while I was working, I wasn’t in the loop.
When you’re on set for “Star Trek,” who’s the biggest clown?
We’re all pretty weird. When we get together.