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Anton Yelchin

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Anton Viktorovich Yelchin (born 11 March 1989; age 27) is an actor from Southern California who played Pavel Chekov in Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness for director J.J. Abrams. He also voiced the character in the 2013 Star Trek video game, and appeared as the character in an Xfinity commercial. [1] Yelchin took over the role from Walter Koenig, who portrayed the character on Star Trek: The Original Series and in seven feature films.

Yelchin was unsure exactly why he was cast in that particular role, though he figured it had to do with his young age and the fact that he was "familiar with Russian people. Very, very familiar." (His parents are Russian.) [2] During his audition, Yelchin had to try out his Russian accent, which included saying Chekov's famous line from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, "nuclear wessel". Yelchin was unfamiliar with Star Trek prior to his being cast as Chekov but planned on viewing the various DVD box sets to learn more about the franchise. [3]

Like the rest of the cast, Yelchin had signed on to do two additional Star Trek films when he took the role of Chekov. [4] The first of those films, Star Trek Into Darkness, was released in May 2013.

In 2009, Yelchin was part of the Star Trek ensemble which received a Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award nomination in the category Best Ensemble and won a Boston Society of Film Critics Award in the category Best Ensemble Cast. He shared these awards with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Ben Cross, Eric Bana, Clifton Collins, Jr., Bruce Greenwood, Jennifer Morrison, Chris Hemsworth, Winona Ryder, Faran Tahir, and Tyler Perry. In 2010, Yelchin was part of the ensemble which received a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award nomination in the category Best Acting Ensemble for Star Trek.

The 2013 virtual collectible card battle game Star Trek: Rivals is using his pictures for card #79 "Ensign P. Chekhov" and card #95 "Acting Engineer P. Chekhov".

Personal life

Yelchin was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia, to nationally-known figure skaters Irina Korina and Viktor Yelchin. In September 1989, when Yelchin was six months old, he and his parents immigrated to the United States, receiving status as refugees from political and religious oppression due to their Jewish identity.

Yelchin attended the Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Tarzana, California, and had begun acting by the age of nine. He enrolled at the University of Southern California in 2007 to study film. In addition to acting, Yelchin enjoys playing the guitar. He currently lives in Burbank, California. [5]



His first films were the drama A Time for Dancing and the independent film A Man Is Mostly Water, both made in 2000, with the latter co-starring Star Trek: Enterprise guest star Chris Rydell. Yelchin and Scarlett Pomers both made featured appearances in the 2000 television movie Geppetto, which starred Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Rene Auberjonois and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Brent Spiner.

Yelchin played the title role in the comedy film Delivering Milo, about the spirit of a boy who must be convinced that life is worth being born for. Star Trek: Insurrection actor Michael Welch was among Yelchin's co-stars in this film, as was John Cho, whom Yelchin again worked with on Star Trek. In addition, Yelchin had a featured role in the film 15 Minutes, starring Avery Brooks, Kim Cattrall, and Kelsey Grammer. He also had a supporting role in the Paramount Pictures thriller Along Came a Spider. All of these films were released in the 2001.

Yelchin won a Young Spirit Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film by a Leading Young Actor for his work in the 2001 Stephen King-based drama Hearts in Atlantis. He received a second Young Artist Award nomination for his performance on the acclaimed television mini-series Taken (with Matt Frewer, Gwynyth Walsh, Rob LaBelle, and Brian Markinson).

In 2002, Yelchin had a two-episode recurring role on the legal drama The Practice, with Paul Dooley and Alan Dale playing judges. Yelchin was also seen on Judging Amy with Chris Sarandon. In 2003, he appeared in an episode of Without a Trace with Christopher McDonald. Enrique Murciano was a regular on this series.


Anton Yelchin and Walter Koenig

Yelchin with Walter Koenig, the original Pavel Chekov, on the set of Star Trek

From 2004 through 2006, Yelchin starred in the Showtime series Huff, playing the son of the title character. In addition, Yelchin earned a third Young Spirit Award nomination for his starring role in the 2004 television movie Jack. This latter project also featured the aforementioned Brent Spiner, as well as Erich Anderson. Yelchin's other television credits have thus far included guest spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm (2004, with Patrick Kerr), NYPD Blue (2004, with Gordon Clapp), and Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2006), which was developed by Rene Balcer.

Yelchin has also continued making a name for himself in films, with major roles in 2004's House of D (co-starring Willie Garson) and 2006's Alpha Dog. He then starred in the drama Fierce People, which played at film festivals in 2005 and was released in theaters in September 2007. He more recently starred in the film Charlie Bartlett (2007), in which he played the title role, a wealthy teenager who appoints himself psychiatrist of his high school.


Star Trek was not the only iconic franchise that Yelchin became a part of in 2009. Released just two weeks after Star Trek was the fourth Terminator film, Terminator Salvation, in which Yelchin played a teenage Kyle Reese (the role originated by Michael Biehn in the first Terminator).

Yelchin starred in the 2011 remake of the 1985 cult horror film Fright Night as Charley Brewster, a teenager who believes his neighbor is a vampire. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest actor Chris Sarandon, who starred in the original Fright Night, made a cameo in the remake; Michael De Luca, writer of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Threshold", was one of the film's producers. In addition, Yelchin was the voice of Clumsy Smurf in the 2011 film version of The Smurfs and its 2013 sequel, The Smurfs 2. The first Smurfs film which also featured the voices of John Kassir and Frank Welker.

Yelchin's other films include the 2011 romance Like Crazy (with Amanda Carlin) for which he won the Spotlight Award at the Hollywood Film Festival and the Breakthrough Performer Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2011, Jim Jarmusch's vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), and the leading role in the thriller Odd Thomas (2013). Upcoming projects include the drama Broken Horses (2013, with Eric Sharp and Steve Luna), the romantic comedy 5 to 7 (2014, with Frank Langella), William H. Macy's drama Rudderless (2014), and the drama Cymbeline (2014). According to the IMDb, Yelchin will also have a role in the video game fantasy adaptation Warcraft, set for a 2015 release.

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