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Anton Yelchin on Terminator Salvation

Published August 26, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins Comic Con Poster Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins
Anton Yelchin is fast staking claim to the great pop culture characters. First he played the new Chekov in Star Trek, but before that even comes out, we'll see him as young Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins.

The Future Begins for Yelchin

"You're really lucky when you have A, a script to work with and then B, a whole other movie to base your character off of and research and think about. The great thing about Michael Biehn's performance is that it's very layered and you get a very complex character to play. So it makes it even more interesting for me to come and look at that complex character and say, 'Well, hey, how do you get there? How did he become the guy that says to Sarah Connor, "They don't feel pain, but I do."' There's so much to everything that he says and everything that he does."

Indeed, Yelchin studied the previous films well. "There's a great part in T1 where they're sitting under the bridge and she asks him to talk about his life before and he sort of looks at her and goes, 'What?' It's like the weirdest 'what.' If you watch it, you'll see what I mean, but every little thing to me in that film said, 'Okay, that's a part of this guy.' There's the Kyle Reese that's obsessed with the Sarah Connor picture. Why is he so obsessed? It's almost infant-like. He doesn't talk about her as a sexual object. He talks about her like this woman. He's so in love with this picture."

At that point, Yelchin began to discuss his own interpretation of Kyle Reese. "So looked at that and said, 'God, this guy grew up and never had any relationships with any girls. What does that say about him? Look at how angry he is here, what's that say?' It's just there's so much. There's such a vast wealth of info. To go through and say, 'Okay, well in this scene I want you to see that part of Kyle Reese and that part of Kyle Reese.' And from day one when me and McG got together, that's the goal, to incorporate all of those things that made that original character wonderful and bring them to this and even if possible make it even more interesting by saying, 'Look, this is what caused that."

Yelchin is also taking inspiration from the events of the future-set Salvation. "All of us have been working together to say, 'Look, everything that you see about Kyle that's so cool, a lot of it he learns from Marcus, or he learns it from living in this environment.' For me it's a truthfully very pained character because he's grown up seeing people die all around him. He lives with a little girl. That's the only person that he sort of spends his time with. He's grown up without any of the advantages of being a young man in sort of the modern world, he's grown up without them. But he still is a young man, so he's still got all of the feelings. I mean he's still got bad days. I'm sure every once in a while he wants to jerk it, you know."

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins opens to theaters on May 22nd, 2009.

For the trailer, poster, stills and more movie info, go to the Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of respective holders

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