We spoke last year with cute, now 17-year-old actor Anton Yelchin and, other than the fact that he's now driving a pick-up truck around L.A. and has more acting credits under his belt, life hasn't changed radically for the talented, curly-haired, blue-eyed star. Now playing the troubled teen son of Hank Azaria in the Emmy-winning TV series "Huff", Anton is still spending his time off hiking around the L.A. area mountains, listening to classic Beatles rock and enjoying his successful career. Anton came to the states from Russia with his figure skating parents as a baby and has been acting since a very young age but has just recently been playing more "adult" roles in films like the upcoming Alpha Dog in which he co-stars with Justin Timberlake and Fierce People. Both films include a little romantic action for the hot, young actor. We caught Anton at home kicking back and had a long chat. He'd just finished reading the steamy adult classic book "Lolita", is a devoted fan of a new (to him) band and was happy to tell us about his upcoming roles, his favorite films and his Showtime TV show.
TeenTelevision: What kinds of messes can we expect to see your "Huff" character Byrd get into this season?
Anton: Last season, he was really supportive of everything that was going on with his family. This season, because the family sort of starts to disintegrate, his character disintegrates with the family. At first he starts breaking into people's homes, just basically, to see how they live because it maybe stems from being discouraged by his own family. Then it just escalates and he ends up assaulting a friend of his. They get in a fight and it gets really out of hand until you realize the reason he's doing it is that he can't take being with his family anymore. Most of the last episodes of Byrd focus on him fighting with Huff because he's just really distraught.
TeenTelevision: That sounds like something you can get your teeth into as an actor.
Anton: Definitely. That's great. The beginning of the season was a bit slow because they were still working out the problems but the last four episodes were great for me.
TeenTelevision: How are you like Byrd and how very different?
Anton: I don't want to compliment myself but he's sensitive to his family and I'm like that but I think that's an accomplishment of my parents. That's the way they've raised me to know what's going on in the family. If my parents are happy or sad I know. That's how Byrd is too and that's why if effects his character so much when Huff and Beth are going through difficult times. But, unless they put my parents in danger, I'd never assault anybody. I really couldn't possibly but you never know.
TeenTelevision: So, you've never even gotten in a fight?
Anton: The only time I've ever done anything like that was when I was in second grade and these three guys tried to beat me up. I first fought their younger brother and then kicked their older brother in the nuts and got beaten by the older who was like two feet taller than me.
TeenTelevision: Ouch! Back to "Huff". Would you like to direct an episode? Do you think they would let you eventually?
Anton: I'd have to be old enough I guess but I'd love to direct. That would actually be really great. Considering I'd love to direct in general, it would be interesting to see how it would work on a [TV] show because it would be different from on a film. That would be awesome.
TeenTelevision: Are you still going out into nature and playing your guitar for fun to kick back?
Anton: I still do it except my guitar only has five strings on it and I really need to change them so I'm limited in what I can play and I have a truck now so I can drive somewhere. It was kind of a long walk to go to the trails and I can drive and go right into the trails now. It's a Toyota Tacoma. I don't really know very much or care that much about cars so when we were talking about getting a car, I just really wanted a small truck and I didn't care.
TeenTelevision: But cute trucks are cool!
Anton: Yeah. If you get a first car that's new, it's like a waste of money because it's your first car and the insurance is like ten thousand dollars. I saw this car and I expected it to be dirty and kinda shitty and it was clean and perfect and I love it. It's my car. It's a beginner's car and can handle stuff like going over curbs by mistake.
TeenTelevision: You have a dog. Please tell me you don't drive around in your truck with the dog just running free in the back. They can fly out and get hurt.
Anton: Oh no. I actually get really pissed off when I see that. I've seen it on the freeway. I don't get it!
TeenTelevision: What are you reading now?
Anton: 'Lolita'. I just finished. I've only seen the Kubrick movie of the book so as I was reading it, I'm remembering parts of Kubrick's film. It worked so perfectly with James Mason and the girl who played Lolita.
TeenTelevision: What do you watch on TV?
Anton: I don't watch TV that much but, if I do, I watch "The Simpsons" or "Family Guy" or I go and try to rent "Beavis and Butthead" or "Ren and Stimpy".
TeenTelevision: What new bands or solo acts are you into?
Anton: My favorite old band is the Beatles but my favorite new band is definitely The Libertines. When you listen to them, you always have the suspicion that at any moment they're going to pass out while they are singing a song. They're always slurring through a song like they can't get the chords right. It's a magical feeling of how alive they are. You feel really close to them when you're listening to the music. You feel like they're very human. I don't like bands that are too cool to play their music. Even if the music is good, it always leaves me pretty cold.
TeenTelevision: What are you learning from working with top-notch actors like Hank, Blythe [Danner] and Angelica Huston?
Anton: I met Angelica Huston on press days and table reads and more than anything I like to watch how people like to conduct themselves. She's so polite and respectful and kind. She's so charming. She's a wonderful actress and I respect her very much and Blythe [Danner] as well and Hank. We'll sit on set and talk things out.
TeenTelevision: Okay, let's get to the fun stuff. Where would you take someone on a first date?
Anton: I don't know. A lot of people go to the movies which makes no sense. I don't even know you and we're going to sit in a theater the entire time? Go hang out and eat something. I always ask the person what they want to do and hope they have a really strong opinion like 'let's go here and here and here' and I'll be like 'sure'. My idea is anything you want to do I'm down to do.
TeenTelevision: Do you try to stay out of the young Hollywood scene of clubbing etc.?
Anton: The only times I've been to clubs were New Years or at Sundance really. I was there with [the movie] Alpha Dog. Clubbing is the same thing as parties in L.A., parties in the Valley or whatever. It just seems kind of dull. I got over parties pretty quickly. It can be fun but I actually like going to shows and it's a lot more fun seeing bands play.
TeenTelevision: There are several fan sites on you. Does that make you feel weird or happy?
Anton: That's good. It doesn't bother me. I don't really know about them. I'm going to Google them right now.
TeenTelevision: What film do you think was the best film last year?
Anton: I don't go to movies that much. I mostly watch old movies at home. My favorite old movie is Taxi Driver but I saw Capote. I saw Walk the Line and I think I saw Crash. My favorite movie honestly was King Kong. I almost cried. With King Kong and Naomi Watts, they were so perfectly shot that it was a love story between this ape and Naomi Watts. It was so touching and tender and I thought they way they created King Kong was just amazing. I loved it. It was like this huge budget animal rights movie. It combined a lot of elements of the stereotypical 'this is the bad guy and this is the good guy' but there's something really great about the melodrama in it because that's what King Kong always was.
TeenTelevision: What film are you going to shoot next?
Anton: It's called Charlie Bartlett. I play Charlie. He has this extraordinary optimism about him and he sets out, essentially for selfish reasons, to change his school and become popular but, in doing that, he becomes like the school therapist. First he sells Ritalin and then helps people learn about prescription drugs because their parents aren't helping them. He's a very honest character. Initially, he wanted to be well-liked but he also wants to help people. He's not perfect either and there are things in his life that aren't great but he doesn't dwell on those.
TeenTelevision: Which actors would you love to play opposite?
Anton: Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep.
TeenTelevision: Class! Can you talk about who you play in Alpha Dog? You get kidnapped?
Anton: I play this guy Zach Mazursky whose brother owes this drug dealer like a thousand bucks or something. I run away from my house and through bizarre coincidence, they see me running down the street just as this feud between the drug dealer and my brother has started and the drug dealer kidnaps me. The movie focuses on these two days that we spend together.
TeenTelevision: Also, fans want to know, what it was like working with Justin Timberlake and who does he play in the film?
Anton: He was great. He plays one of the kidnappers. Justin is great. He's such a very confident, very centered, down to earth person and it's really great to be around him. He gives off a lot of really good energy. He's very concentrated and he wants to do a really great job and I just really liked working with him.
TeenTelevision: Did he let you know that he wants to make a shift to movies?
Anton: I know he really enjoyed working on that film but I think he is also releasing a new album sometime soon.
TeenTelevision: In the trailer, looks like you get a little romantic action in Alpha Dog. Some fun in the pool. Who was that girl?
Anton: One of them was Amanda, she was in Mean Girls. She's such a great person, so nice. I really liked working with her and the other was Amber. They're really nice.
TeenTelevision: Oh, more than one girl! Way to go! Was that your first big romantic scene?
Anton: Well, no. There are some in Fierce People but the Alpha Dog pool scene was the first one I've ever done with two girls!
TeenTelevision: Ooooo, you go, dude! Who do you play in Fierce People?
Anton: I play Finn Earl who is the son of Liz Earl who is played by Diane Lane. It's the story of this kid and his mother that end up in this extremely wealthy community and they're from like the village and she's trying to kick coke or whatever. The community is owned by Donald Sutherland who is like a railroad tycoon or something and it's built on the grounds that he owns. It's about the difference in the social classes. Finn's dad was an anthropologist so he starts studying these people as if they were a tribe.
TeenTelevision: That sounds really interesting. So any final word for your fans other than hoping they see your work?
Anton: Just Peace out!