Anton Yelchin, co-star of the "House Of D" Movie!
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1989, March 11, Anton Yelchin came to the United States as an infant with his parents who were Russian national pairs figure-skating champions. While Russian remains Anton’s first language, over the past four years he's gone from appearing in television commercials to starring in movies such as “Hearts In Atlantis,” based on Stephen King's novel, for which Anton won a 2001 Young Artists Award for best performer.
Anton's acting career began when he was nine years old. After appearing in commercials for companies such as McDonald's, Citibank and Radio Shack, he landed a number of prominent guest-starring roles on the TV shows “ER,” “The Practice,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and most recently “NYPD Blue.” He also appeared in the David Lynch pilot “Mulholland Drive,” and also worked alongside Drew Carey on the Disney movie-of-the-week “Geppetto.”
Major roles in feature films soon followed. After landing a role in the as-yet unreleased "A Man Is Mostly Water," Anton was cast in a supporting role in "15 Minutes," which starred Robert DeNiro and Ed Burns. Since then, he has played the title role in director Nick Castle's indie film "Delivering Milo," worked with Albert Finney, Bridget Fonda and Campbell Scott, and starred with Morgan Freeman in "Along Came a Spider." He has also appeared in the indie film "A Time for Dancing." Most recently, Anton starred alongside Robin Williams in David Duchovny’s directorial debut “House of D,” and the Showtime original film “Jack,” alongside Ron Silver and Stockard Channing.
Off screen, Anton manages to live the life of a regular American teenager: playing chess, learning to play Beatles songs and honing his skills on the guitar and piano. Anton is an only child in his family. Both his parents are still involved in figure skating. His father Viktor Yelchin is a coach in
California and his mother Irina is a figure skating choreographer.
Anton Yelchin plays in '' HUFF''
Anton Yelchin stars as Byrd, the teenage son of psychiatrist Craig Huffstodt (Hank Azaria), in the Sony Pictures Television original drama series HUFF, for Showtime. A psychiatrist who lacks balance and clarity in his own life, while struggling to help others achieve these goals, is the subject of HUFF, Sony Pictures Television’s groundbreaking drama series for Showtime.
Dr. Craig “Huff” Huffstodt (Hank Azaria) is a shrink who has dedicated his entire life to helping others find clarity, peace and happiness. After a shattering event takes place with one of his patients, Huff begins to question everything he once held true and spins into a major mid-life crisis. Slated to premiere this fall, the series also stars Paget Brewster, Blythe Danner and Oliver Platt.
Huff’s life is sent reeling when one of his patients, a 15-year-old boy, commits suicide during a therapy session. His nurturing nature is tested at nearly every turn as he endures and deals with the conflicting personalities and small insanities within his own family. Struggling with the increasing worry that he may face legal liability in connection with the suicide, and tortured by the self-inflicted feelings of guilt and inadequacy, Huff begins to question who he is, what he’s made of and how he fits in --- anywhere.
Amid all the turmoil, Huff finds himself randomly and often reluctantly interacting with a homeless Hungarian man whom Huff is never absolutely certain exists. Yet their encounters usually make Huff feel like a decent and compassionate man despite his internal chaos.
Huff’s lawyer and long time close friend, Russell (Oliver Platt), serves as a touchstone of reality and a source of questionable ethics and morality, but always with a sense of humor. His wife Beth (Paget Brewster), whose love and empathy for her husband helps him avoid meltdowns, also provides welcome, support and amenities. Huff’s mother Izzy (Blythe Danner), who occupies the living quarters above their garage, specializes in emotional inflammation and manipulation. His only child, a teenage son named Byrd (Anton Yelchin), is a loving son concerned with his dad’s well being.
Meanwhile, Huff’s younger brother and sole sibling Teddy (Andy Comeau) is figuratively and literally locked away in a private mental institution. A great irony in Huff’s life is that the brief time he spends with Teddy is when he most often experiences clarity and consolation. Huff, who provides care and comfort for the functionally insane and neurotic, finds the boundaries of sanity to be elusive in his personal life as well. He’s a warm and well-intended man questioning his values and struggling with the process of confronting one’s fears.
Anton Yelchin stars in 'House of D'
An American artist living a bohemian existence in Paris, Tom Warshaw (David Duchovny) is trying to make sense of his troubled adult life by reflecting upon his extraordinary childhood...The year is 1973, and thirteen-year-old Greenwich Village native Tommy Warshaw (Anton Yelchin) is on the brink of becoming a man. While his bereaved single mother (Téa Leoni) continues to mourn the death of his father, Tommy escapes his own grief by causing trouble at school and making afternoon meat deliveries with his best friend Pappas (Robin Williams), a mentally challenged janitor. Following the romantic advice offered by Lady (Erykah Badu) - incarcerated in the infamous Greenwich Village Women's House of Detention for shadowy reasons - Tommy even experiences his first taste of love. Yet when an unexpected tragedy radically alters his world, Tommy must make a life-defining choice - one that will compel the adult Tom Warshaw, thirty years later, to confront his unfinished past.
The Smart 'Hearts in Atlantis' Kid - Anton Yelchin
In "Hearts in Atlantis," middle-aged photographer Bobby Garfield, played by David Morse, gets a package in the mail. It's a softball glove from one of his childhood friends, who has died. That prompts Bobby's return to his old neighborhood, now falling apart, as he searches for his childhood friend, Carol.
The visit prompts nostalgia and memories of the past, when he lived in a house with his mother, and when for a short time an odd man lived upstairs, played by Anthony Hopkins, who had a unique knack for reading minds and predicting the future.
Bobby as a boy is played by 12-year-old Anton Yelchin, an irrepressible kid who Hopkins called a modern-day Tom Sawyer when he first met him. Carol is played by Mika Boorem and Bobby's self-obsessed mother is played by Hope Davis.
The Warner Bros. film is directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Scott Hicks, who previously did "Snow Falling on Cedars" and "Shine." It's written by "Misery" writer William Goldman based on a book by Stephen King.
Yelchin, 12, speaks fluent Russian and says his mom gets mad if he doesn't speak their native language at home. His cousin, for example, speaks no Russian, and now wishes he did. He became an actor when his father kept videotaping him doing funny things with his giant Bugs Bunny doll. Here is his interview, with his mom, a former professional ice skater, nearby listening quietly and smiling.
ZAP2IT: So, we hear that you had a little trouble calling Anthony Hopkins, "Tony."
ANTON: Well, I call him, "Sir Anthony." You can't call somebody up there, "Tony," like I'd call my best friend at school or something. It's very hard to. Or I just can't.
ZAP2IT: How did he make you at ease? How did he make you comfortable?
ANTON: Because he's just a very good person. He's very normal. And still I was a little bit like this (strikes shy posture).
ZAP2IT: Is there a part of acting that's harder for you than other parts, or does it just all come naturally?
ANTON: Not really. I'd say it's like it all comes naturally, there's not really any part I find harder.
ZAP2IT: When you have to cry, do you come up with a sad memory or do you just make something up in your mind?
ANTON: Well, like in this scene where Bobby's running with his hand on the car, I just felt really sorry for Bobby, so that's what made me cry. And then one time my dog got hit by a car, so I remember that.
ZAP2IT: How do you feel when you get a script like this where you're going to be in every scene? Does part of you say, "This is great!" and another part say, "Oh, my God?"
ANTON: Mostly I'm too excited to even think. I'm just really happy. Even if I'm only in one scene, I'm very, very happy. This time I was just going crazy.
ZAP2IT: What's your reaction to being cast opposite a great actor like Anthony Hopkins?
ANTON: First I was so happy I couldn't even think straight. Then — well, I'm just honored and proud to be in "Hearts in Atlantis," and especially playing in the same scenes as Sir Anthony Hopkins. I was a little too small to see like, "The Silence of the Lambs," so "Mask of Zorro" was the first thing I saw him in. I thought he was good.
ZAP2IT: What about playing a kid from 1960? Do you think kids were different then or did you have to learn something about that time to be comfortable?
ANTON: Well, I think the story is timeless. Anywhere you place it in time, it'll be perfect. I think it was safer. Like you know how Bobby can go over to Carol's house? And now, I wouldn't feel very comfortable if I was like three houses down from my friend. I wouldn't feel very comfortable. You know, you didn't have to lock doors.
ZAP2IT: Do you have any psychic abilities?
ANTON: I pretty much don't have any psychic abilities that I'm aware of, but I'm not sure. I believe in it. It would be interesting, but it's like a double-sided thing. Maybe it's good to have it, but at the same time, you could know things that would make you feel bad or scared that you know them.
ZAP2IT: What's it like seeing yourself up on that big screen?
ANTON: I usually just remember everything that was going on. Then I get so much into the story that I get really upset and I laugh. But also, I just feel proud that I'm up there.
ZAP2IT: What do your school friends say? Do they see you as a big star?
ANTON: Yeah, all my friends say that, but I don't like it when they say that, so they don't talk about it that much.
ZAP2IT: How old were you when you came here from Russia?
ANTON: I was six months old. I've not gone back, I have no memory of it. My mom has, but I haven't. Maybe when I'm twenty-something. I have to go back. I think I can't not go back.
ZAP2IT: Can you skate?
ANTON: I'm not a very good athlete. I can run around and play basketball, but I don't prefer to do athletic stuff. In "Along Came a Spider," I played the son of a Russian president, so that came in handy, but also I'm just proud to know two languages, 'cause I think that's really good. And some of the books that you can read... like, I read a review of "The Little Prince," and people gave it an "F" in English? You know, I think it's a great book, but they said, "Reading it in French makes it seem horrible in English." So I'm proud I speak two languages. I'm gonna try — I can read a little, but not enough to read Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, so I'm gonna get better and start reading that.
ZAP2IT: It's odd, but very refreshing, to see someone your age who knows that Pushkin and Dostoyevsky were authors. I wonder if you realize that a lot of American kids your age might not know that.
ANTON: Oh, yeah. I owe it all to my parents, because they teach me everything. They're really proud of that. I love reading. I read, "Hearts in Atlantis." But I started "The Shining," and I read, "On Writing," because I like to write, but "The Shining" I haven't finished yet.
ZAP2IT: How do you like being a child actor?
ANTON: I don't know because I don't know if it's different from being an adult actor. I'm not sure. I don't know. It's just very interesting. It's a lot of fun. And I love it. Meeting people. Being on set. Reading scripts. Being on camera. Being in a movie. I love it. Well, I don't want to make anybody feel bad, but I like being on set a lot more (than giving interviews).
ZAP2IT: You seem like the kind of kid who's gonna go on to college. Do you see acting as something you think you'd always like to do or is there something else there?
ANTON: Well, I want to be an actor, and then I wanna be at the same time a director, so I can end up directing movies, and when I'm not acting or directing, I want to be an author and a philosopher.
ZAP2IT: And in your spare time? (Laughter) What will be your lasting memory from this picture?
ANTON: Sir Anthony. From the first moment I saw Sir Anthony on the set to the last day. Sir Anthony.
ZAP2IT: Some people who work all day go home and relax. But I guess a young actor like you has to go home and do his homework. Is that so?
ANTON: I do homework on set. The only time I wanna leave set is when I'm in school. When i'm in normal school it's okay, but then on-set school it's really tempting because I've been on set and I love being on set, but then I have to go to school. But when I go home, I look forward to tomorrow on set, because I love being on set.
ZAP2IT: How long have you been doing this?
ANTON: Since I was nine.
ZAP2IT: Was it obvious to your folks that show biz was the way you were gonna go? Were you an outgoing kid? (Laughs)
ANTON: My dad always used to videotape me, and I'd do really funny things. My dad was always, "Okay, if it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out," when I started acting, but my mom was always, like, "Oh, I really believe in you," and I'm just really very thankful to my mom. And my dad too, because he's very proud of me.
ZAP2IT: When you get home, what do you like to watch?
ANTON: Well, I like movies with my favorite actors like Robert DeNiro and Jack Nicholson. But my favorite movie is probably "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" or "Fiddler on the Roof." I'm not sure which one. And then I like "Amadeus" and I like "Deer Hunter" and "Taxi Driver" a lot.
ZAP2IT: A lot of your friends probably haven't been able to see the films you've been in. But you were on "E.R." last year, so I'm gonna guess that you probably got some good reaction to that.
ANTON: My friends mostly all saw me in "Geppetto." And then my friend Paul, we went with him to a theatre to see "Along Came a Spider." and he really liked that. And then "15 Minutes," I was not allowed to see that.
ZAP2IT: But you see "Taxi Driver." How was the "E.R." experience. Did you like that?
ANTON: Yeah! The day I was shooting I watched an "E.R." episode and it was really funny, 'cause the hallway I walked through I saw, and the little room I was in I saw, which was a lot of fun.
ZAP2IT: Which do you like best, the "Hurry up and wait" of movies, or just the "Hurry up" of TV?
ANTON: You mean like hurry up and wait for it to come out? I mean, we do all the takes and then... I like both. As long as I'm on set and doing something I like, I like it all.
ZAP2IT: Do you have any favorite child actors?
ANTON: I like Macaulay Culkin a lot. When he was a child. Oh, the girl in — well, she's not a child anymore, but the girl in "Paper Moon." Jodie Foster.
ZAP2IT: Actually, that was Tatum O'Neal. Do you collect anything?
ANTON: Well, I collect a lot of things. First I collected Pokemon cards, which I hate now. I gave them to my little cousin. But now I collect books, and I collect little miniatures that I paint.
ZAP2IT: What do you like to read the most?
ANTON: Well, my favorite book is "The Catcher in the Rye," then I read "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters," and "Seymour, an Introduction," which I thought was okay. Didn't like it as much. I don't really have a favorite author. Like every book I read... I like Mark Twain because I just finished "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," and I like J.D. Salinger. Probably the most I've read is J.D. Salinger. That's probably the most I've read.
ZAP2IT: Are you in any clubs?
ANTON: Well, I started a chess club at school. It's gone down the drain sort of.
ZAP2IT: What grade are you in now?
ANTON: Seventh. In Sherman Oaks.
ZAP2IT: Do you like "Harry Potter?"
ANTON: When I was reading them, yeah. I like wizards and stuff because of little miniatures I paint. I mostly paint wizards, and I like, oh, something magic. I had this really weird obsession where I wanted to know so much math that I could be a wizard, so I got this book about trigonometry and stuff. I understand the first two pages and then it gets harder.
ZAP2IT: Would you have liked the powers of Harry Potter?
ANTON: Yeah, but now when I think about it, if I had got that I wouldn't have done this, so no. I really love this.
ZAP2IT: Are you looking forward seeing the movie? ANTON: "Harry Potter?" Yeah! I wanna get the Legos, too.
ZAP2IT: Have you had your I.Q. tested? You seem to be very bright.
ANTON: Thank you. I had my I.Q. measured on an Internet test. I kept redoing it and then I got like a 130-something the first time.
ZAP2IT: So you do go online?
ANTON: Yeah, I go online a lot. there's this really good website called "pogo.com" where you can play chess with all the people around the world. I do that a lot while I'm talking to all my friends.
ZAP2IT: Do you have a website yet devoted to you?
ANTON: I could start my own, that'd be good.
Jack: DVD of the Week for December 5, 2004
Release date: 12/7/04
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Giacomo Baessato.
"Jack" is an original film that is first aired on SHOWTIME on June 20, 2004. It's available on DVD and VHS December 7, 2004.
"Jack" is the story of one family's dissolution and its impact on the parties involved. Stockard Channing, Ron Silver and Anton Yelchin (IMDb) star in the movie that takes a look at what composes a family and how we can make a variety of elements work.
Jack (Yelchin) is the son of Anne (Channing) and Paul (Silver). They split when Paul becomes involved with a man. At first fifteen-year-old Jack doesn't understand what has happened but one day his father spells it out for him. Jack recoils in horror and withdraws his affection from his father.
Later Jack is lured back into a visit with his father because his teen crush Maggie (Britt Irvin) is coming over with her gay father. The two teens bond over this similarity in their families.
Giacomo BaessatoJack's best friend is Max (Giacomo Baessato, IMDb). His life seems ideal with the perfect mother and father (Wendy Crewson and Erich Anderson), but all is not as it seems. The "perfect family" has problems of its own.
This movie is watchable due mainly to its first rate cast. Channing and Silver are outstanding actors and make any project with which they are involved above average. Still it is Yelchin who makes this movie special. He is such a natural actor and so good at expressing his emotions that you are stunned by the beauty of his portrayal.
"Jack" is not the shocking movie it would have been a few years ago. Still it does deliver a message of tolerance and acceptance that is applicable at any time. Plus with Yelchin's acting skills, the movie is enjoyable from start to finish.