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OCT
20
3 YEARS

Anton Yelchin on the Long Journey to His Star-Making Role in 'Like Crazy' (Video)

The 22-year-old is best known for his work in J.J. Abrams's 'Star Trek,' but demonstrates his acting chops more than ever before in this heart-tugging indie.

Anton Yelchin seems much older and more mature than his 22 years, both in Drake Doremus's film Like Crazy (which might well turn him into one of the top movie stars of his generation) and in person (as I found when I sat down with him for a half-hour interview in New York on Monday, which can see in the above video).

These days, the actor -- who was born in Russia, moved with his family to America as a baby, and has worked here professionally since the age of nine -- is probably best known for his appearance in J.J. Abrams's Star Trek (2009), if not for some of his stronger work in smaller films like Nick Cassavetes's Alpha Dog (2006), Jon Poll's Charlie Bartlett (2007), and Jodie Foster's The Beaver (2011). That will all change, however, on Oct. 28, when Paramount begins its platform release of Like Crazy in Los Angeles and New York.

The micro-budget indie -- which in January premiered at Sundance and was quickly picked up by the studio for $4 million en route to winning the festival's Grand Jury Prize and a special prize for Yelchin's co-star Felicity Jones -- is built around two performances that seem unusually believable, in no small part because of the documentary-style approach to fiction-filmmaking that Doremus demanded of his actors. Yelchin and Jones met for the first time less than a week before filmmaking commenced, after which they essentially spent a full month without leaving their characters -- an American boy and a British girl who meet in college, fall in love, are torn about by forces beyond their control, and then struggle to get back together.

Like all great films about young love, from Wuthering Heights (1939) to Love Story (1970) to and Blue Valentine (2010), Like Crazy offers an unvarnished look at its good, bad, and ugly sides... and leaves you rooting for the two people to find a way to work things out.