Anton Yelchin’s got a lot on his plate with “5 to 7,” playing an aspiring novelist in Manhattan carrying on an affair with an older, married French woman (Berenice Marlohe). But first he had to make sure his aspiring writer wasn’t too familiar — or too annoying.
There are so many stories about writers, it’s kind of become its own genre. Did you have any thoughts about how to avoid cliches?
No, I mean I think the young writer trope is part of the history of narratives. I think films play into certain stereotypes and tropes, and people then play into them. It’s a mutual thing where people see images in films and form how they behave, and then films pick up on that. In terms of playing against that, no, I just went with the script. If anything, he is a stereotype. He’s a young dude with wealthy, well-off parents who are probably paying for his apartment and he’s trying to be a writer in New York. There’s tons of them out there. You meet them and you’re like, “So what the f— do you do? Living off your parents and … writing. OK.” But it’s OK because he’s young. I think it gets grotesque the older you get. That’s what, I think, the first half of your 20s at least is for. You can’t expect someone to be, like, on it right away.
Some of us had day jobs, though.
Agreed! Dude, I mean, I’ve been working since I was 10. I’m always the one saying, “Well, they should probably just get a job,” you know?
You’re dealing with some pretty emotional material in this.
All we really have as humans is desire. That’s the motivating factor. I’m not saying desire in a sexual sense, but desire for a mom figure or father figure to be what you think they’re going to be, desire for you to behave a certain way, desire for you to be able to walk right away as a being and you can’t, you know? It’s desire for the ideal. And I find that moving, when we just can’t have what we desire. I think Brian wants to be with her so badly, and how can you blame him? But he can’t. That’s just it, he cannot.
And a recent Bond Girl, Berenice Marlohe, is a lot to play off of.
Berenice is wonderful. The kind of warmth and humor and intelligence and kindness that Ariel exudes is all Berenice’s. I don’t want to say there’s no acting there, of course she’s performing, but those things that she brings to it are very genuine and they happen off-screen as well. It makes you want to share with her, it makes you want to connect with her and it makes the whole experience a lot easier because you are feeding off of that wonderful energy.
This is very much a New York story, as well. Do you have any particularly favorite parts of the city?
Well, my favorite thing about the city is the Met. I just think that’s an invaluable, incredible resource. As for my favorite film experiences, I had a really moving time when I made this movie, “House of D,” there with — it feels insane to say this but — the late Robin Williams. Crazy to me, I can’t even wrap my mind around it. But that was a very touching experience for me there. The D.P. was Michael Chapman, who did “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “The Last Detail” — and “Taxi Driver” is my favorite film. There was something about the experience of making that film. I was 14, my hormones were probably going crazy. It’s a very magical city to work in.
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