Anton Yelchin’s boyish looks are working against him.
“I am not necessarily attracted to playing high schoolers anymore. Like, I got pretty over it,” he says. “I haven’t been to high school in five years. I don’t really want to do a high school movie anymore, ever.”
While his character in his latest film, Fright Night, is a high school student, he’s quick to point out that’s not a major plot point. In fact, once the action gets going — Yelchin’s Charlie discovers his smooth-talking neighbour Jerry (Colin Farrell) is actually a vampire — it doesn’t matter how old Charlie is as much as how scared he is, which was a major focus for Yelchin.
“It adds to Jerry’s menace,” Yelchin says. “The more freaked out he is, the more serene Jerry can be and the more menacing he can be. Because you are Charlie, you’re the one that’s getting freaked out that something’s going to happen.”
But the two stars didn’t feel the need to stay away from each other off-camera to master that dynamic, though some actors might’ve gone that route.
“I’ve never really done that with anyone unless I needed to; unless I really felt like I couldn’t do this without just staying in it,” he says.
“We seemed to get along pretty well. We definitely weren’t like, ‘You stay in one corner and I’ll stay in another one,’ you know what I mean?”
Besides, there were plenty of other factors to the horror movie shoot for Yelchin to contend with.
“Some of the shooting was difficult,” he admits.
“The hours, inevitably as the movie’s coming to a close, get longer and longer, so you get more and more tired, but we had a great time because the people are really great.”
He also got to play some dress up, as Charlie dons an impressive homemade vampire-hunting suit late in the film, something he’d be delighted to see fans wearing at next year’s Comic-Con.
“They will very quickly discover how uncomfortable that outfit is,” he says.
“It was so hot. It’s fireproof. I don’t even know what that material is. It might as well have been bulletproof, too. It looked cool. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”
Comfort aside, the suit offered some logistical issues: “You have to pick and choose the hours that you’re going to go to the bathroom,” Yelchin says.
If Yelchin is looking to keep himself from hitting up homeroom again, then his next role, Like Crazy, is a step in the right direction.
“We’re in our 20s in Like Crazy, so it had nothing to do with high school. It’s about kids in college, young men and women after college trying to figure out — in a very serious way — what was going on with their lives,” Yelchin says.
“It was a completely different universe. It was like the universe that I feel I inhabit more and more — just life after college, what do you do with yourself?”