I gotta be honest, after arriving at the hotel for the “Star Trek” press day, there was a tinge of disappointment in my heart when I learned that Leonard Nimoy had gone home for the day. A huge fan of Nimoy’s work, especially his directing endeavors, I’d hoped to get the 3 1/2 minutes alloted in most video interviews to talk to the man who originated the iconic role of Spock. Those questions and praises will have to wait for another day (the Enterprise escape sequence in “Star Trek III”? Brilliant!). Instead, Paramount provided a chance to chat with the film’s villain, Eric Bana, and the new incarnations of Sulu and Chekov, John Cho and Anton Yelchin respectively. And who would say no to that?
You’d never know it from the tape, but Yelchin was sick as a dog during this interview and no, it wasn’t swine flu (although kidding, I obviously wasn’t the first one to ask that day based on his reaction). The actor, who burst on the scene after his underrated performance in “Alpha Dog,” put on a brave face though in chatting about his first franchise flick of the summer. He’ll return later this month as the younger version of Kyle Reese in “Terminator: Salvation.”
Sulu is a big break for John Cho. The role finally breaks him out of the comedic roles he’s been pigeon-holed in. He discusses sitting down with George Takei, the original Sulu, and he’s clearly a classy guy.
Playing a Sci-Fi villain is a tough gig for any actor. How do you avoid the cliches and caricatures created by so many over-the-top thespians before you? Especially in a “Star Trek”movie which has a laundry list of bad alien warmongers? Bana is up to the task, however, and chats about what made him take on the role and how he discovered some secret “Trek” fans in his family after he got the role. Also, just for kicks, Bana discusses his part in Judd Apatow’s new comedy “Funny People” which will be hitting theaters in late July.
Enjoy the video interviews below and for more of a “Star Trek” fix, check out these six clips from the movie.
John Cho & Anton Yelchin on “Star Trek”
Eric Bana on “Star Trek”
Eric Bana discusses “Funny People”
“Star Trek” opens nationwide and on IMAX on May 8.