He won over critics in last year’s indie favorite, Like Crazy, for his portrayal of Felicity Jones’s young lover. In 2009, he stood out as Pavel Chekov, a 17-year-old math prodigy in Star Trek—and he’ll appear in the sequel, scheduled for next year. Now Anton Yelchin has proved that he’s a promising photographer as well.
Born in St. Petersburg to stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet, Yelchin has made Southern California his home. He attended elementary school in Tarzana, Calif., and has toiled as an actor since he was a kid, appearing in everything from Terminator: Salvation to The Beaver. But he’s simultaneously turned to taking pictures, casting his film endeavors in a new light.
BULLETT magazine recently asked Yelchin to submit a photo essay inspired by youth. The 22-year-old actor mined his hometown of Los Angeles for inspiration—and came up with a series of sun-soaked landscapes, creepy masks, and a handful of eerie self portraits.
You’d think that being a young actor in Hollywood would lend itself to certain kinds of people and places: stick-thin blondes, hotel pools, and red carpets. But Yelchin’s images reveal a different kind of eye, one defined by restlessness. “I’m interested in the ideas of chaos, violence, and sex—specifically the voyeuristic exploration of youth,” he told BULLETT. “The photos [in my series] are about exploring the line where youth and maturity—‘innocence’ (which is a fabricated concept I have a hard time believing in) and perversion—cross.”
Yelchin’s ideas and images are not unlike those of Hedi Slimane, the former creative director of Dior Homme who has recently been tapped as the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Slimane spent the years in between as a photographer, documenting youth culture in Los Angeles. Both Yelchin and Slimane’s images represent something fleeting, like the sun from a long L.A. day. As Slimane says, his images are simply about “happiness, or a search for happiness.”
Some of Yelchin’s images are featured in BULLETT's Obsessed Issue, now on newsstands, and are currently on view at the Dilettante space in Los Angeles.