Cast of ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Mourns Anton Yelchin at Press Conference
Anton Yelchin passed away last month following a freak car-related accident, but the cast of Star Trek Beyond is still mourning the loss of their beloved Pavel Chekov. During a Los Angeles press conference for the sci-fi film on Thursday, July 14, members of the USS Starship Enterprise crew paid tribute to their fallen friend and co-star.
"We're mourning. We're grieving the loss of a great friend and a great human being, and he can never be replaced," Uhura actress Zoe Saldana told Entertainment Tonight.
"He was the greatest guy... the smartest guy in the room," Simon Pegg, both an actor and co-writer for the movie, echoed.
"It's been obviously horrific and really challenging, and ultimately very private experience for us," Spock actor Zachary Quinto, who previously called Yelchin "enormously talented and generous of heart," said during the junket.
"The senselessness of Anton's loss was something that none of us could really fathom, but our goal is to really celebrate him and his spirit," he added about the devastating loss and how the cast is coping.
Karl Urban, who plays Dr. McCoy in the series, agreed that the new film should be seen as a celebration of the young actor's talents, PEOPLE reported.
"It's devastating to lose a family member," he said. "We're at a point where we should be celebrating, not only this film, but this beautiful man, this talented man. For all of us, it's almost incomprehensible to be at a point where we have to talk about him in the past. The pain of his loss is still very raw."
Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine, also paid remembrance to Yelchin at the conference, calling him a "good guy," "very sweet" and "very beautifully, authentically Anton."
"I remember one of the first times I met him, like nine years ago or whatever, he was 17," Pine recalled. "I invited him back to my trailer to play guitar because I knew he played guitar, and he played guitar really, really, really well. And he said, 'I can't man, I've got to go back to my trailer.' I was like, 'Okay, why?' He was translating, like, an esoteric Russian novel into English, just because that's what he wanted to do. Eight, nine years later I talked to him and he was still translating it."
Yelchin passed away on June 19. He was 27.
From ScreenCrush: Behind-the-Scenes of Star Trek Beyond