‘Star Trek Beyond’ Star Zoe Saldana On Knowing Anton Yelchin

Zoe Saldana stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote the release of Star Trek Beyond, but as one of the co-stars most profoundly affected by the sudden death of Anton Yelchin, Ms. Saldana found herself recalling her short-lived friendship with the late actor. In reflecting on Yelchin, Zoe gives an insider’s insight into what Anton was like as a professional and as the co-worker the Star Trek Beyond cast all knew behind the scenes.

Star Trek Beyond Actress Zoe Saldana Shares Memories Of Her Friendship With Anton Yelchin

Last month, Hollywood and the Star Trek franchise lost a tremendous talent, and more importantly, a bright, friendly soul, when actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a freak automobile accident, but as Daily Mail reports, Yelchin made a great impact on his co-stars throughout his short career. Actress Zoe Saldana shared with Stephen Colbert that she met him just after he had turned 18, remarking that, although he was the youngest of them, Anton seemed wise beyond his years.

She adds that she and the rest of the Star Trek Beyond cast, including producer J.J. Abrams, are out promoting the film with Yelchin in mind. Saldana says they would rather bury themselves in mourning and hide away from the limelight for the time being, but that’s not what Anton would have wanted.

Ms. Saldana has often spoken of the loss of Anton Yelchin, sharing her grief and her memories of the late Star Trek Beyond actor. Just as news of Anton’s death was released, Zoe shared a picture on Instagram with a caption paying tribute to Star Trek Beyond‘s Yelchin.

“You were kind, present, old souled, curious, brilliant, funny, humble, honest, and undeniably talent. Good bye, Anton, it was an honor to have crossed paths with you,” wrote Saldana.

Zoe Saldana Believes In The Positive Power Of Star Trek

As is the case with audiences worldwide, Zoe revealed that her own family has long been a fan of the Star Trek franchise, finding it an inspiring source of entertainment, capable of promoting feelings of hope in even the most challenging times. As Entertainment Weekly reveals, Ms. Saldana feels further inspired by the fact that President Barack Obama has also said he’s always been a Star Trek fan.

“It always sparks these amazing conversations at my house,” Ms. Saldana said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “Whenever we talk about shows like Star Trek— like, because Barack Obama mentioned being a fan of the show, that maybe this was one of those shows that really inspired him to believe that maybe he could actually be president of the United States of America.”

Having been brought up by a mother who was also a fan of the original Star Trek series, Zoe is familiar with the behind the scenes story of Gene Roddenberry and the creator’s hope to bring a message of change to the world. Roddenberry had a vision and wanted, more than anything, for Star Trek to show people that diversity and acceptance is possible.

“Take [Star Trek] creator Gene Roddenberry, for example. He was a cop, and he was very disappointed and just moved by what he was seeing in the world, at his time, that he wrote this concept of something that he would have liked to have seen life to be,” Star Trek Beyond‘s Saldana said. “And here we are, 50 years later, and it continuously inspires people. So I do believe art has the ability to inspire and inflict hope on people, and I like taking on that responsibility and being a part of good work.”

Star Trek Beyond hits theaters this Friday.

[Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images]