In an interview with Access Hollywood, which you can see above, at the premiere of his new film The BFG, the director spoke about Yelchin, who starred in the Spielberg-produced 2002 miniseries Taken. “He was a lovely young man,” he said. “He was a complete gentleman.”
Yelchin was 13 years old when he worked with the legendary filmmaker on the 2002 (then-titled) Sci-Fi Channel miniseries, but Spielberg said even then he was impressed by his work ethic. “He was a serious actor and he didn’t have his sights set on anything specific — he just loved working, and good things happen to people who just want to work,” he shared.
While Spielberg had no connection to Yelchin’s biggest role as Pavel Chekov in the recent Star Trek films, he was a big fan of the performance. “I loved that beautiful, natural accent of his finally allowed to be released and not kept in.”
Yelchin can be seen one last time in that role when Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters July 22.