Zoe Saldana: Coping with Star Trek costar Anton Yelchin’s death is ‘almost impossible’

Zoe Saldana is still reeling from the sudden death of her Star Trek costar Anton Yelchin as their third and final installment together hits theaters.

“It’s not that it’s hard. It’s almost impossible,” the actress said Monday on EW Morning Live of trying to come to terms with the tragedy. “You are still, I think, in a state of shock. It hasn’t been a month since his passing. We’re here today promoting the movie because of him. He deserves it. He loved what he did. He was an amazing artist and loved acting, loved Star Trek.”

Yelchin, who played Chekov in the sci-fi reboot, died in June after a freak accident in which his parked car slid down his driveway and pinned him against a pillar. He was 27.

Star Trek Beyond premieres Friday, and the studio has reportedly greenlit a fourth film.

“That’s the way that I can feel that he’s still with us, by me helping for Anton to sort of be immortalized through his work, because he was very proud of everything he left on the silver screen,” said Saldana, 38.

And on Sway in the Morning, Saldana addressed the controversy surrounding her being cast as Nina Simone in a biopic. (Critics equated her dark makeup and prosthetic nose to blackface.)

“It doesn’t feel comfortable to be discriminated amongst your community, amongst your bretheren,” she said. “I just stood very still, because I felt that silence was going to speak louder.”

“I understand that it is a topic that has brough much pain to a community,” she added, but “I’m never going to justify or explain my blackness. I know who I am. … I don’t think I’m privileged for being lighter.”

EW Morning Live airs weekdays from 8-10 am ET on SiriusXM Entertainment Weekly Radio (Ch. 105). Sway in the Morning airs weekdays from 8 am to noon ET on SiriusXM Shade 45 (Ch. 45).

For a free 30-day trial, check out http://www.siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog.

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