Saying Goodbye to Anton Yelchin

Saying Goodbye to Anton Yelchin

Yelchin as the titular character in 2007's Charlie Bartlett.

Yelchin as the titular character in 2007’s Charlie Bartlett.

 

Actor Anton Yelchin died unexpected this weekend in what’s been called a freak accident. He was only 27 years old. Shock and sadness often comes along with the news of the death of a young and beloved public figure. Given the bizarre circumstances of Yelchin’s death, the news stings a bit more than usual. The actor emigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union with his parents—both star figure skaters—when he was only 6 months old. He began acting professionally when he was 9. During his 16 years working, he amassed an impressive 65 film and TV credits, but it’s hard not to think he was just getting started.

Earlier this year, he starred in Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, a brilliant film with unrelenting tension and palpable terror. Yelchin anchored the film with an authentic performance that synthesized many of the characteristics he displayed in previous films. Despite his youthful looks, Yelchin wore a cloak of world-weariness, coming off an old soul who has already been through quite a bit. He was always relatable. When necessary, he could become undeniably charming. And, when he took on the role of Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek series, he was gleefully adorable. He was equally comfortable starring in a small independent feature as he was a major Hollywood blockbuster. I first took notice of him in 2006’s Alpha Dog, one of a few instances where the strength of his performance managed to elevate the film as a whole.

Currently, 5 films on which he worked have yet to be released. Additionally, for each of Yelchin’s films I’ve seen, there are 2-3 I haven’t. I look forward to viewing each one, but regret that myself and the rest of the world will not get to see what else he could have done with another few decades worth of work. My condolences to his family and friends at this time.

Yelchin will next been in Star Trek Beyond, which opens on July 22, 2016. Green Room will be available on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD platforms on July 12, 2016 (our review can be found here).