When celebrities die, some feel a sense of loss because the individual in question was an icon. But there are a few individuals that evoke something more than that, as if they were almost family. That is the category I would have put Anton Yelchin in, who tragically died today at the age of 27 from a car accident.
I first saw Anton in 2001’s Hearts in Atlantis, where he played a little boy who befriended the strange and mysterious Anthony Hopkins. I felt immediately that this guy wasn’t just another child actor, but someone special. I rediscovered him in the short-lived Showtime series Huff, which starred Hank Azaria. Anton played Azaria’s son Byrd, who had to deal with not only typical teenage issues but a crazy psychic therapist dad who had visions of homeless angels. Once again, I was intrigued by Anton’s abilities at such a young age, and when I realized we only had a year between us in that department, I immediately felt like he was the brother I always wanted.
Of course, many of you will know his work from the recent cinematic reboot of Star Trek, which is of course fantastic. But I truly ask that if you have the time, give his other starring roles a chance. If you want to see him at his charming prime, give Charlie Bartlett a look, where he plays the kind of role that John Hughes would have adored. Or this year’s Green Room is a perfect example of his control as an actor. But my personal favorite role of Anton’s (though very silly to admit) is in the Fright Night remake, where he somehow turned a movie that could have been terrible into something pretty darn entertaining (in that ultra ridiculous way.)
Luckily, we have a lot of up and coming projects to enjoy of his, including the much anticipated Netflix series Trollhunters, created by Guillermo Del Toro, and the new Star Trek film that comes out in just a few short weeks.
To end this post, I leave you with my favorite scene from Hearts in Atlantis, and hopefully it’ll give you a sense of what a treasure the world has lost.
RIP Anton Yelchin, you will be missed.
What are your thoughts on this? Were you a fan of Anton’s? What film do you remember him best from? Comment below with your feelings on the matter.