“I think you can always find interesting, complex and fascinating characters to play in different kinds of movies. It’s in your hands.”
Anton Yelchin was an American actor who began acting at the young age of 9, but the world is only truly introduced to him when he starred in Hearts in Atlantis (2001) alongside Anthony Hopkins. For that role, he won Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor at the Young Artist Awards in 2002. Yelchin continued with his acting career in various indie and blockbuster films such as Fierce People (2005), Alpha Dog (2007), Charlie Bartlett (2007), Star Trek (2009), Terminator Salvation (2009), Like Crazy (2011), and so on.
I think the first time I saw Anton in a film was his role in Charlie Bartlett. I was watching the film for Kat Dennings, being a fan of hers during my teenage years, but I fell head over heels over Anton’s portrayal of a conflicted teen. And I was hooked from then on, I searched for his films and continued doing so up to today. His role in Like Crazy and Fierce People moved me to the point where words could not truly describe what I felt from watching him in those films. There’s an honesty and vulnerability in all the characters he had portrayed and that was truly very unique to Yelchin as an actor. He breathed humanity into each role that he played, the innocence in those eyes and the hint of mischief in that smile was unmissable. For that I am grateful. I only know him as an actor, as a performer. He was an actor that I’ve come to admire for quite some time now, an actor that I’ve always looked forward to seeing what he’s about to do next in his career, he never ceased to amaze me with his versatility as an actor. Thank you for inspiring me, for moving me with the simplicity and complexity of your film and television roles, for cheering me up on the days I needed it, and for making me cry on the days I craved for connectivity with my inner self. You left too unexpectedly, too early… but I will always remember all the work you’ve done and how they’d touched my life.
Here are some of my favourite films of his (in no particular order):
- Charlie Bartlett (2007) as Charlie Bartlett
“My name is Charlie Bartlett. If there’s one thing I want you guys to walk away with tonight… uh, it’s that you guys don’t need me. I really mean it. You think I’m any less screwed up than you are? I get up every morning, and I look in the mirror, and I try and figure out just where I fit in. And I draw a complete blank. You guys are looking to me to tell you what to do? You need to stop listening to me. Stop listening to people telling you who you should be! And stop listening to the people who are telling you you’re not good enough to do the things that you want to do. You guys have all the answers.”
- Fierce People (2005) as Finn Earl
“We are the sum of all the people we ever met.”
- Hearts in Atlantis (2001) as Bobby Garfield
“Why do we always expect home to stay the same? Nothing else does.”
- New York, I Love You (2008) – Brett Ratner’s segment
- Like Crazy (2011) as Jacob
“And it’s not fair for you to have to experience things and be with someone that isn’t fully there for you.”
- The Beaver (2011) as Porter Black
“Good afternoon, graduates, dead poets, painters, future Einsteins, and all those in between. Today I’m here to warn you, that you are being lied to. Our parents, our teachers, our doctors, have lied to us. And it’s the exact same lie. The same six words, “Everything is going to be okay.””
- Fright Night (2011) as Charley Brewster
- Odd Thomas (2013) as Odd Thomas
“Fate is not a straight road. There are many forks in it. You have the free will to choose which one you take, but sometimes it will bend around and bring you straight back to that same stubborn fate.”
- Star Trek Franchise (2009, 2013, 2016) as Chekov
- Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) as Ian
Here’s a playlist I’ve compiled as a way for me to cope with this tragic loss:
Rest in Peace Anton Yelchin.