Favorite Thespians #6 – Anton Yelchin


This is going to be a tough post for me to write. I had planned for this month’s Favorite Thespian to be Jared Leto, I had even written the entire post in preparation for today. But then something happened. Last night, one of my favorite thespians passed away. I was a big fan of Anton Yelchin, and when I heard that he had died I was in shock. I sat in silence for ten minutes or so. And when someone asked me what was wrong, tears started to rush down my face. I will miss Yelchin. So this month’s Favorite Thespians is in memory of him.

Scott Hicks’s Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

I didn’t usually pay any attention to young actors when I was younger, but Anton Yelchin’s performance in Hearts in Atlantis was something else. I don’t really remember the film that well, but I remember Yelchin in it. Since this Scott Hicks film I’ve been a fan of the talented actor. He deservedly went on to win a Young Artist Award for “Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actor.”

Scott Hicks’s Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
Nick Cassavetes’s Alpha Dog (2006)
J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek (2009)
McG’s Terminator Salvation (2009)
Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night (2011)

I remember Alpha Dog much better. It wasn’t a fantastic film, but it had some nice performances. Justin Timberlake did a surprisingly good job here, but Anton Yelchin was, once again, the main highlight for me. I’ll talk about his performance in the rebooted Star Trek later, but let’s get to McG’s Terminator-film now.

Kyle Reese is my favorite character in the franchise, so when Yelchin was given the part I was obviously excited. The film doesn’t stand out from the rest of the sub-par Terminator-sequels, but I remember that I really wanted to see Yelchin play Reese in a remake of the original film, if they were going to remake that one.

I remember being scared of the cover for the original Fright Night (1985), but the film didn’t really mean that much to me. When they decided to remake the Tom Holland film I was excited by the cast, while my father was a bit annoyed that they were remaking a film he really liked. Then we saw the film. I’m pretty sure me and my dad both loved the experience. It’s one of the horror remakes that work. And it works in large part due to Anton Yelchin, David Tennant, and Colin Farrell’s performances.

J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek (2009)

I like Star Trek because of J. J. Abrams. Stick with me, I’ve since then gone back and watched the original series, but this was the film that got me interested in the franchise. It had a great ensemble cast, and one of the unsung heroes of that cast is Anton Yelchin. Yelchin plays a great Chekov, and his performance was a highlight for me, even if the character doesn’t play a big part in the overall plot. It was my favorite performance of his.

I was very emotional when I found out Yelchin had passed away. He was an actor I was really fond of. My thoughts are with his friends and his family. May he rest in peace.

– I’m Jeffrey Rex

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