Sunday, June 19, 2016

EDITORIAL: Anton Yelchin - A Celebration Of His Life

The very talented Anton Yelchin, star of such films as Like Crazy, Charlie Bartlett, Green Room, and the rebooted Star Trek film series, has tragically passed away at the young age of 27.  In honor of his passing, instead of talking about his death, I have decided to take a trip back through his life to celebrate his great career in TV and film.

Not many people know this, but Anton was actually born in Leningrad, in the former Soviet Union, now known as St. Petersburg, Russia.  His parents were Jewish figure skaters who were stars in the Leningrad Ice Ballet for 15 years.  They moved to the States as political refugees in September 1989, a mere six months after Anton was born.

He started his acting career at the age of 9 in the indie comedy, A Man Is Mostly  Water.  He went on to guest star in several television shows such as ER, The Practice, Judging Amy, Criminal Minds, and more.  But my first known exposure to him was in the 2007 rom-com, Charlie Bartlett, as the titular character, starring opposite Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls) and Robert Downy Jr. (pre-Iron Man).  I loved this film and loved his performance in it, and when I heard he had been cast in J.J. Abrams' reboot of Star Trek, I was really excited.  I knew he had the talent and would add something very special to the film.  And I was right.

In 2009, the same year he starred in Star Trek, he portrayed a teenage Kyle Reese in Terminator Salvation.  Now, I wasn't the biggest fan of the film itself, but I did enjoy his performance in it.  From there, his career really began to take off as he managed to score six film roles in 2011 alone, including films such as Like Crazy, The Smurfs, and Fright Night, which I loved him in.  As a fan of the original, I was skeptical about the remake, but once I saw him and Colin doing their thing, I was sold.

He went on to star in The Pirates! Band of Misfits (a film I have not seen, yet the critics seemed to love) and The Smurfs 2 (a film I have seen, and the critics seemed to hate).  He also took on the titular role in 2013's paranormal comedy, Odd Thomas, which I've heard is pretty good and will be checking out.  His career continued to climb, starring in the Star Trek sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond (set to premiere later this year).  But his recent role as the lead character in the indie film Green Room really showed his range, raising my anticipation for what would have been his future projects.

Anton was one of my favorite up-and-coming film stars, and it is a tragic shame that he was taken from this Earth at such a young age.  My suggestion is to go out and find a film of his that you love and give it a rewatch.  Or, if you're unfamiliar with his works, pick one that sounds interesting to you and give it a first time watch.  Let's try to celebrate his life and all he gave to the industry instead of morning his death.  I'd like to think that this is what he would've wanted.  Thank you for being here with me as I looked back on Anton's career, and remember, life can be short, so live every day like it's your last.  Until next time, this is The Merc, signing off.

No comments:

Post a Comment