Anton Yelchin, 1989-2016

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I don’t really know what to write about Anton Yelchin. I’ve been thinking about him for the last four hours. Yesterday he was alive, and today he is not. I can’t believe I’m writing about him in the past tense.

He was usually the best part of any cast he was in. He broke my heart at the end of the “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” episode that he guest-starred on back in 2006; he gave the best performance in The Beaver, which I saw only three weeks ago; he was one of the saving graces of the Fright Night reboot; he was such a funny, adorable sweetheart in Only Lovers Left Alive, my favorite character in the movie. His voice had that wonderful way of cracking slightly; it could make even the silliest, most clichéd dialogue sound better.

I was so close to seeing Green Room when it was in theaters in April, but for some reason I kept putting it off until it was too late. I really regret that. And only last weekend, when I last went to the movies, I saw the trailer for Star Trek Beyond and I – a lifelong avoider of all things Star Trek – thought something along the lines of “I might actually, finally catch up and see these new movies; Anton Yelchin is in them.”

One of the reasons why I have pursued the career of film critic/pop culture blogger is that I love watching actors grow and change. Even when I don’t love the movies I write about, I look for ways to appreciate the performers’ abilities. Anton Yelchin was one of those young actors whose work I always enjoyed. I looked forward to seeing what he would do next. I was waiting for the moment when he would advance from a star of indie films and a supporting player in blockbusters to a major Hollywood leading man. It was, I was certain, just a matter of time. He had so many decades ahead of him.

I write about movies and actors because I care about them. When an actor dies as tragically and young as Anton Yelchin has, it hurts. It physically hurts. I felt sick when reading the obituaries earlier. For this devastating loss, I feel for the family and friends, the acting community, for the fans all around the world.

2016, you have caused us so much heartache and the year isn’t even halfway over. When will enough be enough?

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