It has been confirmed that the young actor Anton Yelchin, aged 27, died this morning in Los Angeles. This is such sad, starling news. I recently watched the young actor in Jeremy Saulnier’s sophomore feature, the violent and stunning thriller Green Room, in which he plays a punk rocker who fights for his life against a gang of neo-Nazis. He seemed to be cast against-type, as his previous most protagonist role was as the romantic lead in a drama, yet he managed to maintain a certain sweet innocence despite the film’s dark tone. It’s a demanding role, and he pulls it off well, as he has with all his onscreen appearances, including as Chekov in the popular and well-reviewed new Star Trek films.
Yelchin displayed a rare intelligence for choosing films, as well, as even at his young age, he had already worked with two of the most notable American directors, Jim Jarmusch and J.J. Abrams. Needless to say, he was a talented actor who had many great opportunities to grow, shine, and become one of our best. His parents were Russian, and he had moved to the States as a baby. He was found dead in his driveway, pinned between his car and his brick mailbox.