Sometime in his mid teens Anton Yelchin was told he had cystic fibrosis, a lung disease that ensured he wouldn’t live past his early 40s and perhaps not even his late 30s. Yelchin understandably hid this information from everyone, but what a thing to live with…good God.
“Few of his costars were aware of his struggles, though dozens of them show up here to sing his praises. Kristen Stewart describes how he ‘kinda broke my heart’ when the two were teenagers. Simon Pegg warmly labels him ‘a little dirt bird’ for his nocturnal photo shoots at Van Nuys sex clubs. And Willem Dafoe recalls commiserating with Yelchin over his anxieties about losing his hair, which, in a profession that strives to project eternal youth, was more than a matter of simple vanity.” [HE interjection: Two or three trips to Prague — problem solved.]
“Directed by Garret Price, Love, Antosha [paints] a touching and surprising portrait of an actor who had much more going on in his life than was mentioned in his obituaries. The Yelchin we see here was a devoted son, an almost fanatically committed actor (he amassed a remarkable 69 acting credits), a blues guitarist, a photographer of lurid fetish clubs, and an intellectually adventurous budding artist who could well have added several more entries to that resume.” — from Andrew Barker’s 9.29.19 Variety review.
From 6.19.16 HE obit: Yelchin was a gifted actor, but his boyish looks, thin frame and refined demeanor led to his playing a certain type of guy over and over — i.e., the bright, sensitive, somewhat tortured puppy dog. That was his brand, his handle. When you wanted that thing, you went to Yelchin.
In my mind Yelchin delivered five standout performances — Zack Mazursky in Nick Cassevetes‘ Alpha Dog (’06), Pavel Chekhov in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek (’09), Jacob Helm in Drake Doremus‘ Like Crazy (’11), Ian in Only Lovers Left Alive (’13) and Brian Bloom in Victor Levin‘s 5 to 7 (’14).