I loved Anton Yelchin so much. He was a true artist – curious, beautiful, courageous. He was a great pal and a great son. I’m in ruins.
— John Cho (@JohnTheCho) June 19, 2016
We were all stunned and saddened to hear that Anton Yelchin had passed away yesterday, at the age of 27, in a tragic accident. The Russian-born actor played many parts in the SFF realm, from Terminator Salvation to Odd Thomas to the remake of Fright Night to a wonderful supporting role in Only Lovers Left Alive, to the recent Green Room. But he was perhaps most beloved for playing the part of Ensign Pavel Chekov in the current rebooted Star Trek film series. The buoyancy and charm that Yelchin brought to the role was noted and adored by fans the world over.
Yelchin was a bright light in the lives of many. Below, his Star Trek cast-mates, crew, and other creatives remember their time with the young actor.
Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier spoke to Indiewire about working with the actor:
Anton was a dream. He was kind and sharp and as sincere as anyone I’ve ever known…. I put a lot on his shoulders when I asked him to play my lead, but he carried the cinematic weight like a goddamn champion. Not only did he bring a delicate balance of tragic vulnerability and intense physicality to his character on screen, he offered his unending generosity and patience off-screen. In an industry governed by Excel sheets and foreign sales estimates, Anton reminded me that there’s nothing more valuable than good people. He put me back in the comfort zone I knew growing up, making backyard films with best friends, and created a protective bubble where creativity could thrive.
You can read the rest of Saulnier’s touching tribute here.
Yelchin’s Only Lovers Left Alive costar, Tom Hiddleston, posted thoughts on Twitter:
Absolutely devastated to hear about Anton Yelchin. He was such a gifted, natural actor & a deeply kind man. My thoughts are with his family.
— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) June 19, 2016
Guillermo del Toro, who worked with Yelchin on the upcoming Netflix series Trollhunters, said:
Anton was a sweetheart. Absolutely a great creative partner and artist.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) June 19, 2016
And various members of the Star Trek family flooded social media with tributes.
George Takei posted to his Facebook page, saying “Our Star Trek family has lost one of its own. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Heartbreaking to hear the news today about Anton. An incredible talent, lost much too soon. He will be missed.??
— Adam Nimoy (@adam_nimoy) June 19, 2016
Sad news for such a talented young man. Condolences to the family of Anton Yelchin.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) June 20, 2016
Devastated by our friend’s loss. We are mourning his passing and celebrating the beautiful spirit that he was. #RIPAnton
— Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) June 20, 2016
Still in shock. Rest in peace, Anton. Your passion and enthusiasm will live on with everyone that had the pleasure of knowing you.
— Justin Lin (@trailingjohnson) June 19, 2016
Simon Pegg posted this wonderful picture:
— Bad Robot (@bad_robot) June 19, 2016
J.J. Abrams also sent a note to EW on behalf of Yelchin’s “Star Trek family”:
Anton was our little brother. But only by years; he was as wise and clever and intellectually curious as anyone we ever knew. His laugh was preposterous – you couldn’t hear it and not laugh yourself. He was funny, edgy, wild and talented beyond measure. His focus and dedication was admirable, as was his love of family, friends, literature and music.
We loved Anton, at work or at play. We are all shocked and numb and devastated by the world’s loss of an extraordinary young man.
To his family, we send you our love during this impossible time.
We will miss Anton forever.
His Star Trek family
Perhaps the very best summation of Anton Yelchin was shared on Reddit:
For our own part, we would simply encourage you to go watch his films. He made a wonderfully positive contribution to the SFF world in his too-short career, and he will be hugely missed.