Had he not tragically died in a 2016 freak accident, Anton Yelchin would’ve turned 30 on March 11. The son of Russian figure skaters who defected to the US, Yelchin was one of the most versatile and prolific actors of his generation—and we only got a hint of what he could’ve been capable of.
Find these films on the Portland Mercury’s shelf at Movie Madness (4320 SE Belmont, moviemadness.org) from Fri March 1 through Sun March 31.
Star Trek (2009, dir. J.J. Abrams)—J.J. Abrams’ greatest strength is casting, and in taking over Chekov’s chair (and accent), Yelchin made the leap from child actor to mainstream star.
Like Crazy (2011, dir. Drake Doremus)—An improvised romantic melodrama in which Yelchin is buffeted between the affections of Felicity Jones and Jennifer Lawrence. Musta been rough.
Fright Night (2011, dir. Craig Gillespie)—Buffy’s Marti Noxon scripted this funny remake of the ’80s vampire flick, in which Yelchin suspects his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a bloodsucker.
Thoroughbreds (2017, dir. Cory Finley)—Yelchin has a small role as a scummy but weirdly charming drug dealer outsmarted by high schoolers Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Only Lovers Left Alive (2013, dir. Jim Jarmusch)—Another vampire flick, this time from Jim Jarmusch, in which Yelchin’s Renfield-like lowlife scores sweet vintage guitars for Tom Hiddleston’s immortal.
Odd Thomas (2013, dir. Stephen Sommers)—Yelchin’s short-order cook sees dead people and solves murders. This is an ugly, cringe-worthy, sub-Men in Black mess—but it’s fun to watch with a group.
Rudderless (2014, dir. William H. Macy)—Billy Crudup and Yelchin form a band to play Crudup’s dead son’s sensitive songs! Directed by Jerry Lundegaard, with a real WTF ending.
Green Room (2015, dir. Jeremy Saulnier)—Yelchin plays another musician—this time, one battling neo-Nazis in the Pacific Northwest. In years to come, this Oregon-shot horror masterpiece will be seen as Yelchin’s defining work.