One year after the untimely passing of American actor Anton Yelchin – who died at the age of 27 on June 19, 2016 – Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier has come forward to offer a tribute to his former leading man. Perhaps most popularly well known for his turn as the iconic science-fiction character Pavel Chekov in the J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek from 2009, Yelchin was a well-known Hollywood actor whose enviable onscreen talent and budding career was cut short by a freak car accident that occurred outside his home in Studio City, California.

In addition to his posthumous appearance in Star Trek Beyond last summer, Yelchin’s appeared in numerous Hollywood and independent feature film productions over the course of his sixteen years in the entertainment industry. From his breakthrough appearence in the mystery-drama Hearts of Atlantis in 2001 to a lead role in the horror remake of Fright Night in 2011, Yelchin appeared in a wide range of theatrical productions. Speaking of which, the director of his turn in Green Room has just come forward to offer his own tribute to the late actor.

Taking to his personal Twitter account (see below), Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier has offered his own tribute to Yelchin one year after the actor’s tragic death. Seeing as how the aforementioned feature marked the first time that Saulnier and Yelchin worked together – and considering the film’s prominent debuts at Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival, before being picked up for a sizable commercial distribution by A24 in March 2016 – the two filmmaking talents would likely have collaborated on future projects together had things not taken such an unfortunate turn.    

What’s more, IndieWire previously spoke to Saulnier at length last year when the news of Yelchin’s passing was a still an immediate shock to the system of the prominent director. In said discussion of the untimely death of the late star of Green Room, Saulnier additionally honored the passing of Yelchin as follows:

“Anton was a dream. He was kind and sharp and as sincere as anyone I’ve ever known. Our collaboration on Green Room was our first and, until the devastating news of his passing, wouldn’t have been our last.

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.”

It’s still hard to believe that someone so young and vital to the contemporary filmmaking community like Anton Yelchin could possibly be gone, but here we are commemorating his passing one year later. Saulnier undoubtedly would have loved to work with Yelchin again following his turn in Green Room, which makes the director’s earnest tribute to the late performer all the more touching.

Green Room is now available on digital and Blu-ray.

Source: Jeremy Saulnier

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