Just going to start this but saying there will be spelling and grammatical errors. Guaranteed. I’m writing this at 1.30am as I find I still can’t go to sleep after days of trying to get more hours in. The last couple of weeks have been incredibly exhausting, no less because we’ve lost an inordinate amount of people so quickly. Some of a higher profile than others, but I think this body count is really starting to get to me. It’s all getting a bit too much and I need to put something down before I implode.
Trigger warning for death in general.
There are so many different people I could talk about from the last week, but I only really want to focus on one because he’s been with me personally for the longest. I know it’s easy to write this off as, “Oh she only cares because he was a white man who was famous,” which actually puts me off writing this. I’m utterly self conscious about appearances online, because it’s more difficult to explain yourself without the nuance of physical expression sometimes. But I know we’re allowed to feel upset and bogged down by more than one thing, and sometimes things inexplicably make us want to talk about them a lot more. For me it’s because I have experience with this celebrity in which memories are dredged up. That simple.
I don’t necessarily remember when I started watching Anton Yelchin in movies but it was definitely before Star Trek. And he would easily be my favourite character in any movie he was in. Honestly, in recent years, I haven’t paid as much attention to him as I did when I was younger, partially because he tended to do movies that only barely interested me. I would probably have loved all his performances either way.
Actually – stream of consciousness as this blog post is – I think I do remember. It had to have been Terminator Salvation, which is a terrible movie for me to have found out about him, but it did the trick.
Just looking at his filmography now, I honestly did not realise he did so many projects between 2013 and this year, and I’ll tell you why right now. Because I was truly expecting him to go places. I was here, waiting for the day he would be cast in a huge project besides Star Trek. Something dark and dramatic where he could really bust his chops and flex his acting muscles in a way that mainstream audiences only got an inkling of. I would’ve been there like, “Oh yeah I knew about this guy years ago, people slept on his talent but look where he is now.”
Which is why everything feels really, really unfair.
I want to say I don’t normally feel this connected to celebrities. I want to say that I can have a completely level-headed reaction to something like this, that I’m literally supposed to be so detached from that maybe one ‘R.I.P.’ post on Tumblr would have sufficed.
I’m just not like that.
It definitely comes from having watched someone since you were a formative age, and also being so close to them in age. Anton was only four years older than me. That’s practically a peer as far as I’m concerned, having grown up with older children my whole life. I wouldn’t say I looked up to him, but I definitely saw something down-to-earth and lovely about him through his work, if that jives.
This feels so wrong to have to write this, to be honest. It feels put on even though I know my feelings about the situation are real and valid. Like, I feel terrible that even I’ve slept on his talent for the past couple of years, just because I took it for granted. I really did and it’s eating away at me. Nobody deserves what happened to him, but he’s that guy who’s partially internet famous for that photo of him sheltering some ducks across a street. It’s one of the only times I’ve felt in sync with those celebrity tribute posts. When they all call Anton sweet, funny, genuine, talented, etc. I believe them.
I wish there was a way to appropriately mourn him, but I’m in a time and place of my life when it’s just one thing after another and I physically can’t – there isn’t any time. I’m utterly numb. I don’t believe anything that’s happening anymore yet I’m trying to fight the denial so I can go on with the healing because I have shit to do. I need to stay focused, yet it’s virtually impossible. Between Christina, and Orlando, and Mexico, and now Anton, it’s been a fucking atrocious week or so.
Maybe my reaction is a result of holding a ton of stuff in for awhile, and definitely part of it is because I have to mourn someone who should still be here. He was never that person who you’d expect to hear a peep out of until the time was right. Then you’d feel happy and blessed that he’s on your screen once again, sort of like, “Wow, I’ve missed him so much. I should really watch more of his stuff.”
I really, really should. I’ll miss you, Anton.