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Actor Anton Yelchin tragically passed away due to a freak vehicle accident in June of 2016 at the age of 27, just a month before he was seen onscreen as Chekov in Star Trek Beyond. Although he will live on in the characters he played onscreen, Anton Yelchin’s parents have made a documentary that is about the real man behind the characters. Anton’s mother, Irina Yelchin, explained her and her husband's reasoning for making a documentary about their son, saying:
Maybe it was a selfish reason, because Anton, we just didn’t want to let him go. He was gone, but everyone talked about him, and his movies were coming out still. Everyone was saying how brilliant and talented and smart and kind and tenderhearted he was. Maybe because of that. Maybe because he never left, truly.
Anton Yelchin’s parents, Irina and Viktor, seemingly made the documentary as a way to stay close to their son even after he is gone. They didn’t want to let go, and as they told the Los Angeles Times, he is still present in their lives after his death. Anton Yelchin had multiple movies and projects come out posthumously, and his parents kept hearing people sing his praises.
That all made it feel like he never really left and was still a part of their lives. The documentary, which is called Love, Antosha, was seemingly a way to embrace that and keep it going by spending more time with their son. Anton’s mother said that maybe they made the documentary for selfish reasons, but I don’t think many people would agree. Most would see their desire to honor their son as both incredibly sad and completely understandable.
The idea for the documentary actually came from Anton’s parents speaking with actor Jon Voight, who Anton Yelchin starred with in the 2015 film Court of Conscience. Anton’s parents were speaking with him about feeling that their lives were over and the Oscar-winning actor suggested that they make a documentary and live on to keep their son’s memory alive.
The couple reached out to Anton Yelchin’s Star Trek director J.J. Abrams for advice and he suggested someone who actually knew Anton direct the film. They then contacted Anton’s Like Crazy director and close friend Drake Doremus. He felt too close to the subject to do it, but he suggested his friend, Garret Price, take on the documentary.
Because Garret Price did not know Anton Yelchin, the film can be more objective and dig into the good and the bad, and not just be a hagiography of the late actor. Love, Antosha will also touch on Anton Yelchin’s little-known struggle with cystic fibrosis. You can hear Garret Price speaking about Love, Antosha in the video below.
The documentary was a labor of love for Viktor and Irina Yelchin, who had to go through the painful process of looking through old home videos of Anton for the project. In their conversation with the Los Angeles Times, it is not clear that making the documentary helped assuage their pain, but they did indicate that they feel they did right by Anton.
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