Anton Yelchin's First Role Was A Truly Impressive Debut — VIDEO
On the morning of June 19, actor Anton Yelchin passed away at age 27. The performer, known for his role in the Star Trek reboot movies, was incredibly talented and showed a lot of promise — which was apparent even at age nine, when he made his acting debut. Yelchin's first roles, back in the year 2000, show just how far he's come in his career, and they're truly impressive when revisited. In February 2000, Yelchin guest-starred in an episode of NBC's hit medical drama ER and in October of that year, he appeared in an independent film called A Man is Mostly Water. It's unclear which role he filmed first, but both marked his TV and movie debuts, beginning what would become a successful career for the Russian actor.
Back in 2000, ER was one of the most-watched TV shows on the air, so Yelchin appearing on this drama series was a huge deal. He also happened to have been in one of the biggest episodes of the show's history. The actor had a guest role as Robbie Edelstein, a young boy whose parents both die in a car accident in the Season 6 episode "Be Still My Heart." Dr. Luka Kovac (Goran Visnjic) and Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) get the tough job of breaking the news to Robbie and his little sister Julia. At only nine years old, Yelchin is tasked with the ambitious task of reacting to the abject horror of Robbie losing his family and bravely asking to see his parents' bodies in order to say goodbye.
As they're about to enter the trauma room, Julia runs away, but Robbie ventures inside alone. He glances over his deceased parents one by one in their respective trauma rooms and finally breaks down crying on his mother's chest. It's an incredibly emotional scene that is so beautifully acted by Yelchin at such a tender age. You can watch the scene in the video below.
So why was this episode so important in the series' run? Well, at the end of "Be Still My Heart," main cast members Drs. Lucy Knight (Kellie Martin) and John Carter (Noah Wyle) were horrifically stabbed by a disgruntled patient played by David Krumholtz. Yelchin's standout scene made the episode even more powerful.
Later that year, Yelchin played a character named Augie in the indie movie A Man is Mostly Water , which is the story about two sets of neighbors — a struggling filmmaker and a stoned musician — living in a duplex and trying to get their respective lives together: Variety called the film a "modestly engaging ensemble comedy" that stars Fred Parnes, who also wrote and directed the film. The movie also featured a cameo by Bill Pullman of Independence Day fame. There aren't any clips of the film online that feature Yelchin, but YouTube has a clip from A Man is Mostly Water that features the two couples.
Even at nine, Yelchin showed so much potential, and it's heartbreaking to think of the promising future he could've had if not for this tragic accident.