Clark Collis
March 08, 2018 AT 03:16 PM EST

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Split star Anya Taylor-Joy has paid tribute to the late actor Anton Yelchin, with whom she appears in the psychological thriller Thoroughbreds (in theaters Friday). “He is a very dear friend of mine,” Taylor-Joy recently said to EW of Yelchin, who passed away as the result of a freak car accident in 2016. “He is the most incredible actor.”

In Thoroughbreds, Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke play teenagers who plot a murder while Yelchin portrays a wannabe drug dealer named Tim. “When first meeting his character on the page, it could have been very simple, and kind of unremarkable,” said Taylor-Joy. “The second that Anton came in as Tim, he imbued the character with such incredible pathos. And as a person [he] is such a student of film, and really studied not just the lines that were written in the script, but also the tone of the film, and he was just so excited by the film noir aspect. I think he’d be incredibly proud of the film that we produced.”

Watch the trailer for Thoroughbreds, above.

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