Hayden Christensen has a confession. “I have a 7 year old daughter. I haven’t shown her Star Wars“The actor says as if he admitted a shameful secret. “I know! I know! All of her friends have seen the movie, so at this point I feel like I’m probably a little stuck. And, of course, she’s involved with them. I know what you are doing. “
Kristensen’s hesitation is probably to be expected.When he took on the role of Anakin Skywalker and the later incarnation of Skywalker, Anakin Skywalker, in the first part of Star Wars. Clone attack (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), franchise fans had a quarter of a century to shape their thoughts on characters. And many of them couldn’t get angry when they saw Darth Vader portrayed as a moody, whimsical kid. Despite George Lucas directing and co-authoring the film Christensen became a lightning rod because of their resentment.. “Poor Hayden. His performance is great. They don’t like the characters,” Lucas said when Sith’s revenge came out. “I think it’s returning to the kind of ownership that people feel about these characters,” Christensen suggests today. “It’s almost like the public domain. These characters really belong to everyone.”
That doesn’t mean he accepts the criticism. “I think the impression I got from George Lucas was that if they didn’t like them, they wouldn’t” understand “it-and that was enough for me. Given that he’s trying to replay his role in the two television miniseries, it was clearly not afraid he would play Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi And Ahshoka. “It seemed like a really exciting opportunity,” he says. “It was easy. With a heartbeat. When I got the call, I was immediately overjoyed … I was very excited to be back after all these years.” Is he really afraid to expose himself to another toxic onslaught? “No, absolutely! Do you think it’s possible?” He asks, Deadpan. “That is, it’s all in the table, but it’s not taken into account for these types of decisions for me.”
Christensen, 41, was born in Vancouver four years after the first Star Wars movie was released and grew up in the suburbs of Toronto. It was a “pretty normal childhood” and his attention was dominated by competitive levels in sports, mainly both tennis and hockey. He is the second youngest of the four children, and I remember his brother paying great respect to Star Wars. Sheets and toys were scattered all over the house, all off limits to younger siblings. It was his sister, his child actor himself, who inadvertently acted him. While accompanying her to her agent meeting, 7-year-old Christensen was discovered by a talent scout and began advertising like his sister.
His original plan was to go to college on a tennis scholarship, but that soon changed. “I was probably about 16 years old and thought,” Hey, I want to be an actor. ” And that was kind of to me. I had tunnel vision. And in pursuit of acting ambition, I graduated from high school prematurely. “
Christensen remembers that his parents were “not so enthusiastic at the time.” “Especially my dad.” But his work on the higher ground of the television series, where he played a teenager molested by his stepmother, noticed him and summoned him to Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch for a Star Wars audition. it was done.
“I was a big fan of George Lucas,” says Christensen. “Outside his job at Star Wars.” His parents bought him when he was a teenager. Creative impulse, A book about Lucas and his cultural influence. “I was crazy about it all. I was excited to go see George Lucas. I didn’t take it very seriously at the time, so I think it probably worked in my favor. increase.”
In May 2000, Christensen was cast as Anakin Skywalker, defeating Leonardo DiCaprio and making it one of Hollywood’s most popular young fortunes. He accepted Star Wars fandom as much as possible, but sometimes it was overwhelming. “We were filming the scene in Spain, but somehow the local newspaper knew where we were going and printed it,” he says. “When we set out, there were thousands of people there, and they needed to bring in military guards to keep them.”
Unlike co-stars Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor, it was especially difficult for Christensen, who had never received the attention of Star Wars. “It was hard to adapt,” he says. “Usually people gradually rose into the world and mine was very sudden. But from that experience I knew that I was participating now about this. I was able to move away and away. I didn’t really think it was mine. “His face is painted on everything from crisp parcels to cans of drinks. When I saw it, I made the sacrifice. “I didn’t go to the convenience store for a while just because I was a little overwhelmed. But the action figure, it was cool, I got a kick from it.” He still keeps a great collection. ..
Being a teenage heartbeat brand didn’t help either. “I have never really had anything to do with that identity,” he says. “I always wanted to be considered a serious actor. I think I was a little overwhelmed. But my focus has always been work and everything else is a kind of peripheral to me. . “
The general perception of the first part of the trilogy is that the actors did their best in a limited, clunky dialogue.As Harrison Ford Shouted at the infamous George Lucas While on a movie set, “I can type this shit, but I can’t say that!” Christensen isn’t sure if it’s fair. “George Lucas creates a unique world where everything from the look and the way these characters look and speak. People seem to lose sight of it and expect to speak like us. It feels like that is not what we were aiming for. “
He still has great respect for Lucas. “He was very like a mentor to me, and he was very kind to his time. I became very close to his family and my family became close to his family.” Lucas’ son is like a brother to him, he says.
Kristensen’s early work after Star Wars made a promise. The Guardian said he brought “horrible beliefs” Part of Stephen Glass, a disgraceful journalist in the 2003 movie Shattered Glass.And his 2008 sci-fi movie jumper It wasn’t fully reviewed, it cost more than $ 225 million in box office revenue. But it’s been surprisingly quiet for the past decade or so as Christensen left Hollywood to spend more time on a 200-acre farm north of Toronto. “I’ve always loved acting,” he says. “I’ve always loved the filmmaking process. I wanted to explore other interests and other things as well.
“It wasn’t like a conscious decision, but I realized I was really enjoying my time on my farm and it became a difficult place to want to leave.” It influenced his career, but “it was okay I knew.”
It gives him more time with his daughter, Briar Rose (her mother is Kristensen’s ex-wife, Rachel Bilson, his co-star in Jumper), and builds and builds vehicles by building a barn. Refurbishment of an old farmhouse that gave him the opportunity to pursue his interest in. “All kids are crazy about Tonka toys,” he says. “I took it to the next level and became like a full-size excavator and bulldozer.” Despite all, Christensen found it difficult to leave Star Wars in 2005. – He didn’t want to end it. It was only a few years ago that he was able to comfortably attend the Star Wars fan convention. “It wasn’t something I was interested in,” he says. “I never wanted to do it. It wasn’t the place I was in my life. But now I’m expressing how meaningful these movies are to them. I love to connect with my fans, especially this character. And I meet and connect with young kids dressed as Anakin. For me, I hope it has a lot of value and is interrelated. I am. “
Now when Christensen looks back at his Star Wars movie, he just likes memories. “I was less than a year old after graduating from high school, but I participated in this big filmmaking. George Lucas And Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman, and all these incredibly talented people … really, I couldn’t dream of it anymore. I am very grateful to be a part of it. “
His return as Vader, the decisive character of his career, gives him the opportunity to reshape his legacy and accept redemptions, like Vader himself. “I think it’s a very powerful concept,” he says. “And it really resonates with Star Wars storytelling.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi Starts at Disney + on May 27th