December 30, 2015


Hayden Christensen Says 'Star Wars' Breakout Led Him Away from Acting

Leonard Adam
Leonard Adam

It's weird to get the gig as the Man Who Would Become Darth Vader as an inexperienced Canadian 19-year-old. Hayden Christensen, now 34, could tell you all about it, having assumed the role of Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas' Star Wars prequels beginning with 2002's Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The L.A. Times, in a new piece on young stars handling fame, says the actor had " never set foot on a major film set" before Star Wars.

"I guess I felt like I had this great thing in Star Wars that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me," Christensen says in the interview. "I didn't want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave."

Christensen did one movie, Shattered Glass, the true story of a fraudulent journalist, between Attack of the Clones and the final prequel, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Since then, the oft-hated-on actor has had notably few roles. Here's his take:

"You can't take years off and not have it affect your career. But I don't know—in a weird, sort of destructive way, there was something appealing about that to me. There was something in the back of my head that was like, 'If this time away is gonna be damaging to my career, then so be it. If I can come back afterward and claw my way back in, then maybe I'll feel like I earned it.'"

Just recently it was reported that Christensen might have been called upon to don his Jedi cloak role for Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi that's zapping the worldwide box office with Sith lightning more and more every day. It wasn't meant to be, but he's currently promoting 90 Minutes in Heaven, what the Times calls "a faith-based drama." In 2014, after a four-year break, Christensen did Sarik Andreasyan's American Heist and Nick Powell's Outcast.