Shattered Glass star Hayden Christensen reveals why playing a lying, cheating, no-good man comes so naturally

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Your character in Shattered Glass was a liar and very unlikeable – why on earth did you want to play him?
Those are the fun ones! I think that every actor wants to play a con.

Aren’t actors paid liars anyway?
Yeah, I guess so. I mean, what we do isn’t so much about lying, but about trying to connect with some sort of truth and applying that to a false reality. So, it’s trying not to lie. But I think all actors feel a bit like a con. We always feel like we’re kind of getting away with something and wondering, “Are people buying us, are they believing us in this role?” I think that those are sort of similar thoughts that percolate in a con man’s head.

Are you a good liar?
I used to be when I was younger!

Do you mean getting out of school or some other kind of lying?
Yeah, getting out of school and stuff like that. I think kids are probably the best liars and also the most honest at the same time which sounds like a bit of a contradiction.

You’ve just been in Australia again shooting the last Star Wars instalment. Do you have a favourite place?
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t actually make it outside of Sydney which I think is sort of despicable. I stayed in Bondi both times that I was there. I really took a liking to living in a beach community. There was this Turkish family who owned a local juice bar. I’d go over to their house every now and then, and she’d cook me a traditional Turkish dinner and that was really neat.

Did you go surfing?
I tried it. I wasn’t successful! I stuck with a boogie board, but I really like Sydney. The people have a certain kind of ease and pace that they live that’s not too dissimilar to the Canadian lifestyle [Hayden is from Toronto]. That’s a good quality of living and I think that poverty there is the lowest I’ve seen. I would spend a lot more time in Sydney if it wasn’t so far away.

Were you recognised there?
Yeah. Honestly though, there was not as much attention around us being there as there was when we were doing Episode Two.

They’re bored with you already?
Maybe! Or just more respectful of the fact that we were working.

How is it at home in Canada?
I can live the life of a reclusive hermit, if I want. I can go home to Toronto at just chill. I still live with my parents.

Why?
Because I like it. It’s familiar.

You don’t want to do your own laundry?
Yeah, that too!

What do you do to escape from your life as a film star?
I still play a lot of tennis. When I’m back home in Toronto, we’ll organise some hockey games if it’s winter time and we’ll go out to the pond and play ice hockey or even street hockey in the summer time and that’s an all day event.

Do you like doing the red carpet thing?
That’s still something that I’m getting more and more comfortable with. I still get nervous when people take my picture. I’m definitely not half as nervous as I used to be.

How are you dealing with fame?
I get a real kick when little kids come up to me and can’t really separate me as Anakin from Star Wars and me as an actor. I sort of physicalise their dreamland for them, and that’s really kind of special.

Do your friends tease you about being a heart-throb?
Every now and then. It’s embarrassing to talk about, what can I say?!

But you have thousands of female fans – how do you feel about it?
It’s flattering. It’s very separate from the type of the flattery you receive from doing good work, which is more gratifying. It’s one of those things you just take with a grain of salt.

Are you seeing anyone right now?
I think so! You never really know, do you? Not right now – that’s my official answer!

Is it easier to date other actors?
Not necessarily. It’s all specific to your own personal experience.

You must get the fan letters…
Yeah, but you’re not going to call them back and say, “So I, er, got your picture…”!

So who is your ideal woman?
Smart, I like a girl with a mind that she takes care of. Obviously I would like to be physically attracted to them. And kindness is first and foremost. It’s an important quality to look for. Someone who likes to be adventurous and spontaneous and who likes to have a good time.

You grew up in a house full of women.
Yeah.

Do you it’s helped to have a more understanding of women?
Yeah, without question. Yeah, you grow up with a houseful of women and you know how to cope! And you know how to keep them happy.

Does your career make it hard having a relationship
Yeah, I think that just the logistics of not being able to stay in one place for too long isn’t good grounds to form a serious relationship on. I take it as it comes. If I fall in love, maybe I’ll decide that I want to take some time off and stay in one place for a little while, but that’s not now.

Do you like the lifestyle you lead? You’re kind of living out of a suitcase.
Yeah, it suits me well. I think if I weren’t doing this I’d find another profession that accepts vagabonds. I like exploring new cities. It’s thrilling. I think that’s what you do in your early 20s – you leave home and go and explore the world. And my job takes me there, which is kind of neat.

Source: NW Insider Magazine

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