Instyle-June 2005- Man of Style

For someone who has traveled the galaxy as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Hayden Christensen is a low-tech guy. “I just got e-mail two weeks ago,” he says. “And I like film over digital. I’m an old-fashioned purist.” Alas, he doesn’t even wear a watch, which may explain why the 24-year-old Canadian is behind schedule when he shows up to discuss the third film and final installment in George Lucas’s epic series. Though he has branched out in contemporary dramas such as Shattered Glass and Life as a House, Christensen says he will miss his intergalactic journeys. Nowadays he splits his time between Toronto, London and L.A., and so far he shows no sign of a dark side.

So how does it feel to see this Star Wars trilogy end? Bittersweet - more bitter than sweet. But my world is much bigger now. When I got the part I had never been outside of North America; now I’ve traveled and lived in different places.

Bet you won’t miss the Jedi costumes - what were they like? Heavy. They look good but aren’t practical. I had to fight with a cloak on, and it just got in the way.
In this episode Anakin finally becomes Darth Vader. Was that costume better? David Prowse, who first played Vader, was taller, so I had lifts in my shoes. It felt like walking around in stilettos with 30 pounds of costume weighing you down.

Where is home for you these days? Toronto. I don’t spend as much time there as I’d like, but it’s where the heart is, where I grew up, and where my friends are. Otherwise I love the sense of history in London. And the weather in L.A.

What were you like as a kid? I loved Curious George books - that sense that you can learn from mischief. I wasn’t a troublemaker, but I was always quick to do things that maybe I shouldn’t have, like icing over the greens on the golf course behind my parent’ house. I just wanted to play hockey there - that’s all it was.
Any embarrassing childhood photos your mom might have? When MC Hammer was big I sported fluorescent orange parachute pants and had long hair that I managed to put in a mohawk with an enormous amount of gel.

Any other sartorial phases? My grandma usd to buy me a pair of corduroy pants every Christmas - all different colors and styles. She is probably responsible for half of my wardrobe. She lives in New York, and I used to visit her sometimes. She’s a cool Italian lady who loves to shop.

So what’s your style like now? Subtle and natural. I wear the same pair of jeans because they look better with more wear and less wash. I’m also big on hoodies - and that preceded my Jedi involvement.
What’s sexy on a woman? Simple is best. I like a girl who doesn’t put style before comfort. I like the natural, unmade-up look - a girl who is comfortable not only in her own clothes but in her own skin.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given? A Land Rover for my mom. They wrapped it with a big bow and parked it in the driveway. She squealed at the top of her lungs - she was very happy.

If you weren’t an actor, what would you want to be? Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Actually, I quit hockey for tennis. I was good enough at tennis that I could have won a scholarship, but there are very few Canadians who can go pro, because it’s just not in our blood.

What’s next on your to-do list? Getting my pilot’s license. I grew up on planes. My father has a license, and I have memories of being in the cockpit at age 5. Flying in a Cessna is very serene - like you’re in the heavens.
So you travel a lot? Yes, but I really hate airports - I don’t like large groups of people. I know it’s a complete contradiction, just like the fact I’m a shy person, yet I act in films. That seems to be the story of my life!

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