Archive for the ‘2001’ Category

Movieline Breakthrough of 2001 Awards

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

The cheeky Scotsman was there to give a Breakthrough of the Year Award to Hayden Christensen, with whom he worked on the upcoming Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (McGregor plays wise Obi-Wan Kenobi to Christensen’s rebellious, ambitious Anakin Skywalker-that’s Darth Vader as a pup). McGregor praised the performance for which Christensen was being lauded-that of a disaffected suburban teenager at odds with his father in the critical bit Life as a House.

After a quick thank you from the bashful Christensen, who expressed pleasure - and relief - that people are finally starting to, talk about work of his they’ve actually seen, rather than merely speculating about what he’s capable of doing in the still-under-wraps Star Wars, he and McGregor also picked up some high end accessories-new Clerc watches.es.

Source

“Life as a House” Movie Review- 2001

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

This is not a subtle film - the title gives away the story, and the script takes many too-predictable turns. Yet despite the lack of surprises, “Life as a House” is indeed a powerful, emotionally charged film that knocks you over the head with its solid acting, its skillful manipulation of our emotions, and moments of pure inspiration that cut right to the very heart of the film’s dysfunctional family.

Kevin Kline is being mentioned as a potential Oscar nominee for his riveting performance as the aging architect, George Monroe. George is divorced, estranged from his only child, and stuck for 20 years in a job he despises. George’s adamant refusal to move into the computer age leaves his boss no choice but to fire him - giving him six months of severance pay and not much else. To make matters worse, while leaving the office for the last time, George passes out, awakening in a hospital with a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

From these life-altering events, George has an epiphany. He decides to tear down the ramshackle house his father left to him and mend his relationships with his ex-wife and son, Sam - hence the film’s metaphoric title.

The film can justifiably be criticized for its deliberately blatant attempts to wrench tears from the audience. In the hands of less talented actors, this blatant manipulation would be both depressing and disastrous. With Kevin Kline in the lead, this fine cast keeps the film from becoming maudlin. It’s yet to be seen how Hayden Christensen will handle his role as Anakin Skywalker, but if this film is any indication of what he is capable of, then Christensen has more than proven his ability to transform into a character with many levels.

The female stars - Kristin Scott Thomas, Jena Malone, and Mary Steenburgen - are equally impressive. Thomas’ role as the ex-wife holds the film together and brings life to George’s past and hope to George’s brief future. Steenburgen is funny, sensual, and perfect as the sexy older neighbor who’s hot for teenage boys. Rising young star Jena Malone has the intelligence and appeal to carry off her role without going overboard. As the love interest of Sam, Malone’s character Alyssa must overcome his detachment to life and wrest from him signs of true emotion.

“Life as a House” offers audiences a chance to cry, laugh, and - at times - cringe at its harsh portrayal of a fractured family. The film isn’t for everyone, but it is for moviegoers who enjoy emotional roller coasters.

Overall Grade: B+

Source: Movies. About.Com

Paradise Institute Victorious - October 21, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Winning the lead role of Anakin Skywalker in the next two Star War prequels has left newcomer Hayden Christensen humbled. “I still live with my folks, who make me mow the grass and take the garbage out,” he tells People magazine in its Nov. 5 issue. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones is due out next year. Christensen says every nuance on the set was surreal. “The outfit and the cloak? Mind-boggling. Meeting R2-D2? An out-of-body experience. The light sabre? A thrill,” he said. Christensen also plays Kevin Kline’s son in the new film Life as a House. Born in Vancouver, Christensen’s family later moved to the Toronto area, where he went to school. When he was 12 years old, Christensen had a continuing role in a Canadian television soap opera, the daily hour-long Family Passions.

Humble Hayden- December 21, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Nominee thrilled to be “in the same category with Ben Kingsley. The Force is building around Thornhill-based actor Hayden Christensen. The 20-year-old was nominated yesterday for a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe. The awards, to be made Jan. 20 on a live TV broadcast, are considered key indicators of Oscar picks. The Acade- my Award nominations will be an- nounced on Feb. 12. Christensen was singled out for his performance as a troubled teen reconciling with his dying father in the film drama Life As A House. The actor, who was unknown until George Lucas chose him last year to play the teenaged Anakin Skywalker in the next two Stars Wars movies, is in a field of veterans. Also nominated in the Supporting Actor category are Jim Broadbent for Iris, Steve Buscemi for Ghost World, Ben Kingsley for Sexy Beast, Jude Law for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Jon Voight for Ali. Law is 28, but the others are in their forties, fifties or sixties. “He was completely surprised and completely honored to be in the category with all those wonderful actors,” Christensen’s agent Robbie Kass said from L.A. “He kept repeating, ‘I’m in the same category with Ben Kingsley.’ Just the fact that he was nominated with that group of actors, that’s what he was so taken with.” Christensen, who has gone to lengths to limit his public exposure since the frenzy of interest that followed his Star Wars casting, was keeping a typically low profile yesterday. After hearing the news at his Thornhill home, where he still lives with his parents and younger sister, he spent the day hanging out with friends, and was unreachable -he doesn’t have a cell phone. The actor’s only disappointment was that Kevin Kline, who played his father in Life As A House, was not among the Golden Globe nominees for Best Actor, said Kass. Christensen’s talent has also been recognized by The U.S. National Board of Review and Movieline magazine, which gave him separate Breakthrough Performance awards earlier this month. Last year, Entertainment Weekly magazine put him on their cover as the personification of “It,” that indefinable star quality. When he was in Toronto promoting Life As A House at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Christensen expressed mixed feelings about the Movieline kudos, because it was announced before the movie had been seen. “It’s like winning an award before any of my films have come out,” he said then. “It’s bizarre. Very bizarre. I feel unjustified, so I can’t appreciate it really.” Kass chalks it up to Christensen’s humble nature and Canadian self-deprecation. “Not to make any generalizations, but you guys are the most modest sort of laid-back group of people I’ve ever met in my life and stuff like this for the most part is a complete embarrassment,” Kass said. “I mean, you just don’t like to be given awards. You don’t like any adulation. It’s just amazing. It’s like, ‘Oh no, no, don’t. That guy’s better.’”

Source: The Toronto Sun

Flavor of the Millennium - September 10, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen gets a compliment from co-star Kevin Kline.

“I’m careful to not oversaturate the public with myself before my work can speak for itself.” - Hayden Christensen on the attention he’s received since being cast in Star Wars II.

The next Star Wars movie is still months away, but star Hayden Christensen is already an effective deflector shield. “Everybody’s been very cool here and pretty much ignored me, swarming all over Hayden because he’s the flavor of the millennium,” actor Kevin Kline joked at yesterday’s press conference for the festival gala film Life As A House, in which he and Christensen play father and son. “By flavor of the millennium,” Kline expanded, now seriously, “I mean as opposed to flavor of the month. I mean, Hayden is here to stay and he’s the genuine article.” The compliment put a bashful expression on the face of Christensen, the 20- year-old from Thornhlll who not oversaturate was virtually unknown before George Lucas chose him to the next Anakin Skywalker. “1 owe you $10 now?” he asked Kline, who quipped, “American.” It’s true that the Star Wars casting put Christensen on a rocket to worldwide recognition. But he prefers to travel by humbler mode - and to pay his fare. “I relish riding the bus because that’s something I feel like maybe I won’t be able to do when Star Wars comes out,” Christensen told The Sun earlier yesterday. In a business full of young hot-shots with enormous senses of entitlement, he’s quite the opposite. In fact, he’s weirded out to have received so much attention when most people haven’t yet seen him act. “It’s like winning an award before any of my films have come out,” he said. “It’s bizarre. Very bizarre. I feel unjustified, so I can’t appreciate it really. I’m careful to not oversaturate the public with myself before my work can speak for itself.” That will happen with Life As A House’s release Oct. 26. It’s the only film he’s made since finishing work in Australia on Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones last summer and he has no next role waiting. He’s moved back here to live with his parents. Three generations of his relatives were expected to attend last night’s Roy Thomson Hall premiere. Life As A House is the story of a dying architect {Kevin Kline) who spends his remaining time building a house and rebuilding his relationship with his estranged, self-destructive teenaged son Sam. When first seen in the film, Christen sen is getting high, getting off and trying to hang himself in his bedroom closet. Along with the role’s enormous emotional arc, Sam’s extreme personal appearance also appealed to Christensen. Partly, it was out of a respect for George Lucas’ desire that he remain relatively unexposed until he’s seen as the new Anakin next spring. As Sam, Christensen wears makeup, his hair is blue, his face and body are pierced, his style is goth. Bound by multiple confidentiality agreements, he could say little about Star Wars, joking, “If I say one thing, (George Lucas) sends out a slew of bounty hunters after me.” And although he called the making of that sci-fantasy blockbuster; “the most amazing summer” of his life, he hinted that in the long run, he hopes his work will more frequently be in projects deeper and more emotional. “(Star Wars) afforded me great work opportunities. It’s allowing me to do films like this,” Christensen said. “Star Wars is a film that demands a lot of the imagination just because of the blue screen work and the fact that we can’t really shoot in outer space. A film like this is almost more rewarding as an actor, because you can have fulfillment working off actors like Kevin and Kristin (Scott Thomas)… which just improves my performance that much more.”

Source: Toronto Sun

Say ‘Hello’ to the New Skywalker

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen, 20, cast by George Lucas to play Anakin Skywalker in the next two “Star Wars” movies, has a small flick to promote first.

One day, Hayden Christensen, 20, was a little-known actor with some obscure TV and movie credits, though he did appear in last year’s “The Virgin Suicides.” Then George Lucas picked him to play Anakin Skywalker in the next “Star Wars” movie (“Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones”), and possibly the one to follow - which means that the world is his oyster. (Not just this world, but also an entire galaxy, far, far…

Source: People.Com

The Upcoming Anakin, Hayden Christensen, Talks about ‘Life As a House’

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The movie”Life as a House” stars Kevin Kline, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hayden Christensen and Mary Steenburgen.

George Monroe (Kevin Kline who was in “Wild Wild West” ) is a model builder for an architectural firm who loses his job and then discovers that he is dying of cancer.

From that point, Monroe’s life changes totally and wants to give himself a second chance to rebuilt something that he never had before. Looking back, he realized that he is a jerk, no one loves him and his life is a failure.

By rebuilding his house located in California on a cliff at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Monroe wants to recreate a good life.

The problem is that he wants to involve his family. A really complex son named Sam (Hayden Christensen who will be featured in “Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack of the Clones” ) — is stoned a lot and wears heavy eye makeup and spiked hair. He is a multi-pierced angry 16-year-old teenager. Kline’s ex-wife, Robin (Kristin Scott-Thomas, “Random Hearts”) is very successful in life — she has money, two new children, is still beautiful and is happily remarried, so it seems.

Christensen, 20, started his career out at 13 in Canada. His break out film was “Higher Ground.”

By spending summers in Long Island with his grandmother Rose Schwartz, he had the possibility to attend acting class at Actors Studio in Manhattan in the weekends and tennis lessons during the week.

“If I hadn’t ended up acting, I would have gone to college on a tennis scholarship,” says Christensen.

He has high potential of becoming the next Harrison Ford.

When reading for the first time with Kevin Kline, the young kid impressed everyone in the room.

“I must have interviewed 75 actors for the part of Sam,” says director Irwin Winkler ( “At First Sight,” “The Net” ).

“We were knocked out by him,” explains Winkler. “When he read with Kevin, Kevin kept looking at me as if to say “this kid really has it.” That turned out to be very true.”

Preparing for his character, the actor observed teenagers to learn their physical expressions. “All those insecurities of being 16,” Christensen describes, “how they’d fidget thumbs when they’re nervous.”

Also, the young actor - 19 at the time - dyed his natural blond hair in black and lost 20 pounds for his role.

“He has a marvelous presence and there’s very little he can’t do,” explains Winkler.

Sam is a difficult and mad teenager. He lives a secret life of darkness in his locked bedroom. “He’s a bit of a nightmare” describing Scott-Thomas.

“Sam’s in a downward spiral, because he’s this kid who feels no love in his life, not from anybody,” explains Christensen.

“But, then again he comes from a family where everyone has lost faith in each other,” says Scott-Thomas.

The teenager must spend the summer with his Dad (Kline), but he has no intention of raising a finger to help him. Time goes by and they learn to appreciate each other, and therefore, a deep relationship between them begins.

“It’s a very real relationship,” describes Kline.

“When he sees his Dad tearing down this house that’s filled with all these old memories, Sam becomes ready to tear down the way he’s been living his life,” adds the actor.

But, the young actor doesn’t stop his incredible journey. Beating out hundred of actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, and Colin Hanks, Tom Hanks’ son to play the lead role of Anakin Skywalker with Samuel L. Jackson for the feature film Star Wars: Episode 2: Attack of the Clones.” coming out in 2002.

Source: Zap2it.com

Movieline’s- Tall, Darth and Handsome - November 2001

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

When George Lucas plucked Hayden Christensen out of the big nowhere to star as young Darth Vader in his latest Star Wars epic, heads were scratched across the galaxy. But Christensen’s performance as a troubled teen in Life as a House should reassure doubters that Lucas knew exactly what he was doing.
Less than two years ago, who had even heard of Hayden Christensen? Sure, he’s been acting since he was 13, both here and in his native Canada, but it’s not like millions caught him as the kid who got sexually trifled with by his stepmom on the short-lived TV series “Higher Ground” or in his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it part in The Virgin Suicides.

Christensen’s days of blissful anonymity are officially history. He’s about to be examined through a jeweler’s loupe in Life as a House, in which he’s very persuasive as the rebellious, sexually malleable offspring of a divorced couple, played by Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott Thomas.

To fans around the globe, though, Christensen’s appearance in that high-toned potential Oscar draw is merely an appetizer for the feast to come-his debut as Anakin Skywalker, the fledgling Darth Vader in next year’s Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Advance word is that director George Lucas has already branded him the real thing. If he’s feeling the undue weight of the Force upon his 20-year-old shoulders, Christensen scarcely shows it. Clad in casual threads topped by a baseball hat that reads “Free,” sitting at a sun-dappled table in the outdoor garden at the West Hollywood tea-and-tonic emporium Elixir, Christensen comes off as a shy, serious, soft-spoken type who’s taking a wild ride in pretty good stride.

Besides the opportunity to work with Kline, Christensen was attracted to Life as a House because of its riskiness. “The script, as written, if done wrong, could play out like one long soap opera,” he says. “It seemed it would be exciting and challenging to walk that fine line. I also felt the role was an important one-not just to the story, but to an audience who could relate to him, and feel for him. This was a real actor’s role.”

It’s quite a role, all right, one that involves a near-suicide, serious pill-popping, major parental blowouts, a bout with male prostitution, a provocative stunt in the shower with a neighbor’s daughter, hair dyed goth black and lots of eye shadow. “There’s a slight hesitation when you’re involved with something that has a certain level of risk,” he says. “But I could relate to things in the script, like my character’s insecurities, and I felt comfortable exploring some of those emotions.”

Even though it’s like he’s got a light saber pointed at his temples when it comes to revealing any Star Wars secrets, Christensen’s full of stories about the experience. “It all seems unreal, still,” he admits. “Maybe I was even a little too comfortable going in for the audition. I just felt it was too far-fetched that anything would come to fruition, so I took extra joy in getting to meet George Lucas and screen-testing opposite Natalie. Making the film was the best summer of my life. I’m part of a movie trilogy that is one of the best of all time, and I feel very special to be a part of it.”

And was getting to know Natalie Portman part of what made it so special? Choosing his words with care, he says, “She’s a good actress. She was very professional and amazing to work off. It’s easy to look at her and be absorbed by her.”

With Life as a House behind him, Christensen is considering tackling another movie and, possibly, a play in New York or Toronto before the media blitz for Star Wars. At the moment, he says, “I don’t get hassled by fans too much, but I imagine it’ll become more difficult.”

Jeez, ya think? May the Force be with him.

Episode 1- November 02, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN NEEDS TO work on his first impression. In fact, he needs to work on making an impression, period, here in the fly-buzzed garden of a too-hip Los Angeles teahouse, where the actor is supposed to be discussing New Line Cinema’s Life as a House. The drama-written by Mark Andrus (Oscar-nominated for As Good as It Gets) and directed by Irwin Wmkler (The Net)-stars Kevin Kline as George, a spiritually empty architect who finds out he’s dying of cancer and decides to spend his final months building his dream house with Sam, his pill-popping, Goth-garbed son. But for scores of Star Wars fans, the film will offer something more: their first chance to assess whether Christensen, who’ll play Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode II-Attack of the Clones, has what it takes to wield a lightsaber. If nothing else, the actor proves in Life as a House that he can walk on the dark side; in his opening scene, Christensen wakes up, huffs paint fumes, puts his head in a noose tied to a clothes rack, and masturbates. A conspicuous first impression, worthy of discussion-if only Christensen were actually here to discuss it.

Three days later, back at the tea garden, it’s a different story. “I am so, so sorry,” says Christensen, evidencing genuine, red-faced remorse and decked in a baggy sweater/T-shirt/cords ensemble. As it turns out, he has some perfectly legitimate excuses (a late-nightflight from his home in Toronto, phone not hooked up in his new L.A. apartment), and with his sleepy good looks and soulful demeanor, the young actor makes it hard to hold a grudge. A soft-spoken 20-year-old with a palpable passion for acting and a panicky fear of bees (“Get away from me, I’m allergic to you!” he freaks at one point), Christensen exudes a charm and gravity that’s immediately apparent and grows only more impressive over time. “He was a little broody,” says Winkler of his initial encounter with the actor. “But I took his audition tape home and looked at it over and over again, and he just kept popping out at me. He’s just got this natural charisma, but it’s wrapped in an intriguing package.” Episode II casting director Robin Gurland sums up the Christensen mystique this way: “It’s in the eyes. He’s on the verge of adulthood, so his face still has this innocence, but in the eyes, there’s this intelligence that’s so knowing, so mature-which makes him just perfect for Anakin.”

Some observers have even likened Christensen to a certain Rebel Without a Cause-a comparison that he embraces. “I’ve always tried to fantasize being like James Dean, which is funny given what’s being said now,” he says. “He’s probably the most natural actor to grace the screen.” Like Dean, Christensen takes his art very, very seriously. Consider his response to the old “Why acting?” question: “As a means of expression. Of reinventing yourself. To become something that you’re not. And now. ..I don’t know. To be honest, I’m struggling with this concept. Is an actor an artist, or is he just someone else’s puppet?” The route Christensen has taken to such contemplation began at age 8, when his 14-year-old sister (one of three siblings) went shopping for an agent after landing a Pringles commercial. “I went along for the ride because there was no one who could babysit me,” he says. ” And all of a sudden they were asking me if I wanted to do a few commercials I said, Why not?”

During his teens, he started juggling high school theater work with bit parts on TV and in movies (perhaps you caught him as Paper Boy in John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness). It was in late 1999, while playing a mopey teen on the short-lived Fox Family Channel drama Higher Ground, that Christensen first met with Gurland. After wowing her, the actor made two treks to Lucas’ ranch near San Francisco, once for an informal meet, once to screen-test with Queen Amidala herself, Natalie Portman. And, yes, he was nervous: On both trips, he threw up on the plane. Yet anyone who goes into Life as a House (see review on page 48) looking for a Jedi Knight might be disappointed-especially when they see how wimpily the future Dark Lord of the Sith handles a sledgehammer. “I was just making it look like I didn’t know what I was doing,” he says. “It’s all acting.” Christensen, who got the part last fall after spending the previous summer filming Episode II, was drawn to Life because of its script and star-not because he felt the need to establish himself before he’s forever tagged as “that Star Wars guy” (see Mark Hamill). “It was important to me that if I did a movie before Star Wars, that I’d be as unrecognizable as possible,” says Christensen, “I want to make sure [my work as Anakin] is as impactful as can be. I don’t want to detract from that by developing some persona before that film comes out.”

To prepare for his teenage waste-lad in Life, Christensen shed 25 pounds on a diet of water, salad, and vitamins. “I’m still gaining the weight back,” says the gangly actor, who isn’t helping his cause today by limiting himself to a bottle of water: Christensen also dyed his sandy-blond locks black and blue and adorned himself with fake piercings. “They would have been real if I didn’t have to do [Star Wars] reshoots right away,” he says. “I don’t think George would be too happy if I showed up with a hole in my lip.” And yet Christensen says he himself has no dark side; this is a guy who cites The Princess Bride and Disney’s Robin Hood as influences. “Sam is an absolute invention,” he says. “I had no ground on which to relate.” Indeed, unlike Sam, who would rather lock himself in his room and blast Marilyn Manson than share a second of silence with his family, Christensen boasts of an “unusually good” relationship with his parents, David (a communications exec) and Alie (with whom Hayden talks every day). Says Winkler: “He’s probably the sweetest kid in the world.” While audiences are discovering Christensen in Life as a House, the actor himself will be in England for his final round ofreshoots for Episode II, which opens next May. In the seven months between now and then, he’ll read through a teetering stack of scripts, work with his brother Tove on establishing a production company, and gird himself for the publicity onslaught to come. “I try not to give it much thought-that’s how I’m dealing with it,” says Christensen. “I’m just keeping an open mind and keeping my feet on the ground.” Any chance of leaving us with a secret Star Wars tidbit or two? “Okay, okay,” he says with a sheepish laugh. He pauses, thinks of everything he could say, and then says the only thing he can. “No.”

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Wonder Boys: Hayden Christensen- November 2001

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Chnstensen occupies an unusual space betWeen familiar and famous. Following up roles on TV’s Higher Ground and in the film The Virgin Suicides, the twenty-year-old Canadian shines in the current movie Life as a House as a hard-to-handle teen getting to know his dying father (Kevin Kline). But the dear before-and-after of Christensen’s will center around his role as Anakin Skywalker in the next two Star Wars prequels. “When I work, I become a recluse,” Says Christensen, who recently launched a production company with his older brother so that he could “take hold” of his career. “That’s why if it’s some flaky film, it’s a real waste of time.”

-Elle Magazine-

Your Next Crush: Hayden Christensen-March ‘01

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

This Star Wars hottie definitely feels the force.
His good looks made you do a double-take when you watched 19-year-old star Hayden Christensen play Scott Barringer on the Fox Family Channel’s now-defunct Higher Ground. But it was Christensen’s acting skills that caught the eye of George Lucas. Once he found Christensen, the director called off his search for just the right person to play Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming Star Wars movies Episode II and Episode III. Seventeen caught up with the Canadian cutie on his return from Sydney, Australia — where he’d just finished filming the fifth installment of the sci-fi adventure — to find out if the force was still with him. You be the judge.
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia. When he’s on location, Christensen, who grew up in Toronto, misses Canada’s diversity. “There is such a beautiful contrast in everything from its geography and seasons to its culture and communities,” he says. “And the mountains are great for snowboarding, which I love to do. I try to spend as much time there as possible.”
Current reading material: The novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. “It makes you believe the joy is in the journey and [encourages you] to trust the spiritual process a little more.”
Favorite dish: “The bow-tie pasta with shrimp and broccoli that my mom makes.”
Musical taste: Radiohead and Outkast.
Preferred pet: “I have a lot of pets at my home in Toronto,” he says. “It sometimes resembles a zoo. There’s a new animal every time I go back.”
Three items he took to the Star Wars set: His pillow, a rock and a silver angel statuette that his mother gave him. “It stands on my bedside table watching over me wherever I go,” he explains.

Source: Seventeen Magazine

Star Wars Watch- March 30, 2022

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

”When you put the belt on, there’s a little place where your lightsaber clicks in,” says Hayden Christensen, referring, of course, to the Anakin Skywalker costume he dons for ”Episode II” of ”Star Wars.” ”It’s just like, ‘Holy shit!”While you’ll have to wait until summer 2002 to see the 19 year old in action, Lucasfilm has released this exclusive shot of the man destined to become Darth Vader-and a rival to Justin Timberlake among the ”TRL” demographic. (Who knew young Jedis favor rattails?) Christensen, a virtual unknown before Lucas tapped him, took to wielding a lightsaber with full Force. ”It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” he swears. ”And to be honest, it was heavier than I expected.”

YM Magazine -Hayden Christensen, 20

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Objective:
To become a screen legend (scoring the role of Anakin Skywalker in the second and third installments of Star Wars prequels pretty much guarantees that). In the tense time before the official cast announcement was made, “I had this great secret I was so excited about, but I couldn’t tell anybody.”

Skills
Using his brooding eyes and killer smile to get parts; playing two junkies convincingly without being typecast.

Experience
2001: Life As a House, Sam Kimball.
A druggie goth kid who has a rocky relationship with his parents. “My character is an actor’s dream. It’s a real meaty role that allows me to show great range of emotion. But I can’t understand what would motivate a guy to wear blue eyeshadow and earrings.”
2000: TV’s Higher Ground, Scott Barringer.
A high school football captain and recovering drug addict.
1999: The Virgin Suicides, Jake Hill Conley.
One of the girls’ neighborhood suitors.

Education
Unionville High School’s drama department in Ontario, Canada.
Learned acting techniques from Kevin Kline on the set of Life As a House. “I would love to play his son for the rest of my life.”
Special Interests
Hockey and tennis; formed a Vancouver-based production company with older brother Tove. They plan on making a low-budget, coming-of-age move called Roadside Attractions.

Source: YM Magazine

Entertainment Weekly- November 2nd, 2001

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

There is life before Star Wars. Here’s the skinny on Hayden Christensen.

Episode 1

Hayden Christensen needs to work on his first impression. In fact, he needs to work on making an impression, period, here in the fly-buzzed garden of a too-hip Los Angeles tea-house, where the actor is supposed to be discussing New Line Cinema’s Life as a House. The drama - written by Mark Andrus (Oscar-nominated for As Good as It Gets) and directed by Irwin Winkler (The Net) - stars Kevin Kline as George, a spiritually empty architect who finds out he’s dying of cancer and decides to spend his final months building his dream house with Sam, his pill-popping, Goth-garbed son. But for scores of Star Wars fans, the film will offer something more: their first chance to assess whether Christensen, who’ll play Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode ll - Attack of the Clones, has what it takes to wield a lightsaber. If nothing else, the actor proves in Life as a House that he can walk on the dark side; in his opening scene, Christensen wakes up, huffs paint fumes, puts his head in a noose tied to a clothes rack, and masturbates. A conspicuous first impression, worthy of discussion - if only Christensen were actually here to discuss it.

Three days later, back at the tea garden, it’s a different story. “I’m so sorry,” says Christensen, evidencing genuine, red-faced remorse and decked in a baggy sweater/T-shirt/cords ensemble. As it turns out, he has some perfectly legitimate excuses (a late-night flight from his home in Toronto, phone not hooked up in his new L.A. apartment), and with his sleepy good looks and soulful demeanor, he young actor makes it hard to hold a grudge. A soft-spoken 20-year-old with a palpable passion for acting and a panicky fear of bees (“Get away from me, I’m allergic to you!” he freaks at one point), Christensen exudes a charm and gravity that’s immediately apparent and grows only more impressive over time. “He was a little broody,” says Winkler of his initial encounter with the actor. “But I took his audition tape home and looked at it over and over again, and he just kept popping out at me. He’s just got this natural charisma, but it’s wrapped in an intriguing package.” Episode ll casting director Robin Gurland sums up the Christensen mystique this way: “It’s in the eyes. He’s on the verge of adulthood, so his face still has this innocence, but in the eyes, there’s this intelligence that’s so knowing, so mature - which makes him just perfect for Anakin.”

Some observers have even likened Christensen to a certain Rebel Without a Cause - a comparison that he embraces. “I’ve always tried to fantasize being like James Dean, which is funny given what’s being said now,” he says. “He’s probably the most natural actor to grace the screen.” Like Dean, Christensen takes his art very, very seriously. Consider his response to the old “Why acting?” question: “As a means of expression. Of reinventing yourself. To become something that you’re not. And now…I don’t know. To be honest, I’m struggling with this concept. Is an actor an artist, or is he just someone else’s puppet?”

The route Christensen has taken to such contemplation began at age 8, when his 14-year-old sister (one of three siblings) went shopping for an agent after landing a Pringles commercial. “I went along for the ride because there was no one who could babysit me,” he says. “And all of a sudden they were asking me if I wanted to do a few commercials….I said, Why not?” During his teens, he started juggling high school theater work with bit parts on TV and in movies (perhaps you caught him as Paper Boy in John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness). It was in late 1999, while playing a mopey teen on the short-lived Fox Family Channel drama High Ground, that Christensen first met with Gurland. After wowing her, the actor made two treks to Lucas’ ranch near San Francisco, once for an informal meet, once to screen-test with Queen Amidala herself, Natalie Portman. And, yes, he was nervous: On both trips, he threw up on the plane.

Yet anyone who goes into Life as a House (see review on page 48) looking for a Jedi Knight might be disappointed - especially when they see how wimpily the future Dark Lord of the Sith handles a sledgehammer. “I was just making it look like I didn’t know what I was doing,” he says. “It’s all acting.” Christensen, who got the part last fall after spending the previous summer filming Episode ll, was drawn to Life because of its script and star - not because he felt the need to establish himself before he’s forever tagged as “that Star Wars guy” (see Mark Hamill). “It was important to me that if I did a movie before Star Wars, that I’d be as unrecognizable as possible,” says Christensen. “I want to make sure [my work as Anakin] is as impactful as can be. I don’t want to detract from that by developing some persona before that film comes out.”

To prepare for his teenage waste-lad in Life, Christensen shed 25 pounds on a diet of water, salad, and vitamins. “I’m still gaining the weight back,” says the gangly actor, who isn’t helping his cause today by limiting himself to a bottle of water. Christensen also dyed his sandy-blond locks black and blue and adorned himself with fake piercings. “They would have been real if I didn’t have to do [Star Wars] reshoots right away,” he says. “I don’t think George would be too happy if I showed up with a hole in my lip.” And yet Christensen says he himself has no dark side; this is a guy who cites The Princess Bride and Disney’s Robin Hood as influences. “Sam is an absolute invention,” he says. “I had no ground on which to relate.” Indeed, unlike Sam, who would rather lock himself in his room and blast Marilyn Manson than share a second of silence with his family, Christensen boasts of an “unusually good” relationship with his parents, David (a communications exec) and Alie (with whom Hayden talks everyday). Says Winkler: “He’s probably the sweetesr kid in the world.”

While audiences are discovering Christensen in Life as a House, the actor himself will be in England for his final round of reshoots for Episode ll, which opens next May. In the seven months between not and then, he’ll read through a teetering stack of scripts, work with his brother Tove on establishing a production company, and gird himself for the publicity onslaught to come. “I try not to give it much thought - that’s how I’m dealing with it,” says Christensen. “I’m just keeping an open mind and keeping my feet on the ground.” Any chance of leaving us with a secret Star Wars tidbit or two? “Okay, okay,” he says with a sheepish laugh. He pausesm thinks of everything he could say, and then says the only thing he can. “No.”

Source: Typed by:TinaJ.

November 2001 -Jedi James Dean

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

As a teenager growing up in Toronto, Hayden Christensen figured he had a good shot at getting into an American university on a tennis scholarship. But instead of wielding a racquet, he ended up unleashing his backhand with a light sabre on the set of Star Wars. You probably haven’t heard of Hayden Christensen. Not yet. T his clean-cut 20-year-old Canadian is Hollywood’s hot new discovery. Last year, in casting the next two features in the Star Wars franchise, director George Lucas picked the unknown actor from hundreds of young hopefuls to play Anakin Skywalker — the Jedi warrior who grows up to be Darth Vader. And when Entertainment Weekly devoted an issue to an “It List” of Hollywood’s 100 most creative talents, Christensen’s face was the one that graced the cover.

Of course, rocketing to fame as a Jedi action figure doesn’t guarantee an enduring career — just ask Mark Hamill, who fizzled after playing the adult Anakin’s son, Luke, in the original Star Wars. But critics are already comparing Christensen to James Dean. And long before his face starts appearing on lunch boxes with next summer’s release of Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, he has proven his talent as a serious actor. In Life as a House, which opens this week, Christensen delivers a knockout performance as a troubled teen with a divorced father (Kevin Kline) who’s dying of cancer. It’s a drama about building a new house in the ruins of a broken home. It’s also a three-hankie weepie, and Christensen is its emotional detonator. “He’s astonishing,” Kline told me recently. “He’s the genuine article, and there’s nothing flash in the pan about him. I think he’s going to be the flavour of the millennium.” Kline is droll and soft-spoken, a classically trained actor not prone to showbiz superlatives. But he seems truly impressed. “You’re only as good as the people you’re playing opposite,” he says, “and Hayden just drew my best work out of me. It wasn’t one of those cases where you’re looking for that magical take from a young kid. Every take, even off camera, he gave me amazing stuff.”

Last month, Hayden and his family watched Life as a House receive a standing ovation at its world premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival. The next day, sitting on a hotel balcony high above his home town, he comes across as polite, well-spoken and circumspect. Wide blue eyes betray a wary vulnerability, but occasionally burn with movie-star intensity. There’s a scar from a hockey puck above one eye, a faint trace of Canadian branding. With a lean, six foot, one-inch frame, Christensen looks like an athlete, and as he discusses his impending stardom you can imagine him conducting post-game interviews with the diplomatic poise of a Gretzky. Asked about fame, he shrugs. “It’s not something I ever sought after. Anonymity is not something you can willingly give up. It has to be taken from you. There’s something wrong with you if you’re happy to let that part of you go.”
The third of four children, Hayden was born in Vancouver, and moved to the Toronto suburb of Thornhill with his family when he was 6. His parents run their own communications company. Hayden first bumped into show business when he was 7. He was tagging along with his older sister, Hejsa, then junior world champion trampolinist at the age of 13. She was meeting with an agent after being cast in a commercial. The agent also signed up Hayden. Studying drama in high school, he developed a passion for acting. But he was more serious about sports he played triple- A hockey and competitive tennis.

At 18, however, he landed a regular role in Higher Ground, a Fox series shot in Vancouver, as a teen who turns to drugs after being seduced by his stepmother. Schedule conflicts forced him to back out of two group auditions in Los Angeles for Star Wars. But then Lucas invited him to his Skywalker Ranch. “It was like meeting a rock star,” recalls Christensen. “He has this huge entourage that follows him around.” After a screen test with Natalie Portman, Christensen won the role, beating out Tom Hanks’ son, Colin. Shooting Star Wars two summers back was “thrilling,” Christensen recalls. “Every morning I’d get to dress up in these Jedi robes and have my light sabre hang from my belt, and it’s a very surreal feeling.” Then, to play Sam, the drug-addicted Goth in Life as a House, he had to change gears rapidly. He shed 25 lb., dropping his weight to 140. Director Irwin Winkler wanted him to appear less imposing than Kline. Christensen also had to find his way into a character much darker than the young Darth Vader. “I never went through the angst rebellion thing,” he says. “And the whole Goth thing I just could not understand — the concept of putting on blue eye shadow and wearing earrings.” Over the course of the movie, as his character reconciles with his father and helps him build his dream home on a California cliff, Christensen gets to shed the mask and strip his emotions bare. Winkler’s direction, and the script by Mark Andrus (As Good as It Gets), are contrived. But that makes the truth of the performances even more remarkable. Kline, Christensen — and Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays his mother all counteract the movie’s sentimental undertow with sharp, detailed acting. Meanwhile, Christensen, who still lives with his parents, waits for his life to change. After Star Wars hits next summer, it won’t be the same. Last week I asked if he’s had second thoughts about stardom in the sobering light of Sept 11. “If anything,” he said, “it makes me more confident that I’m doing the right thing. It makes films like Life as a House more pertinent. One of its recurring themes is that it sometimes takes something bad to happen to force something good.” Spoken like a true Jedi.

Source: Brian D. Johnson

October 15th-Christensen’s Plan ‘Simple’

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen, who played the young Darth Vader in “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones,” is in negotiations to join “The Other Side of Simple,” a thriller starring Vince Vaughn and Don Cheadle.The New Line project follows two thieves who return to their old stomping grounds after a lengthy absence. There, they reunite with the simple-minded younger brother (Christensen) of one of the thieves, who’d been captured by the cops during the trio’s failed robbery 10 years earlier. As events unfold, the two discover the simp is not as simple as they thought. Joseph Ruben (“Money Train”) will direct from a script by Eric Kmetz. Christensen will next appear as disgraced New Republic journal Stephen Glass in Lions Gate’s “Shattered Glass”; in 2005 he’ll topline the final episode of the “Star Wars” sextet.

Source: Claude Brodesser and Dana Harris

Tonight Show with Jay Leno-(10/17/01)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden: Thank you.

Jay: Now this is your first talk show ?

Hayden: This is my first talk show so it’s a little nerve racking if you will.

Jay: These are very nice people.

Hayden: Yeah, I’m sure, yes.

Jay: Now this is a very big deal getting Star Wars. It’s like the role everybody wanted.

Hayden: Yeah, pretty much it was pretty surprising when I found out that I got the part. Wasn’t really expecting it to be honest.

Jay: I mean you go in there, I heard, I know kinda modest. But I heard Leonardo Decaprio and all these people were up for this part, something like, they looked at 10,000.

Hayden: I don’t know exactly how many it was but it was a lot.

Jay: It was 9,980.

Hayden: Aaaaah.

Jay: I mean that’s a lot of people. So what is the audition like? I mean is it like a cattle call where there is hundreds of Luke Skywalkers there?

Hayden: No, actually the first time I went to audition, it was a meeting with Robin Gurland, the casting director, and it was just sort of a general conversation about my experiences with acting, life and what not but no anything about Star Wars. That was taped and George saw that and I met with George about a mouth later.

Jay: Ok but when you’re doing that, you go in there and they’re asking you questions. So where you from? Do you realize? I mean what goes through your mind? I mean like this is the biggest job in show business!

Hayden: I know but to be honest I really never thought that it would come into fruition so I took extra joy in getting to meet George and screen test with Natalie so it was more just icing on the cake when I found out that I got it.

Jay: So how many steps? You go in cause basically you’re an unknown guy and you’re from Canada right? (Hayden confirms) Canada, ok, you come in you come down again you meet. . . and then you get a call. Oh we liked your interview on tape.

Hayden: Yeah, yeah so I . . .

Jay: The next step is what? Meet. . .

Hayden: I met with George.

Jay: Lucas?

Hayden: Yeah I flew out to the Skywalker Ranch and I got to meet . . .

Jay: See, flying out to the Skywalker Ranch.

Hayden: I know, I know.

Jay: Now that’s pretty cool. Is that nerve racking when you get there?

Hayden: Yeah, I mean I had my own ways of dealing with it but aw yeah it was aw nerve. .

Jay: What is that, like getting stoned ?

Hayden: (laughs) No actually it was uh throwing up on the plane ride over.

Jay: Did you, did you throw-up?

Hayden: Ah (pause) yeah, but I think it was understandable, meeting someone like George Lucas yeah.

Jay: So what’s that like when you walk in the room and you meet…here’s this big director. I mean THE biggest, you go. .hey how ya doing?

Hayden: It’s a pleasure to meet you. Yeah I know, I mean what do you say actually. So I just tried to behave myself and get sized up well.

Jay: And not throw up on him. . .

Hayden: Actually, actually in which I achieved thankfully.

Jay: So how did you get started in acting you’re in Canada, your parents are not in show business?

Hayden: No, no. They’re in the communications business, computers and stuff.

Selma: Where in Canada?

Hayden: Toronto ( a member of the audience claps-Hayden takes notice and laughs)

Jay: Your coalition partner.

Hayden: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Jay: So when. . . did you do commercials for Canadian-buy Molson beer, I mean what did you. . .

Hayden: When I was young I got involved through my older sister actually. She was Jr. world Champion on the trampoline and they wanted her to do a Pringles commercial. She did and after that they wanted to get her an agent and I was just along for the ride. I was 6 or 7 and was in the agency office and they asked me if I wanted to do commercials and I very naively said sure.

Jay: Well so your sister’s going in for an audition and you get the job. Does that cause trouble at home ?

Hayden: No I mean I’ve got a good relationship with my family.

Jay: And she’s what World Trampoline. .

Hayden: She was when she was younger, now she’s doing Tae-Kwon Do.

Jay: Oh so don’t mess with your sister.

Hayden: No, no she’d beat me up no problem.

Jay: So how about your parents what do they think of you because when I got started in this my parents were like. . . learn a trade.

Hayden: Yeah, I mean my parents are very supportive of anything that there children do but I think my dad was a little hesitant at first, he wanted me to go to University on a tennis scholarship which I�m yet to do maybe later on down the road but. . .

Jay: You were offered a tennis scholarship ?

Hayden: I was playing competitive tennis growing up and provincial tournaments and what not so I could’ve if I took that path but I didn’t so. . .

Jay: Wow that’s pretty good, sounds like the real Luke Skywalker!

Hayden: (laughs) Well only in tennis yeah.

Jay: That�s pretty cool. Have you been filming this, have you been doing this movie, is it almost done ?

Hayden: We wrapped principal photography almost a year ago now and we just keep going back and picking up scenes here and there. So we’ve got one more set of re-shoots to do and then were done.

Jay: Ok, well that should be exciting will you come back when it comes out?

Hayden: Yeah.

Jay: Tell us about Life As A House, this one is a little bit different.

Hayden: Very different.

Jay: You�re like a punky kid in this one.

Hayden: Yeah, Sam is so far removed from myself its kind of scary. It’s the story about a man, George my father, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Jay: That’s Kevin Kline.

Hayden: That�s Kevin Kline yeah and it’s sort of a last attempt to make something meaningful of his life, he takes his son to go build his dream house for the summer. And it’s about how they collectively rehabilitate each other and the relationship that once existed.

Jay: I saw in the clip you have the nose ring.

Hayden: Yeah, I’m all decked out with the earrings and the eye shadow.

Jay: Did you ever go through that stage?…well you’re 20.

Hayden: No, no I never went that stage with the black hair and all that. No I, maybe this was my opportunity to rebel vicariously through Sam so I did.

Jay: But you lost, you look real skinny in that clip.

Hayden: I lost a bit of weight. I lost 25 pounds for the role.

Jay: By throwing up.

Selma: How did you do that, I want to hear about that.

Hayden: (laughs) A strong diet of vitamins and water and the occasional salad.

Selma: Oh no, I can’t do that.

Jay: First of all, you don’t lose a pound young lady, don’t become one of those sticks.

Jay: Did your folks go to the premiere in all of this ?

Hayden: Yeah, it was nice because it showed at the Toronto Film Festival and that’s where I’m from and my family lives there so I got to take my whole family actually. My parents, my sisters, my brother. My grandma came; it was the whole entourage. It was pretty cool.

Jay: Did your sister bounce in the seat ?

Hayden: (laughs) No she kept still.

Jay: Now we have a clip here. What is this scene we are going to see?

Hayden: I believe it’s when my father takes me and steals me and away from my mom to build a house for the summer.

Jay: Let’s take a look. Here’s ,Life as A House,; (shows a clip from the movie)

Hayden: There you go.

Jay: Hey will you sign our bike?

Hayden: Sure.

Jay: Sign our bike, anywhere you want.|They walk over to the motorcycle for Hayden to sign| That was easy wasn’t it? Hayden Christensen ladies and gentlemen.

January 24- Star Wars’ Star Hayden Christensen to Portray ‘Your Youth’ on Stage

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Toronto-born actor Hayden Christensen (“Life as a House”) will star in “This is Your Youth,” a play by Kenneth Lonergan (“You Can Count on Me”) in London, writes the Toronto Star. Christensen will star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Canadian-born Anna Paquin in the story about rich kids who spend a decadent weekend stealing, dealing and consuming drugs. This trio of young thesps will begin previews in late February to prepare for an eight-week run in London’s prestigious West End. Christensen will be playing Anakin Skywalker in the next “Star Wars” film.

Source: Zap2it.com