Archive for the ‘Internet '02’ Category

Christensen Denies Star Wars Romance - May 05, 2022

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN has denied reports of a romance with NATALIE PORTMAN - because they would never have been able to act together if they’d been lovers.

The pair have been dogged by rumors of intimacy on the set of STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES, but the upcoming star insists no impropriety went on, although he has the greatest respect for his co-star. He says, “We got to be great friends, nothing more. She’s personable, and a lot brighter than any girl I’ve ever known. But when it came to working together, we were both strictly professional. “Like, we had a love scene in which we kiss and hug and stuff, and it was done by the numbers. One, put your arms there. Two, put your lips there. Three, close your eyes and so forth. “Not much to feel, you know? I can’t say Nat and I were even embarrassed by the scene. It was that mechanical. I guess to play romantic on the screen, you have to be totally unromantic. “How would we have done it if Nat and I were really in love? Badly, I guess.”

Christensen Loves His Mom - November 04, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Actor Hayden Christensen has a very special woman in his life - his mother. The actor is set for massive fame after his star turn as Anakin Skywalker in the upcoming two Star Wars films - but he’s not worried about female fans’ devotion, because his mother keeps him humble. He says, “I love my mother Ali so much. I’m a momma’s boy. I just have a very cool mom. It’s not as though I had any say in the matter. I’m just really fortunate. She’s the most kind, loving, giving woman, She loves her children an enormous amount so it’s hard not to show the same in return. I try to do everything to be a good son. I come home for dinner when I’m in town and keep out of trouble. Not that I find myself in situations where I look like I’m getting into trouble.” He adds, “My parents aren’t concerned that I’ll go off the deep end after Star Wars. They know I have my feet on the ground and that I’m a cautious boy. They worry about the intrusion into my private life, but not me suddenly getting a whole new set of wants and needs that aren’t really a reflection of my upbringing.”

Episode II on International Newstands

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Around the world, people will be reading about Attack of the Clones in movie and special interest magazines, with cover stories and feature articles exploring Episode II. Mexico’s Cinemania features a profile of Ewan McGregor, looking at his career in an article titled “Poet, Soldier and Jedi.” Also in Mexico, Cine Premiere takes a close look at Veronica Segura, the Mexican actress behind the character of Cordé, one of Amidala’s loyal handmaidens in Episode II. The new galactic trio of Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé grace the cover of Ciak magazine, the most popular movie periodical in Italy. This issue includes an article containing 50 secrets of the new Star Wars installment, covering story, digital production, shooting locations, connections, actors and more. Also includes an interview with Hayden Christensen. The UK’s Sunday Magazine has a tour of the worlds of Episode II, a three-page special that makes it clear that “The Force is Back.” Arena magazine talks to “Dark Star” Hayden Christensen, in a series entitled “Hollywood’s New Elite.” In Lime, a popular teen magazine in Singapore, readers will get an introduction to the “Star Crossed Lovers” of Anakin and Padmé. Switzerland’s largest movie magazine, Close-Up sports a lightsaber-laden cover. Inside is a picture-packed expose of Episode II. Australia’s May 2002 edition of Mania Magazine — the cool fun magazine for cool kids — sets the stage with “A Guide to Galaxy,” a primer on Star Wars lore to get you set for Episode II. When not testing your flirt factor or reading up on smart-girl snacks, check out the interview with Hayden Christensen in the May edition of Dolly magazine. In Germany, the imposing Jedi figures of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu grace the cover of the April edition of Cinema magazine, which also runs many large images direct from Episode II inside. Also in Germany, these heroic Jedi can be found on the cover of the May edition of Moviestar magazine. In France, a determined Anakin Skywalker stares out from the cover of Ciné Live, a movie publication that features several pages of Episode II imagery and coverage.

The Force is with Hayden Christensen - April 23, 2022

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen’s career could fall apart by 2004, and he’d still make the Hollywood A-list because the Force is with him. As the next Anakin Skywalker (and future Darth Vader) in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and Episode III, the Toronto-based actor earned hot-property status and secured himself a place in sci-fi film history when he was handpicked by George Lucas over more than 400 hopefuls (including Leonardo DiCaprio). “I couldn’t really come to terms with why he chose me, other than the fact that I look like the kid,” Christensen, 20, says. “You just have to focus on the work and trust that he knew what he was doing. I recognize that it’s a big deal, and there is a constant pressure that I won’t live up to the expectation.” Episode II Attack of the Clones begins ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace. Not only has the galaxy undergone significant changes, but so have our familiar heroes Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman) and Anakin Skywalker (Christensen) as they are thrown together again for the first time since the Trade Federation invasion of Naboo. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic. To avoid Mark Hamill-style stereotyping, the blue-eyed, clean-cut, big-grinned Christensen took on a darker role as Kevin Kline’s estranged son in Life as a House immediately after filming Episode II - Attack of the Clones. To get into drug-addled character, Christensen dyed his blond hair black, painted his fingernails, wore blue eye shadow and shed 25 pounds on a water-vitamins-salad diet. The risk earned him Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. Considering his passion for the arts, it’s hard to imagine Christensen once dreamed of playing professional hockey and (instead of wielding a light saber) developed his backhand well enough to score a college tennis scholarship. When he tagged along with his sister to meet with an agent, they were both signed up, and he popped up in features like In The Mouth of Madness, Strike! and The Virgin Suicides. But Christensen really started to get attention when he landed a regular role on the Fox series Higher Ground. Two years later, he still hasn’t come to terms with impending fame. After much resistance, he recently got a Los Angeles apartment and started a production company with his brother Tove. “People keep trying to prepare me for what’s ahead, and I try to take it as it comes and be cool, ” he quips.

Hayden Christensen Isn’t Scary - May 11, 2022

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen is not scary. He may play the man who will become one of the cruelest mass murderers in modern- day fiction -Darth Vader-the black-hooded lord of evil who massacres billions of innocent people, but in person, the skinny 21-year-old doesn’t seem scary at all.

As he meets with press at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Northern California before “Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones” opens, Christensen seems acutely and cautiously aware of how the movie can catapult him into superstar status. With delicate pale features, dirty-blonde hair and soft gray-blue eyes, he has a look that has made him a toast of Young Hollywood, and though he was a relative unknown when cast in the high profile role, he recently received kudos for his portrayal of the rebellious, sexually-ambiguous son of Kevin Kline in “Life as a House.”

But now all attention is on the man who will be Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, and after hundreds of questions about the role, Christensen has no trouble picking the most obnoxious question he continues to get. “The most obnoxious? ‘So, you’re the next Mark Hamill?’ And I’m just kind of like, ‘Yeah. Okay,’ That’s not really for me to say,” he laughs. Hamill shot to superstar status after playing Luke Skywalker in the first three “Star Wars” movies and his character is actually the son to Christensen’s Anakin. And while his “Star Wars” costar Harrison Ford (Han Solo) went on to superstardom in roles like Indiana Jones, Hamill’s career has fallen into relative obscurity and he tends to live off of being Luke Skywalker. Not having met Hamill, Christensen says he hopes to soon, and figures, “Actors are in control of their own destiny. Who knows why someone makes certain choices?”

Well-grounded with a close family -he still lives at home in Toronto with his parents-Christensen is prepared for stardom, having already seen his face on dozens of magazine covers. But fame has its drawbacks. “It definitely limits your choices when you want to go out to the convenience store and get some snack food,” he smiles. “Your face is everywhere.”

When fans finally get to see him in “Episode II,” they will get a glimpse of his dark side as he moves closer to becoming the most powerful Jedi Knight. But Christensen himself is anything but mean-spirited. “I don’t know that I necessarily care to share whatever evil lurks inside of me,” Christensen smirks. But he does like some Jedi philosophies. “I like the idea of a sort of rigidness and very defined structure that’s necessary for a Jedi in order to sort of be so in tune with the Force. It’s something that can extend as a sort of positive and productive way of life for most people, I think, having that structure, and having some sort of consistency in your life is necessary.” He acknowledges his character is a bit like a priest, unable to experience love, which is why Anakin and Padmé Amida (Natalie Portman) secretly sneak off to get married.

“The dedication and sacrifices you make are very similar, especially in terms of not really being able to experience a romantic love, a physical love - it’s something that extends both to religious figures and Jedis,” says the young actor. “I think there’s definitely a greater sense of human interaction and a building-up relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin and Padmé, and the way these relationships are able to define your character I think is something that is obviously very common in the previous trilogy.” He grew up enjoying “Star Wars,” especially when his brother, who’s eight years older than he is, sat him down and made him watch all three of the first films when they were young. But Christensen was more into “He-Man” cartoons, and the movie he loves to watch over and over is the campy adventure fantasy “The Princess Bride,” with Cary Elwes and Robin Wright.

“I remembered seeing ‘Star Wars’ as a child, and remembered how much I enjoyed the film, and how vivid the impression of its world actually was,” he says. But when the movie was re-released in theaters, he got a new opportunity to experience it. “I actually was able to enjoy it more on the big screen, and definitely became a fan then.” He incorporates some of the monotone aspect of James Earl Jones’ heavy breathing behind the mask of Darth Vader into his character of Anakin and was even instructed by Lucas to be more bratty at times, more whiny. “That’s one of the key principles of his descent to the Dark Side, but you never want to come across as just a complete brat,” Christensen says.

“I saw in Hayden an actor who could believably pull off that mix of innocence an maturity as he get seduced by the Dark Side,” creator and director Lucas says of the young actor, who he considers to be the perfect teen version of Anakin (following 9-year-old Jake Lloyd’s portrayal of the role in “Episode I - The Phantom Menace”). Christensen settled into the role, even doing some ad-libbing in a scene with Portman when they’re having a romantic dinner and he elevates a piece of fruit off her plate and cuts it for her as they chat. “He (Lucas) asked me to just improvise the story where I was just talking abut one of my Jedi experiences, so that in a sense we could escape some of the rigidity of the way people talk in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, which is not the way normal people talk, and so he wanted to show the tenderness and human emotion that was prominent in their relationship,” Christensen recalls. “Then the line about ‘aggressive negotiation’ came up two years ago and he liked it and five months ago we shot the bit in the arena where we brought the line up again.”

Because a great deal of the movie was shot against a green screen so computer-generated effects could be inserted behind the actors, Christensen didn’t interact much with the scenery or with the creatures seen in the final product. So when he finally saw the finished film, he was thrilled. “I had no idea that he was capable of creating such extreme environments,” he says, mainly of the look and feel of the planet of Naboo. But his favorite scene in the film is one he’s not in: “Where Obi-Wan walks into a room and Yoda’s training little baby Jedi, and he puts a little hologram projector onto the stand, and the whole universe comes into form in front of him, I thought was just incredible.”

When the cast did venture to some real backdrops, it was just as impressive. Switzerland’s Lake Como is the setting for the most romantic moments of the movie, and Christensen says, “Its absurd beauty makes it a place that can be used as a ‘Star Wars’ environment because it is so extreme.” Extreme is a word that also works for Christensen, whose career choices have gone the range from a recently completed hit play “This Is Our Youth.” in London with Anna Paquin (in which he plays a youth who experiments with drugs), to filming an indie with his brother Tov this summer. Those choices, along with “Life as a House” and a role in the Fox Family Channel TV series “Higher Ground,” are dramatically different than this sci-fi superhero. “I like to play a radically different character for my own fulfillment. That’s sort of the joy of acting, is getting to take on sensibilities that are very removed from your own,” he says. After he finishes working on the yet-untitled film his brother is producing, Christensen will return to Australia to film the final “Star Wars” episode next summer.

“It will be a very dark film to parallel my character’s journey. This is the telling of someone who goes sour. So I think when you look at the idea of the saga as a whole, you’ll see two characters who through minute degrees of the choices they make are led on different paths,” he says. “One is an uplifting journey, a journey filled with goodness, and one is the opposite.” The journey is well underway in “Episode II,” as Anakin is torn between his heart’s true desire and his growing responsibilities as a Jedi. If faced with the same situation, what would Christensen choose? “Well, I’m not the Chosen One so the repercussions for my actions aren’t that severe. I think I would definitely follow my heart,” he smiles. And what would that be? He smiles even wider. “Doing what I’m doing right now.”

Source: Mike Szymanski

Hayden Christensen: Visiting the Dark Side- May 18, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

His status as a romantic lead and hot Jedi warrior will be established as he plays the pre-Vader Anakin in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones but 21-year-old Hayden Christensen seems to keep it all in perspective. Born in Vancouver but raised in Toronto, Canada, Hayden got the attention of George Lucas with his role in the TV series Higher Ground. He gained critical acclaim when he tackled an emotional and difficult role as Kevin Kline’s embittered son in the drama Life As a House. Hayden has checked out Oxford and Cambridge and may pick Cambridge for his college education. For now, he still lives in Vancouver where he can relax with family and friends. At idyllic Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California recently, the actor filled in the blanks and set the record straight on his relationship with Lucas, co-star Natalie Portman and his feelings about playing one of the great film villains of all time.

We wondered how the young actor learned that the coveted role was his. “I was in Vancouver and just finishing (his run on the TV series) Higher Ground. I was in bed at the time and my roommate walked into my room and tossed the phone on my bed. I was half asleep. I got on the phone and was told the role was mine. I immediately woke up and was just overwhelmed with joy. I went out with my friends that night and enjoyed myself. I went to go see a film that day. I think it was Gladiator. I was just completely in shock and didn’t know what to do with myself.”

Hayden seems ready to handle all the sudden fame and heartthrob status that this film will generate. “That’s something that I never really associated myself with prior to all this happening and it’s something I sort of have a hard time getting my head around now. It’s not something I’m too aware of, to be honest. I get my joy from doing the work. That’s where my fulfillment comes from. All of the peripheral attention you get from being in a film like this is very much secondary. That kind of stuff is flattering.” What about rumors that are unkind? “It’s hilarious. When people don’t really have acute information to draw from or any factual data, they just infer what they would like to be real. Getting to read that stuff, it’s humorous. My theory is that as long as it’s not true I’m fine with it.”

Hayden’s relationship with director Lucas developed right away. “At first, I was (intimidated) because he has such a huge following. The Star Wars films are massive. They were huge in my childhood and in my brother’s childhood. So it was a little daunting at first to create that actor-director relationship. But George makes it very easy once you get to know him. He’s a very kind man, and he was very aware that our relationship was going to be important to my portrayal of Anakin.

So he did everything he needed to in order to make me feel comfortable.” The actor was up against Ryan Phillippe, Leo DeCaprio and other heavyweight heartthrobs for the part. “Throughout the whole auditioning process I kind of felt like the part was going to go to one of them. I really, really never felt like there was a tangible possibility that the part was going to go my way. In retrospect I realize why maybe (George) chose me over better-known actors. If you have an actor with a more public persona playing a part like this it’s harder for the audience to really believe him in that role.” As a big fan of the first trilogy, Hayden was in awe on the Tunisian sets left standing since 1977. “I’d get that ‘pinch myself, this can’t be real’ feeling probably once a day. When we were filming in Tunisia and I had my bike parked next to me, there was no dialogue involved, but I was asking directions from a Jawa. There was the everlasting landscape. The sun was setting. That, to me, always represented what the previous trilogy was about. One day, at the end of the day, last shot of the day, I thought, `This is surreal.’

“He admits to marathon sessions of watching the early Star Wars films. “I watched the original trilogy about 10 times over before we started filming and I watched Episode I every weekend during the filming process. I felt I had a vested interest in making sure my character was an extension of Jake Lloyd’s performance.” We reminded him that Jake got some pretty bad press on his acting. “Jake is a kid. He was eight years old at the time. To actually critique his performance is cruel. You wouldn’t do it if he were performing in a school play. Just because he’s doing it on a different platform, I think it’s kind of wrong (to criticize him).

” Hayden wanted a smooth transition for his character. “I thought that elements of Jake’s performance were very key to what Anakin’s descent was going to entail. That immaturity was hopefully a part of my performance, in terms of how he reacts to certain stimuli in the film and his mindset of feeling that guidance isn’t so much necessary at this point in his life.” What about those romance rumors that always follow hot young couples in high profile films? Did Hayden actually blow a few kissing scenes in order to get re-takes? “No, not at all. It happened a couple of times, but it wasn’t on purpose.” Playing a character who is so conflicted was a challenge. “Probably the romantic scenes were more of a challenge. The preparation for the lightsaber scenes was more extensive, just because I wasn’t a master swordsman before we started all this. So learning the fights took some time. But the trail of the romantic aspect of my character was tricky because he’s very conflicted. There’s a duality to his personality that’s hard to maintain. He is obviously very passionate about someone, but there still has to be some sort of menacing evil lurking behind it.” He admits that he and co-star Natalie Portman worked at their relationship off camera in order to achieve some chemistry. “It was something we were conscious was necessary for the relationship to work. So it was something we did work at in terms of trying to become very comfortable with each other. That was a process of just hanging out for the most part and figuring out each other’s boundaries. Natalie is a very committed actress and a very pretty girl as well. (smiling) Having to look at her with such adoring eyes wasn’t the most difficult to do.”

The actor knows that this high profile role can enable huge changes and choices in his life. “Career-wise it will hopefully enable me to play roles I’m passionate about and to tell stories I feel a need to tell. One of the joys of just being an actor is that in your time away from it you can go do whatever you want. I want to go back to school. I’d want to study English, literature. I just miss that learning environment. The acting is all-consuming and after playing a few characters on top of each other you almost start to lose your sense of self, because you become so lost in these characters’ sensibilities. So I’m kind of looking forward to spending some time working on being myself instead of somebody else.
” Hayden plans on shooting a smaller film this summer with his brother. He’ll play a journalist. But, what about slipping into Vader’s helmet for Episode III? “I was always hoping that I’d get to wear the dark helm. That’s the only thing I’ll ever ask George about is getting to wear the Darth Vader outft. He likes to give me a wink-wink, nudge-nudge. I have actually put it on, but just for the hell of it. The last time I was here (at the ranch) I was checking out the archives and I saw the Darth Vader helmet. I got a picture of myself in this gray tracksuit with this enormous Darth Vader helmet. It looked really funny.” (As for working in the next episode) “I’m looking forward to it. I can only extrapolate from what’s told in the previous trilogy about my character. But I have to murder the entire Jedi race.” Pretty heavy, Hayden. Watch out for the dark side!

Source: Lynn Barke

Christensen: I’m Not Gay - July 5, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen has lost himself a potentially devoted fanbase by laughing off suggestions that he’s gay. A leading American gay magazine declared Christensen to be “definitely gay”, and Hayden’s more amused than annoyed at the speculation. He says, “It’s hilarious. I’m not gay. It’s amazing how much people will speculate if they haven’t actual information to draw from, they just make up whatever they feel is appropriate. “That’s cool. As long as the people I know and care about know the truth then everyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter.” Cast and crew on the set of the upcoming Attack Of The Clones film know where the 20-year-old’s tastes lie - he often forced extra takes of his kissing scenes with stunning co-star Natalie Portman by turning to the camera grinning and flashing a thumbs-up. He laughs, “They would be like, ‘You have to stop doing that Hayden! Now we have to do the whole scene again.’ I’d be like, ‘Fine’.”

A Knight’s Tale - May 2002

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

NO ONE WAS MORE SURPRISED THAN HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN WHEN THE YOUNG CANADIAN WAS TAPPED TO PLAY ANAKIN SKYWALKER. HERE THE CABLE TV STAR-TURNED-DOOMED-JEDI KNIGHT RECOUNTS HOW HE LANDED IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE.

Not long ago, in a city not far away, Hayden Christensen was sound asleep in his Vancouver apartment, when the call came that changed his life forever. “I was in bed and my roommate walked in and handed me the phone,” he recalls. “As soon as I heard the voices of my manager, agent and lawyer all at the same time, I assumed they weren’t calling to give me bad news.”

Instead, the Vancouver-born, Toronto-raised actor was told he’d just won the coveted role of Anakin Skywalker in the next two instalments of the Star Wars series. “It was blissful and very surreal,” says Christensen, 21, who beat out more than 350 others, including Ryan Phillippe, Chris Klein and Leonardo DiCaprio, despite having the name recognition of your average North Dakota senator. “I was half convinced it was this big scheme that [the producers] were running… I figured I was sort of like their decoy and they were going to say I had it just to throw everybody off, and later they were going to announce somebody else.”

Christensen, a former competitive tennis and Triple-A hockey player, then in B.C. shooting the TV series Higher Ground, had every reason to disbelieve. After all, despite being a 10-year show-biz veteran (his first big break came on the Canadian soap Family Passions in 1993), Higher Ground was his biggest role so far. So how did he end up as the boy who would become Darth Vader?

Credit his aggressive handlers, who secured their client an interview with Lucasfilm casting director Robin Gurland back in early 2000. Within months, the six-foot-one Christensen (born Sterling Hayden Christensen, but known to his pals as “Big H”) was one of just 10 actors selected to interview with director George Lucas.

“He’s kind of like a rock star,” says Christensen, relaxing today in a Los Angeles hotel suite. “He has this entourage that just follows him around. But when you’re alone with him, he’s very disarming.”

They met at Skywalker Ranch, the Northern California compound which serves as the nerve centre of Lucasfilm. “I walked into the room and sat down on the couch opposite him. He had my resume in his hand and he looked over it for almost four minutes and said absolutely nothing. Then we started talking - not about Star Wars - but about my academics and my sports and my experiences in life.”

Their conversation likely touched on how Christensen, the third of four children born to writer Alie and software designer David, ended up in show business. “It’s an interesting story,” Christensen says in between chugs of bottled water. “My sister Hejsa was a junior world trampoline champion. When she was 13 or 14 she did a commercial for Pringles. The director wanted her to get an agent, so I went along because there was no one at home to babysit me.” That’s when Christensen was “discovered” and offered the chance to appear in a handful of Canadian television commercials.

Landing the gig in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones took a little more work. First, there was the small matter of a screen test with co-star {and on-screen love interest) Natalie Portman. “It was a scene that’s not going to be used in the actual film, but was still in the context of Star Wars,” he explains. Immediately, sparks flew between the two young actors. But was it romance or just a case of on-screen chemistry?

Although Christensen admits his co-star “made it very easy to look at her with adoring eyes,” he insists published reports of an off-screen romance are untrue. So far, he hasn’t let the tabloids get to him, though. “As long as they are not telling the truth in the tabloids I am okay with it. As soon as they get the truth, then I’m worried.”

But Christensen is willing to share certain information about his private life -like the fact that he continues to live at home in suburban Thornhill, Ontario, just outside Toronto, with his parents and teen sister, Kaylen. (His older brother Tove, 28, is an aspiring producer; sister Hejsa, now 26, has given up acting and the trampoline and “is trying to save the world” by attending law school.) “My family has a very important role in my life in terms of the decisions that I make,” he says. “I have a wonderful relationship with my parents.”

Still, the actor admits, ‘When I’m filming I become a bit of a recluse and I tend to push everyone away. I become very self-conscious around people that I care about when I’m trying to be something that I’m not, so I make sure that I am by myself when I’m filming. They will come visit me for a week or two, but only if I ask them to.”

Unlike his hot-headed character, Hayden wasn’t much of a troublemaker growing up. “My parents never grounded any of us,” he reveals. “They had me doing so many different activities that I didn’t have any time to do stupid stuff. I was always so heavily involved in athletics that I didn’t even have the chance to go to my friends’ birthday parties.” Indeed, sports were a priority in the Christensen household. Hayden’s father attended college on a football scholarship and brother Tove earned a free education from the Univer5ity of Pennsylvania thanks to his track skills. Originally, Hayden planned to go to university on a tennis scholarship, but got sidetracked by acting.

Yet, despite a love for his profession, he says he has yet to warm up to the Hollywood lifestyle and doesn’t really like Los Angeles. “It just seems too full of ambition. It’s overwhelming. Besides, all my friends are in Toronto.” And most of them are not actors, he says, adding that since he got the role in Attack of the Clones, his circle of friends has become much “smaller and much more defined.” Still, that small group of friends can’t hide their curiosity about the storyline for the much-anticipated sequel to 1999’s The Phantom Menace, which earned nearly $500-million (U.S.) at the box office, despite lukewarm reviews from fans and critics.

Unfortunately, he remains tightlipped about the project, saying only: “My character is very defined by elements out of my control - by other films and by other people who have played him. So the means in which I have to create are limited.”

The official Lucasfilm site offers only a brief plot summary: “Anakin has grown into the accomplished Jedi apprentice of Obi-Wan, who himself has transitioned from student to teacher. The two Jedi are assigned to protect Padme whose life is threatened by a faction of political separatists. As relationships form and powerful forces collide, these heroes face choices that will impact not only their own fates, but the destiny of the Republic.”

All other details are top secret.

After filming Clones, Christensen hung up his lightsaber and starred as a troubled, multiply pierced teen in the gripping Kevin Kline drama Life as a House which actually beat the Star Wars film to theatres with a November 2001 release. Since then, he’s juust been hanging out at home and letting my mom cook me breakfast.”

And enjoying the last few weeks of privacy, before being a Jedi completely takes over his life.

“I will experience a loss of anonymity that’s going to be unsettling,” he predicts. “You have to be pretty deranged to want to be famous on that level. But it comes with the territory. For now I relish the fact that I can still take the subway and do normal things with my friends that I might not be able to do in a year.”

The Force is strong in this one - March 2002

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

People always equate fame with happiness and finding importance in this world,’ says Hayden Christensen, ‘and that concept is ridiculous. It’s… wrong. People who seek fame are deranged’

Next month, Christensen turns 21. By May he’ll be the most famous 21-year-old on earth. A lean, handsome young man with intense blue eyes, his is the unmasked face of Anakin Skywalker, the young Darth Vader, eventual Lord of the Dark Side, and universal emblem of evil. Soon, Christensen will be a bendy action figure, a computer-game character, the face on the back of every cereal packet on the planet.

This year’s contribution to the most successful movie franchise of all time, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of The Clones, was recently billed by its co-star, Natalie Portman, as ‘George Lucas’s Titanic; it’s dark, but a love story’. Which is unfortunate for Leonardo DiCaprio, who also auditioned, unsuccessfully, for the part of Anakin. And even more unfortunate for Hayden, who could now become… this year’s Leonardo.

‘Well, I never wanted that,’ says Christensen, rocking in his seat almost to the point of falling off backwards, ‘and I don’t understand that. I don’t want it.’

Hayden Christensen is a serious actor, with an easy, knowing smile and an intense look which has led Lucas to describe him as ‘one of those brooding young Turks, in the Marlon Brando/ James Dean mould’. Canadian, and therefore slightly wry, he prefers 47 words where six will suffice - words such as ’surreality’ and ‘expositional’. But that could be, he decides, because he’s consumed by his current character. Christensen is on a break from rehearsals for the West End theatre production This is Our Youth.

His character, Dennis, is a dope-smoking coke-head with a passion for complex language. He co-stars with Anna Paquin (The Piano, X-Men) and Jake Gyllenhaal (who stars alongside Dustin Hoffman in the forthcoming Goodbye Hello) as bright, slacker-generation rich kids, who skew reality’s banality via words, theft and drugs.

‘The play’s almost like a Waiting for Godot,’ muses Christensen, ‘where nothing really happens, but it’s more about irony and this lingo they’ve created in trying to escape reality. It’s definitely relevant to today’s generation.’

Christensen’s career started with a crisp. In 1988, aged seven, he accompanied his older sister, Hejsa, then Junior World Trampoline Champion, to an audition for a Pringles commercial where trampoline theatrics were required. There, he was spotted by an agent, and within months he’d been cast in a series of cough medicine ads. Aged 12, he appeared in Canada’s first daytime soap, Family Passions, and graduated on to various low-key TV and film roles while a student in a Toronto ‘performing arts’ high school.

An outsider to the ‘cliques’, Christensen preferred ‘not being cool’, loved ‘physical humour’ and became ‘great at falling down stairs’. An athletic achiever - ‘I had a very scheduled approach to accomplishing everything’ - he imagined, one day, that he’d win a tennis scholarship, and maybe even Wimbledon.

‘Instead, I had some unusual connection to this… art,’ he says, puffing away on a Marlboro Light. ‘I was managing to progress a lot faster than my classmates. And then I got cast in a big movie and now I’m acting in plays in London. It’s almost like that Pygmalion feeling of “maybe this has happened too fast”.’

One month after completing the TV series Higher Ground, in which he played a sexually abused teenager with a drug problem, the then-18-year-old Christensen auditioned for Star Wars. He found the prospect so daunting that he threw up on two flights to Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in California, but convinced the director he could play young Darth anyway. Once cast, he spent most of 2000 filming in Australia. The process began with a month’s coaching in light-sabre technique an experience he describes as ‘orgasmic’. Then he’d go drinking, naturally, with Ewan McGregor.

‘Mistuhr Mah-Gregguhr,’ announces Christensen, in a spectacularly spot-on impersonation. ‘Ewan I adore, we had good fun. Were we drunk? Aye.’

McGregor personally taught him to work-in-the-blue, ‘reacting to things which aren’t there’. Then came rumours of a real-life love affair with his on-screen love-interest, Natalie Portman.

‘We were playing this… chemistry on set,’ says Christensen, ’so I guess it’s easy to speculate. My theory on the gossip is, if it’s not true, then I’m OK with it. And I’ve been OK with it. So it’s not true.’

What does that mean? Your eyebrows are dancing off the top of your head…

‘Yes. Eheheh! Y’know. She’s a very beautiful girl, but that doesn’t mean I wanna date her. Why are you laughing at me!?’

Because you’ve turned completely pink.

‘No! Obviously you believe these rumours! Which is completely absurd!’

So you’re not the Britney and Justin of film?

‘Noooo. Never. I don’t think it’s a good idea to date actresses. Especially when you have to do sequels with them. So I managed to stay away from it. Very mature, I think. Our… our… our relationship was purely professional. Unfortunately. You still don’t believe me! And that’s fine!’

This year, the ’speculation’ in Britain may shift on to Christensen’s talent, when Life as a House opens on this side of the Atlantic. He received a Golden Globe nomination for the part of Sam, a goth-punk junkie living with his dying father, played by Kevin Kline (who pronounced Christensen ‘intelligent, sophisticated, the genuine article’). In the opening sequence, the pierced and made-up Sam sniffs nitrous oxide and attempts auto-erotic asphyxiation.

During filming, Christensen, who knows nothing of teenage torpor or drug rebellion - other than ’smoking cedar plants’ in his back-yard - punched a wall so hard in improvisation that he sustained a hairline finger fracture.

‘All my characters have characteristics I don’t know anything about,’ he notes, ‘and that’s the joy. Being able to justify their actions, and find sympathy in their wrongs, and understand their accomplishments. After Life as a House I took a while off and tried to remember who I was at the beginning of the film. You obsess, and it’s exhausting, to lose your sense of self.’

Regarding his spiralling celebrity stock, George Lucas has advised Christensen: ‘Don’t embrace it, it’ll really make you a disillusioned person.’ Regarding the rumour that Lucas recruits handsome young men such as Christensen in order that he can introduce them to his daughters, he laughs and says, ‘Well, I’ve met his daughters. But that’s ridiculous. That’s a good one, but it’s not true.’ Today, Christensen still lives at home in Toronto, sleeping in his childhood bedroom. Ask him what his room is filled with and you see George Lucas’s advice clouding over him like a spectre of protection.

‘Oh, personal stuff.’

What’s on your walls?

‘Oh, nothin’. Paint.’

Come on. One object!

‘A big bed! My room is all bed… you walk in, you have to dive on the bed.’

There are no posters, most definitely, of actors. ‘I never really admired actors,’ he says. ‘I mean, when you’re a kid, you admire a hockey player, you wouldn’t admire an actor. Why would you look up to an actor? They’re not important people. They’re pretending. That’s why I don’t understand fame as it relates to actors. I can understand fame as it relates to a president, or someone who’s trying to better a group as a whole, in reality, but not someone who’s trying to entertain and take people out of that reality.’

Bono once said: ‘Celebrity belittles real life, which is where actual heroism is.’

‘Yeah, yeah,’ Christensen nods. ‘And it inhibits your perspective as an actor, to tell something truthfully. And that’s your job, to have some sort of sharing of truth. Actors are observers. They’re trying to have an understanding of human sensibility. And how do you have that accurate observation if you regard yourself as someone of great importance? When you’re the one constantly being observed, because they view you as a celebrity? It’s all wrong.’

He stops. Chortles. And tells me something else which isn’t true.

‘I’ve also heard that my name is Irving Hayden Christensen.’

I’ve heard it’s Sterling.

‘Sterling,’ he hoots. ‘That was it! Well, it’s been Hayden from birth.’

Every internet site being created for you as we speak cites that one as fact.

‘Really?’ he says. ‘Well, they’re all wrong. Everything is a lie.’

Do you believe, incidentally, in The Force?

‘Do I believe in The Force? [guffaws.] No, but as Anakin, yes I do. I’ve had to.’

I think you’d sooner believe in The Farce.

‘Yes, yes,’ he smiles. ‘I’m a true believer in The Force.’

Source: ThisIsLondon.Co.Uk

A force to reckon with Hayden Christensen- March 2002

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen may not have received an Oscar nomination for his work in Life As A House, but his performance made moviegoers and studio executives alike take notice.

Christensen, who was born in Vancouver but raised in Toronto, was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role but lost out to veteran actor Jim Broadbent for Iris. In Life As A House, Christensen plays Sam, a young man who has to come to terms with his own identity and with the fact that his estranged father (Kevin Kline) is dying of cancer.

Source: Tribute.Ca

Hidden Talent Awards Hayden Christensen - January 2002

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The ‘House’ That Skywalker Built Award Goes to… Hayden Christensen For ”Life as a House” Why? In ”Life as a House,” he takes drugs, pierces multiple body parts, and nearly commits suicide. You think Christensen’s trying to prove his range before ”Star Wars” prequel mania engulfs his career? Mission accomplished. ”House” brought viewers enough heart-breaking father-and-son scenes to keep Kleenex in business for the next millennium. Even when he’s light years away from the galaxy of George Lucas, the Force is definitely with him.

(Golden Globe Nomination: Actor in a Supporting Role)

Life as a House: Sterling Hayden

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The Next Anakin Skywalker Shows of His Acting Chops in Life as a House.

With Life as a House, 20-year-old Hayden Christensen has accomplished that rarest of feats for up-and-coming actors: he’s proven he can act. But at the same time his fame has skyrocketed in a way we haven’t seen since moviegoers went ga-ga for Matthew McConaughey well before the release of A Time to Kill. Run Christensen’s name through the Google search engine and you’ll be inundated with over 100 fan sites, including the notoriously-named Hayden Christensen Estrogen Brigade. So who is this guy? If you know his name, it’s probably as the luckiest actor in the world — the guy George Lucas cast as Anakin Skywalker in the next two Star Wars films, the boy who beat out DiCaprio for the role. But his star may rise before anybody even sees the preview for Episode II: Attack of the Clones, because Christensen’s performance in Life as a House is already generating loud Oscar buzz and drawing comparisons to James Dean.

The film is about an architect (Kevin Kline) who learns he is terminally ill and chooses to spend his last days carrying out his dream project: building his own house. When he enlists the help of his ex-wife (Kristin Scott Thomas) and estranged son (Christensen), the house becomes the vehicle for the shattered family to reconcile. Christensen transformed himself for the role — his character, Sam, is a drug abuser, a sometime prostitute, a major Goth fashion victim, and he’s got enough piercings to make St. Sebastian cringe. The troubled teen couldn’t be more different from Christensen himself, who took classes at the Actors Studio, attended one of the top high schools in Toronto, and grew up playing hockey and tennis. The actor lost 25 pounds for the role, subjecting himself to a diet of, as he has described it, “salad, vitamins and water.” The third of four children, Hayden stumbled into acting when he tagged along with his sister to her audition for a Pringles commercial. While there, he got — cue the magic word — noticed. An agent asked him, “Do you want to be in commercials?” He started doing commercials at the age of nine, did a few made-for-TV movies, then landed a part on the Fox Family drama “Higher Ground,” an acting commitment that twice forced him to postpone his audition for the role of Anakin Skywalker.

When he finally met with Lucas, the Star Wars auteur simply sat and talked with him, got to know him, before asking him back two months later to read opposite Natalie Portman. (In Episode II, Anakin and Portman’s Queen Amidala engage in a little interstellar romance.) “I was looking for someone who was charismatic, boyish and likable, yet someone who had the ability to turn bad in the next film,” Lucas has said. “Hayden is young and charming, but at the same time, he’s got an edge to him.” It’s an edge that was sharpened for Life as a House, which Christensen shot after Episode II, returning from that movie’s Australia set to find a pile of scripts and offers waiting for him. Like Anakin, the role of Sam was a hot prize: director Irwin Winkler interviewed 75 actors, beyond the hundreds who merely auditioned. But when Winkler saw Christensen read with Kevin Kline, “I noticed that Kevin was glancing over to me in a kind of ‘Who is this kid?’ way,” he said. “It was a signal between two people that we found somebody truly exception — and Kevin fell madly in love with him.” Shortly after the Anakin announcement, Christensen appeared on “Entertainment Tonight,” seemingly cornered in a parking lot, giving shy answers in what must have been his first interview. Since then, his public persona has been quickly spit-shined and he now makes the publicity rounds — from Leno to Cosmo to the New York Times — with the efficiency of an old pro. The sudden spotlight comes with a price, of course. While shooting Episode II in Australia, a paparazzo photographed him smoking a cigarette. When the photo ran in a Sydney paper, Christensen said, “That’s how my father found out I was smoking.”

Source: Moviefone.com

Sizzlin’ Sixteen 2002: The Guys: Hayden Christensen- January 2002

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen’s career could fall apart by 2004, andouble-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: E Online

Shattered Glass Press Release- September 24, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

LIONS GATE SHOOTING “SHATTERED GLASS,” STARRING HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN AS CONTROVERSIAL JOURNALIST STEPHEN GLASS
Written and Directed by Billy Ray, Film is Based on 1998 Vanity Fair Article

MONTREAL, September 4, 2021 - Production is underway on “Shattered Glass,” a feature film about Stephen Glass, one of the most controversial figures in contemporary journalism. Billy Ray is directing the film from his own screenplay, which is based on an article by H.G. Bissinger that appeared in the September 1998 issue of Vanity Fair. “Shattered Glass” is jointly produced by Cruise / Wagner Productions and Baumgarten Merims in association with Forest Park Pictures. The film’s executive producers are Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner of Cruise / Wagner as well as Lions Gate executives Michael Paseornek, Marc Butan and Tom Ortenberg. “Shattered Glass” is being produced by Craig Baumgarten, Adam Merims, Gaye Hirsch and Tove Christensen. A Lions Gate production, “Shattered Glass” will be distributed worldwide by the company next year.

Hayden Christensen stars as Glass, a staff writer for the respected current events and policy magazine The New Republic and a freelance feature writer for publications such as Rolling Stone, Harper’s and George. By the mid-90s, Glass’ articles had turned him into one of the most sought-after young journalists in Washington, but a bizarre chain of events - chronicled in Bissinger’s Vanity Fair piece — suddenly stopped his career in its tracks. “Shattered Glass” is a study of a talented - and flawed - character.

Hayden Christensen most recently starred as Anakin Skywalker in this summer’s hit “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” and will appear in Star Wars III in 2005. But it was the role of a troubled teenager he portrayed in Irwin Winkler’s drama “Life as a House” for which Christensen first received acclaim, including an award for Best Breakthrough Performance from the National Board of Review and nominations for Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards.

Supporting cast members in “Shattered Glass” include Peter Sarsgaard as Charles Lane, the incoming editor of The New Republic. Hank Azaria plays Michael Kelly, the outgoing editor of The New Republic under whose reign Glass had become a star. Chloe Sevigny plays a staff writer at TNR. Steve Zahn plays Adam Penenberg, the reporter at Forbes Digital Tool whose findings changed the direction of Glass’ promising career. Rosario Dawson plays a fellow reporter at Forbes.

“This is a cautionary tale - a story about the difference between being a good reporter and being a hot one,” said writer-director Billy Ray (“Hart’s War”), who makes his directorial debut with “Shattered Glass.” “That’s what Buzz Bissinger’s article was about, and that’s what we’re trying to capture.”

Production begins on “Shattered Glass.”

Lions Gate President of production Michael Paseornek said, “This is a fascinating story that fits right in with other recent LGF productions such as CONFIDENCE, MONSTER’S BALL and RULES OF ATTRACTION that combine cutting edge material with commercial sensibilities.

Baumgarten added, “This is a great opportunity and Adam and I are thrilled to be making this film with Billy and help launch what we believe will be an important and exciting directing career. The story and Billy have attracted one of the most talented casts that we have ever been privileged to work with.”

Wagner said, “Cruise / Wagner Productions has had several successful collaborations with Billy Ray as a writer. Now, we are thrilled to support his directorial debut with such a highly regarded project that has attracted Hayden Christensen and this stellar cast.”

Said Forest Park Pictures’ Tove Christensen: “Forest Park has been looking at ‘Shattered Glass’ as a great role for Hayden for about a year, and the fact that the project has come together so quickly is a testament to the quality of Billy’s script.”

“Shattered Glass” will complete production in Montreal during the third week of September.

Lions Gate Films is the motion picture division of Lions Gate Entertainment (AMEX and TSE: LGF). Lions Gate creates, produces and distributes a broad range of filmed entertainment content worldwide through its four operating divisions - Motion Pictures, Television, Animation and Studio Facilities. The Lions Gate brand name is synonymous with original, cutting edge, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

Hayden Christensen at Celebration II!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen, the riveting actor who plays gifted young Anakin Skywalker in Episode II will be at Celebration II in the Indiana Convention Center this May. Christensen will celebrate with Star Wars fans the coming premiere of Attack of the Clones in what will be his only convention appearance this year.
Christensen, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in last year’s drama Life As a House, was the perfect choice for the complex role. He will carry Anakin through his transformation from earnest Padawan learner to the infamous Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.

Robin Gurland, Casting Director for Attack of the Clones, said about Christensen, “Hayden has those special qualities you hope to find in an actor. He pops off the screen. And he had two of the characteristics that I was really seeking for the character of Anakin: He has the vulnerability, and he has the edginess that’s needed. We really had to have that combination, and it’s rare to find an actor who can go back and forth so well.”

When the then 19-year-old Canadian actor was selected as the new Anakin for Episodes II and III, he knew he would be filling a key role in the Star Wars saga — a part played by actors ranging from eight-year-old Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace, to 82-year-old Sebastian Shaw in Return of the Jedi.

Christensen’s screen credits include The Virgin Suicides, Strike, and In the Mouth of Madness. His television credits are Purple Haze, Free Fall, and he was a regular on the series Higher Ground.

Christensen is a 6-foot-1-inch athlete who has played everything from hockey to football. He plays competitive beach paddle tennis with his brother; works out on the trampoline; goes skateboarding, rollerblading and mountain biking. Christensen even practiced stage fighting — a skill that he honed while working with Attack of the Clones Stunt Coordinator Nick Gillard.

“Star Wars has always been big for my generation,” Christensen said. “When Episode I came out my entire high school went to the theater for the first showing. It was a big event, and to be a part of that now is very special.”

Christensen will be on stage for interviews at Celebration II, and to answer questions from the audience. Hear what it’s like to learn to use a lightsaber, to work in a Star Wars film, and to portray the greatest Jedi of all time, Anakin Skywalker.

Source: Star Wars.Com

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 journo Stephen Glass in Lions Gate’s “Shattered Glass”; in 2005 he’ll topline the final episode of the “Star Wars” sextet.

Source: Variety- Claude Brodesser and Dana Harris

Hayden Christensen- The Chosen One, This Boy Is

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The Star Wars universe was buzzing when George Lucas announced that a Canadian, Hayden Christensen, was chosen to be the new Anakin Skywalker in the two upcoming prequels to his trilogy.

Almost instantaneously, the cyberworld risked being overloaded as the online debates began to rage. Fans from all corners of the globe logged on to analyse, philosophize, critique and scrutinize this virtual unknown.

Can he pull it off? Should Lucas have chosen someone more experienced for such a key role? Valid concerns, after all, we are talking about THE Dark Lord himself, Darth Vader.

Hayden, now 21, was born in Vancouver and later moved to Toronto where he went to school. “Star Wars has always been big for my generation,” Hayden said. “When Episode I came out my entire high school went to the theatre for the first showing. It was a big event, and to be a part of that now is very special.”

Hayden broke into acting in an unusual way. His sister was already doing commercials and when she went to get a talent agent, “there was no one to baby-sit me and I went along for the ride and they asked me if I wanted to do some commercials and I said sure,” recalls Hayden. When he was 12 years old, Christensen had a continuing role in the first Canadian television soap opera, the daily hour-long Family Passions.

Since then, Hayden has been busy with both TV and movie roles. He is probably best known (that is, if a virtual unknown can be best known for something) for the Fox Family Channel series Higher Ground, the Sofia Coppola film The Virgin Suicides and, of course, more recently, Life as A House.

Casting director, Robin Gurland, is confident in the selection of Christensen, “Hayden has those special qualities you hope to find in an actor. He pops off the screen,” she says. “There is something so interesting going on behind those eyes; you just want to know more. He has the vulnerability, and he has the edginess that’s needed. We really had to have that combination, and it’s rare to find an actor who can go back and forth so well,” and adds, “But, besides that, to me, he is just an amazingly seductive and intriguing actor.”

Hayden was chosen from hundreds of potential Anakins hailing from as far away as Iceland. The field was whittled down to 442 candidates, down to 25 and then down to the final four. Gurland said that the ultimate decision was not easy, because all four candidates were so talented. “It’s always a difficult process, but part of it is chemistry and how someone fits within an existing ensemble, and also how you picture his character as the future father of already established Star Wars characters.”

Perhaps Hayden was meant for this role, after all, he says, “My brother Tove and I have always been big fans. We used to play some of the early video games religiously, for an hour at a time, to make sure we became Jedi Knights.”

The process culminated at the Main House at Skywalker Ranch. “It was really a very relaxed situation,” Gurland said. “George, Natalie [Portland] and I would sit down with whomever we were testing and just chitchat for a while. Then the actor and Natalie would rehearse and George would give notes. When everyone felt comfortable, we’d go to where we were shooting, do a blocking rehearsal and then tape until George felt he had gotten what he wanted.”

Then, finally the big day. “I was just waking up and my roommate walked in and handed me the phone and it was my agent and manager, and they were pretty excited, so I knew as soon as I got on the phone,” Christensen said. “I walked outside just stunned and in disbelief. I called my mom first thing, and my roommate started blaring the Star Wars soundtrack in the background. I didn’t want to tell my mom right off, but of course she heard the music and started flipping out,” he laughed.

As a true Canuck, Hayden loves pizza, Our Lady Peace and played competitive Triple A hockey. He says he also played tennis competitively and hoped to get a scholarship to university, “but I got a bit sidetracked with acting,” he said.

Regardless of what the sceptics are saying, Hayden has already established himself as a credible actor capable of distinguishing himself from the crowd. Having been chosen for the coveted role of Anakin Skywalker, Hayden has now been propelled into the stars - and it is where he will most likely remain.

Source: Fazeteen.com

Hayden Christensen Talks “Attack of the Clones”

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

October 24, 2021 - When Hayden Christensen applied for the enormous role of Anakin Skywalker in Episodes II and III, he was just one in 10,000, and any chance of making the cut seemed like a fantasy. Appearing recently on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, Christensen confessed that the trip to California for the audition with casting director Robin Gurland made him so nervous that he threw up en route, before even reaching Skywalker Ranch.

Now, when he looks back at his experiences playing Anakin on the Star Wars set, Christensen says that it still seems unreal. “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,” the young Canadian actor told Movieline magazine. “I couldn’t be happier to get the part, but it wasn’t something I considered within the realm of possibility.”

However, he’s getting used to the idea of being the future tyrant of the Galaxy, and as he got settled in, he was able to calm down and have a lot of fun on-set. “[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.”

Christensen re-iterated some of those sentiments in an interview with Dark Horizons this week. “[I] couldn’t define for myself what I was feeling when I found out that I got the part. It was a week of just sheer bliss and I got to work.”

Since finishing his main stint on the Attack of the Clones set, Christensen has used his new-found fame to land a role in Life as a House, a drama being given a limited release this week and a wider release on November 9. Hayden had his hair dyed jet-black last winter for the part but was warned by his jeffe numero uno George Lucas that he’d better get his appearance back to normal in time for some Star Wars reshoots that were coming up. “It was a close call,” said the actor. And what’s Hayden up to now? Heading back to London for yet more reshoots, though he doesn’t know exactly what’s left to film. It’s all part of the interactive movie-making process that Lucas subscribes to, and the demands it makes on his actors are just part of the territory.

It’s worth it, of course – after all, what role could be cooler than a spot in a Star Wars flick? When asked what his favorite part of the filming was, Christensen replied, “Wearing the big cape was pretty empowering. The saber of course, was pretty cool too.” Moviegoers will have to wait to share in that coolness until Memorial Day 2002, but they will be getting a taste of it this November, which leads us to the second part of this article.

Fan site TheForce.net has posted confirmation that there will indeed be an ATOC teaser attached to copies of the upcoming Monsters, Inc. In fact, the folks at Pixar have already been treated to the teaser, since it played in front of recent Monsters cast and crew screening. And none other than Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, introduced the Star Wars trailer and stated that it would play with all copies of Monsters, Inc. across North America.

If you’re impatient and want to know exactly what awaits you in the first official Star Wars preview, the abovementioned TheForce.net has a complete description. Just to summarize here, however, this teaser will take an interesting approach – starting without any dialogue or the signature Star Wars refrain. During the silence, glimpses will be shown of the film’s main characters and exotic locations. It’s described as “really short,” but keep in mind that a second teaser appearing later in November will be longer in length.

Source: IGN

From Star Wars fan to Lead Actor

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

“I constantly kind of had the Star Wars theme playing through my head whenever I walked on set.”

Hayden Christensen, the new Star Wars heart-throb, says he has been advised by director George Lucas to treat the experience with humility.

The 21-year old Canadian actor plays Anakin Skywalker in Episode II - Attack of the Clones.

Christensen’s career started at the age of 13 when he appeared in numerous TV shows. He recently starred on the big screen opposite Kevin Kline in the drama Life as a House.

He says he has been a fan of the sci-fi classic since he was a young child.

“I just remember being lost in the whole fantastical universe that is Star Wars,” he says.

“I was a fan, but didn’t watch it every weekend thereafter. I really got into the trilogy when they were digitally re-mastered and theatrically re-released.”

Dark side

In Attack of the Clones, Christensen plays Anakin Skywalker 10 years on from the first prequel, The Phantom Menace.
In Episode III he will become Darth Vader. Lucas has said that he wanted a young actor who could carry off the character’s dark side as well as having onscreen chemistry with co-star Natalie Portman.

“I never really had any trepidations about taking the role, it was something I was never going to pass on,” says Christensen.

“It was obviously a little daunting trying to figure out why I got the part.”

Filming for Episode II started two years ago. Christensen says the first week was “filled with lots of emotion”.

He adds: “I constantly kind of had the Star Wars theme playing through my head whenever I walked on set.”

He says the experience of being surrounded by some of the best film-makers in the world, including the legendary Lucas, was somewhat intimidating.

“It was kind of like the Pygmalion feeling of maybe I’m not really supposed to be here,” he explains.

Life-changing

“It was just a matter of letting go of those feelings and focusing on the task at hand.”

With the kind of fanatical following that comes with being part of Star Wars, Christensen knows it could change his life for good.

“George has advised me not to embrace it and to take everything with a good sense of humility,” he says.

“I don’t really see how it’s something you can exactly prepare for, you just have to take it as it comes.”

A crucial part of the storyline in Episode II is the romance between Anakin and Padme Amidala, played by Portman.

Christensen says the two actors worked hard to ensure their intimate scenes together were not clumsy.

“It was a combined effort,” he explains.

Weird

“There was a play to become comfortable with each other and spend time outside of work so there wasn’t any real awkwardness when we had to do those scenes.

“If anything we had a laugh afterwards and it was just sort of silly.”

However, he adds, “kissing your friend is still kind of weird”.

With hundreds of Star Wars fans queuing outside cinemas around the world, Christensen is well aware that he is part of a unique phenomenon.

“Obviously, these films have attracted a huge following and people get very fanatical about things that they really enjoy,” he says.

But as for camping out in the streets since January, as some fans have done in the US, the young actor draws the line.

“It’s not something I’d do, but I can appreciate other people wanting to do it.”

Source: BBC News

Lucas lights up Star Wars premiere

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Die-hard Star Wars fans sang Happy Birthday to director George Lucas at the London première of Attack of the Clones.
Lucas, celebrating his 58th birthday, was among many stars turning out for the latest instalment of the epic science fiction film series at London’s Leicester Square.

He said the best present would be “that everybody likes the movie” - and praised the cheering crowds.

“It’s very special to be here. It’s amazing that it’s stood up all these years and it’s still as popular as it’s ever been.”

Others turning up at the Odeon opening were Oscar winner Halle Berry and one of the film’s stars, Samuel L Jackson.

Jackson said of the film: “It’s one of the coolest things I’ve done.

“My light sabre skills are impeccable, you want to take me on outside the theatre?”

Hayden Christensen, who plays Anakin Skywalker, and Christopher Lee, who plays Count Dooku, also turned up.

Christensen said: “I wasn’t even born when the first movie came out, so it’s amazing to be part of this. This is very exciting.

Light sabre

“I really enjoyed myself, I got along, with a sense of humour, with all the people.

“But I must admit I’m really not that great with a light sabre when they choreographed all the fights. I practised but I’m really not that good.”

Some other celebrities, such as pop group Atomic Kitten, Pop Idol judge Nicki Chapman, chat show host Frank Skinner, comedian Johnny Vegas and pop duo H and Claire, were also there.
But lead actors Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman did not turn up because of work commitments.

Thousands of fans waited behind the crush barriers in Leicester Square, some saying they had waited 26 hours for the moment.

BBC Liquid News presenter Libby Potter, at the scene, said that judging from the crowds, Star Wars fever was unabated.

“It’s as many people as I’ve ever seen at one of these events”, she said.

Fans have waited three years for the return of Star Wars, many having been disappointed with the last instalment, The Phantom Menace.

Lucas himself has admitted the prequel did not live up to expectations.

Orchestra

Critics have been kinder to the latest film, describing the storyline and effects as much more impressive.

Despite The Phantom Menace’s critical drubbing it became the third most successful film ever, earning nearly $1bn (£690m) at the box office.

But Lucas told reporters at the première he was not interested in which did better.

“I’m not in a contest. I make movies, I’m not a racehorse.”

The London première also featured the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing John Williams’ scores from the Star Wars trilogy, for which he won an Oscar in 1978.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones goes on worldwide release on Thursday 16 May.

Source: BBC