Archive for the ‘Internet '03’ Category

Almost Infamous- October 03, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Former DP editor Stephen Glass was caught fabricating articles for several prominent publications just a few years after graduation. Now a movie telling his story is completing production It’s 9:38 p.m. on May 8, 2022 and one light is still on in an otherwise deserted New Republic office. Stephen Glass sits precariously on the edge of his chair, staring dull-eyed at the computer screen. Late nights are not unusual for Washington’s rising journalistic star, who in two short years rose to the position of associate editor at the prestigious New Republic. He has freelance contracts with Rolling Stone, George and Harper’s, not to mention a working project with the New York Times and night school to get his law degree. But tonight is different. The teal hue of the Jukt Micronics Web site reflects off his glasses as a bead of sweat emerges from his brow, sliding down the side of his face like a falling tear. A couple of hours ago, Charles Lane, the editor of The New Republic had confronted him about the inaccuracies in his newest story “Hack Heaven.” But Glass had been quick on his feet, putting Lane on the defensive by acting hurt and making Lane feel guilty about not “backing” him up. Time was running out, though. It wouldn’t be long before everyone knew that the article, as well as all the people, places and events it contained, had been a sham. Glass, now breathing heavily, reaches for his desk drawer, opening it to reveal a brown vial of Prozac. He picks it up, but his shaking hands rattle the pills like chattering teeth. After fumbling with the child-proof top, he tosses a dozen pills into the palm of his hand.

As he eyes them, the phone rings. It’s his brother, telling him that he had left a message as Jukt Micronics executive George Simms on the Forbes Digital Tool answering machine. “Are you mad at me?” Glass asks his brother. “…I just hope you know what you’re doing.” Stephen hangs up the phone and puts the pills back into their container. Maybe his brother’s call will buy him some time, he thinks. The next morning, Glass is speaking with Lane again — but this time Adam Penenberg, an editor from the online publication Forbes Digital Tool, and its executive editor, Kambiz Foroohar, are on the phone as well. “We looked at the [Jukt Micronics] Web site and it looks very suspicious,” Foroohar said. “Why?” asked Lane. “It doesn’t look like a real Web site. It looks like a Web site that was created for purposes different from what it proclaims to be.” This could be a problem, Glass thinks to himself. Does this lede sound too good to be true? Do a couple of details strike you as a little too personal, too perfectly conceived and appropriate? That’s because some of these details — the internal monologue, the Prozac, the dialogue between Glass and his brother — are fabricated. The only person that knows what happened the night before Stephen Glass was finally caught in his web of lies is Stephen Glass. No one knows the entire story of Glass, one of contemporary journalism’s greatest fabricators and one of Penn’s most infamous alumni. And he does not talk to anyone, especially journalists.

The lede, however, is true to form, an anecdotal style Glass perfected — a style better suited to Hollywood screenplays than the annals of reputable magazines. Ironically, Glass’s own story is almost as unbelievable as the tales he created, a juicy anecdote for the media and eventually the film industry. Five years in the making, Shattered Glass — a movie about Glass’s quick rise to journalistic stardom and his infamous fall — wrapped up shooting in Montreal last week. It all began in September of 1998, when Vanity Fair published “Shattered Glass,” an article by Buzz Bissinger that is now considered to be the definitive Glass biopic: covering everything from Glass’s formative years to his time spent at The New Republic. In 1998, HBO optioned the article, bringing in established screenwriter Billy Ray to create a script based on Bissinger’s coverage. What attracted Ray to script was not only the quality of Bissinger’s article, but a personal connection he felt with both Glass and Lane’s characters. “The biggest thing for me, personally, was that I have a little Stephen Glass in me, as we all do,” Ray admits. “I felt that I understood these two guys, and I wanted to write about them.” That little bit of Stephen Glass, Ray explains is that “deep need to be praised.” While Ray had written movies before — the lascivious Color of Night, the blockbuster Volcano and this year’s newest Holocaust oeuvre Hart’s War — this was to become his first attempt at directing.

“There are a lot of writers who are obsessed with becoming directors, and I was never one of those guys,” Ray recalls. “But once this script was written, for the first time in my career, I really felt that it was a story that I wanted to tell myself, and it was a story I thought I could tell.” Back in 1998, however, it was questionable whether or not this script would ever see the light of day. Because of changes in HBO’s corporate hierarchy the script remained “on the shelf” for over a year. Eventually, Lions Gate productions bought the screenplay, which, once unearthed, garnered a lot of attention. Tom Cruise’s production company Cruise/Wagner wanted a piece, along with Baumgarten and Merims’s production company. And surprisingly, Forest Park Productions — which had been interested in doing a movie about Glass before knowing about Ray’s script — wanted in. It was not long before the actors began to line up as well. Greg Kinnear flirted with the idea of playing Charles Lane, before they finally went with Peter Sarsgaard, who is no slouch himself.

Hank Azaria signed on to play Michael Kelly, the editor who oversaw Glass before Charles Lane. Steve Zahn plays Adam Penenberg, the reporter who finally broke the story. Quite the cast for a low-budget film that chose to shoot in cost-efficient Montreal. But who would play Stephen Glass? Motivation is a Hollywood buzz word. “What’s my motivation?” a petulant actor might ask, but in the case of movies based on true stories, real motivation is a hard to unearth, especially when your main character refuses to talk to the media. Bissinger, as well as Ray, did extensive research into Glass’s background, finding at least two sources to back up every event in the movie. After all the research, the reasoning behind Glass’s actions is still a mystery, but the facts seem to speak for themselves. By his junior year at Penn, Glass was the editor-in-chief of The Daily Pennsylvanian. A drive to succeed, however, had always been a part of his life, even in adolescence. Glass grew up in Highland Park, an affluent suburb outside of Chicago. Jeffrey Glass, his father, is a gastroenterologist, and Michelle Glass, his mother, is in nursing. Bissinger’s article portrays Glass’s hometown as a community zealously dedicated to the education of their children, and the Glass family was no different. Once accepted to the University, Glass was under pressure from his parents to take pre-med courses and to excel at them. After a less than stellar performance, however, Glass dropped his parents’ route for his own passion: journalism. Although Bissinger was never able to get an interview with Glass, he does admit to meeting Glass in the spring of 1994 at the annual DP Banquet here on campus. Bissinger was a guest speaker at the banquet, where he met both Stephen and his parents. “They [Glass's parents] asked me to help him get an internship,” Bissinger vividly recalls. “I had never met his parents before in my life. It was just this relentless ambition.” But those who knew Glass during his college days found him accessible and eager to please. “We were friends at The Daily Pennsylvanian,” remembers Roxanne Patel, who worked with Glass on the DP’s 108th Editorial Board. “He was a very personable guy — an incredibly intelligent, warm, hardworking person.” All alumni interviewed, including Patel, remember Glass as an unassuming person who had the ability to get people to open up and tell him almost anything. Trustworthy may have been the word they were searching for. Although Forest Park was by far the smallest production company involved, it made the largest contribution to the film: Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass. But this is not surprising since Forest Park Productions is owned and operated by Hayden’s brother, Penn alumnus Tove Christensen. Anakin Skywalker as Stephen Glass? It may seem unfathomable.

Yet Hayden first gained recognition as Sam Monroe in the indie film Life as a House, a role that was, safe to say, more artistically demanding than playing a Jedi in Star Wars. “We were looking to do something that was smaller, character driven, a psychological journey of character that he would be attracted to as an actor and that we thought would have some appeal to an audience from the storytelling point of view,” producer Tove Christensen explains from his L.A. office. It was only later that he realized he had been at the University while Glass was the executive editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. “It was just an interesting sidenote,” he recalls. “You think, ‘I wonder how many articles I read when I was at Penn that were fictionalized in some way.’” Peter Sarsgaard as Charles Lane But what really intrigued both brothers was the duality of Glass’s character: “Was he a pathological liar or was he a genius in what he did?” Unable to fully explain the nature of Glass’s talents, he offers: “There is one scene in the film where Chuck Lane is describing why he thinks people responded to Stephen’s articles. And he says he tells stories about things that we thought we already knew or wanted to believe.”

Although this may be a paraphrase of what it is to pander, even pandering, if done well, could be considered a journalistic skill. Liars always make great for great characters in literature, film or theater: Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Kevin Spacey’s Roger “Verbal” Kint in Usual Suspects, even Dustin Hoffman’s Michael Dorsey in Tootsie. They all work because of the tension created by a character with a secret. For, if one thing is true, Stephen Glass is a liar and a damn good one at that. Glass did it in his own way, though. He manipulated the journalistic freedoms afforded by the prestige of The New Republic in order to weave fantastic yarns about characters on the social fringe. He wrote sensational ledes that should have given someone — anyone - pause, but very few questioned the validity of Glass’s sources. “When an editor gave him an assignment, he had an uncanny ability - and now we know why - to come back with the perfect anecdote, the perfect story, the perfect interview,” says Bissinger. “He just knew how to key in.” But Glass did not fool only the unsuspecting public; he was able to deceive some of the most prominent names in journalism, people known for their cynical and inquisitive minds. Glass either partially or fully fabricated 27 out of the 41 articles he wrote for The New Republic. In an article for George, Glass got away with printing a quote from a fake source about Clinton advisor Vernon Jordan’s sexual proclivities. In Harper’s, he claimed he had been hired by the highly suspect psychic-phone network, Psychic Believers Network.

The New Republic believed he founded a fake anti-Clinton organization called the Commission to Restore the Presidency to Greatness. The stories for George and his New Republic story about D.A.R.E. were aberrations, however. Part of Glass’s cunning was that he knew a fake person could not sue him for libel. If you make something up, he realized, you might as well go all the way and make sure your main character does not exist, because then he will not have a lawyer. Simple, but terribly dangerous. All it would take was one person who knew something Glass did not, and that person could spot his wandering pen. That one person was Adam Penenberg. The May 18, 2021 piece “Hack Heaven” is the final article Glass wrote for The New Republic. Its portrayal of Ian Pestil, a 15-year-old hacker who supposedly broke into the Jukt Micronics corporate Web site, was too perfectly conceived. Penenberg - who at the time was an editor at Forbes Digital Tool - admits that he was not quite sure whether or not Ian Pestil or Jukt Micronics existed, until an exhaustive search on Lexis Nexis turned up only Stephen Glass’s article. As Penenberg readily admits in “Lies, Damn Lies and Fiction,” the article that broke the scandal, “It’s tough proving a negative. It is even tougher proving that something or someone does not exist.” Yet Glass’s story seemed plausible enough.

According to his article, Pestil hacked into the Jukt Micronics corporate computer system and posted everyone’s salary along with lewd photos reading “THE BIG BAD BIONIC BOY HAS BEEN HERE BABY.” Essentially being held hostage by Pestil, Jukt Micronics had no other choice but to compensate him handsomely and hire him to revamp their Internet security system. Plausible, sure, but completely made up. As soon as Penenberg realized the truth, he informed Lane, Glass’s editor. Although Glass never confessed, Lane soon found that the Jukt Micronics telephone number belonged to a cell phone, and that cell phone most likely belonged to Glass’s brother. Pestil’s adolescent tirade, as captured in Glass’s lede for the story, is now a part of journalistic folklore: “I want more money. I want a Miata. I want a trip to Disney World. I want X-Man comic [book] number one. I want a lifetime subscription to Playboy, and throw in Penthouse. Show me the money! Show me the money!” The article even goes as far as to detail Pestil’s agent’s business card which reads “super-agent to super-nerds.” The details were so colorful - so in accordance with the popular conception of renegade hackers running amuck on the Internet - that Glass was lauded rather than suspected. Every device, down to the minutia of bracketed quotes, was used in order to grant the story a legitimacy it did not deserve.

“Let’s give Stephen credit,” Bissinger admits. “He was clever and he was charming, and he knew the fact-checking system, and people just got sucked in.” Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass Glass, however, is not alone: journalism has a storied history of fraud and fabrication. In 1981, Janet Cooke admitted that her Pulitzer Prize-winning story “Jimmy’s World” had been nothing but fiction. And in 1998, Stephen Glass was not the only one on the journalistic chopping block. Columnists Michael Barnicle and Patricia Smith were caught up in a similar scandal for the Boston Globe. Barnicle plagiarized quotes from George Carlin’s book Brain Droppings, while Smith reportedly fabricated some of the characters in her columns. Beth Piskora, in a June 17, 2021 story for the New York Post, allegedly created a story about mobsters who had robbed people with fake Y2K software that sent money to a mob-controlled account. Barnicle later admitted that his unethical actions sprang from pure laziness, for many the impetus was the pressure of the highly competitive profession. “Stephen Glass is indicative of a larger phenomenon,” explains Barbie Zelizer, a professor at the Annenberg School of Communication. “Journalism takes place out of sight, [so there is a] built-in trust of journalists.” Without this trust, Zelizer explains, journalists would not be able to do their jobs. But how much should the public trust their journalists? “You must be an educated consumer with media,” Penenberg warns.

“[Fabrications] happen all the time.” Zelizer comes to the same conclusion: we as a public must assume a critical stance in order to protect ourselves from fraudulent stories. The answer, however, is not that simple. Glass worked for one of the most prestigious magazines in the country. The nature of his anecdotes, and the fact that people believed them, goes beyond simple ignorance. “Glass couldn’t have been the only one deceiving his readers and editors,” writes Tom Scocca in a Boston Phoenix column printed soon after Glass was fired from The New Republic. “They were deceiving themselves.” Ana Marie Cox, in a column for Mother Jones, echoes Scocca: “His stories gave credence to the assumptions his editors and readers already wanted to believe.” Stephen Glass, therefore, is in a league of his own, due not only the sheer quantity of articles that he partially or fully fabricated, but to their quality and apparent credibility as well. And though many wonder how he got away with it, the real question is why his readership and his editors let him. One may have to wait for the fall release of Shattered Glass to get at least partial answers to these questions. But even then, what was really going on inside Glass’s head will continue to be a mystery. Penenberg offers one way of looking at it, “Even if he did tell you [why he did it], would you believe him?”

Anakin’s Showdown- October 05, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Anakin Skywalker’s inevitable showdown with Obi-Wan Kenobi, was always going to be something of a stormer. Indeed, we had it pegged as a right-royal set-to that would put all but the most rowdy bar-room bundle to shame. But, if Hayden Christensen is to be believed, the final showdown in Episode III might just be the punch-up of all time.

Talking to Latino Review, Christensen carefully tiptoed around George Lucas’ watertight confidentiality agreement and told the site about the apocalyptic lightsaber duel with his former master. “I will say, on the record, the final fight sequence in this film will, in my opinion and not having seen any of it cut together, surpass any fight sequence that has been put on film so far. It’s the longest, I can’t give you specifics, but it is quite the bad-assed fight scene. [Fight co-ordinator] Nick Gilliard has done an amazing job instilling an arc of story in the fight. It justifies, because you know Anakin and Obi-Wan have it out, but Anakin is the chosen one - he is supposed to be the best. But he comes out on the shorter end of the stick in the fight.” No one can argue that the duel in Attack of The Clones was impressive and the three-way fight in The Phantom Menace was truly a sight to behold so, if the bar has really been raised, fans are in for the treat of a lifetime.

The Antihero

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

It would be easy to resent Hayden Christensen. In addition to being blessed with great genetics that have already won him a rabid female following, the young actor seemed to have appeared out of nowhere to snag one of the most coveted roles in movie history: that of Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader, in two of the Star Wars prequels. By all accounts this whole acting thing has come fairly easy to the 22-year-old Canadian native. While many performers struggle for years to land their first agent, Christensen stumbled upon his when he was 8 years old. “My sister was a trampolinist who had been asked to do a Pringles commercial and needed to get an agent. I went along for the ride because there was no babysitter at the time. I was waiting in reception when an agent came out and asked me if I wanted to act, as well,” recalled the actor. “I think it was more out of being polite that I said OK, but it was a good excuse to take a day off from school every now and then.”

That same casual attitude came into play when he was being considered for the Skywalker role in Episode II: Attack of the Clones, a competition that found him up against such high-profile stars as Leonardo DiCaprio. Christensen was so sure he wouldn’t land the part that he skipped his second audition for the film. “I had every intention of going, but was doing a television show [Higher Ground] in Vancouver at the time. I thought I had the day off but I didn’t, so I sort of cancelled at the last minute,” he admitted. “It just seemed too far-fetched for me to take seriously. Even when they first asked me to audition, I was like, Well… OK…sure…” Okay, sure? He understands how crazy this must sound to the outside world, and he is quick to add that his behavior was a way of protecting himself. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up or get too attached,” he said. “So when I couldn’t make the second audition, I wasn’t too devastated, because it just seemed so far out of my reach.”

Luckily, George Lucas gave the young actor a second chance, inviting him to Skywalker Ranch in Northern California for a later audition. Christensen made it this time, and the rest is movie history. The actor, who at that point only had a few minor roles in films such as The Virgin Suicides or appearances on television, was suddenly the star of the most popular film franchise in history. Some actors might have been intimidated by the job or feared being forever associated with a single character, but he didn’t hesitate. “Those thoughts never really entered into the equation,” he said. “I don’t see how you could really turn down such a part. When I got the offer, it was just sheer bliss.”

So he has been fairly blessed in his career, but it would be a mistake to chalk up his successes to pure luck. Anyone who caught his work in the 2001 film Life As a House, which starred Kevin Kline as a dying architect and Christensen as his resentful son, knew Lucas made the right choice. Taking on a role that could have easily escalated into a stereotype, Christensen outshone co-stars Kline and Kristen Scott Thomas and walked away with acting nominations from the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. He also chose to follow his Star Wars experience with not another big-budget blockbuster but by making his professional stage debut in the London production of Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth. And in writer/director Billy Ray’s current release Shattered Glass, Christensen again finds himself delivering a beautifully nuanced performance as real-life journalist Stephen Glass, who was discovered to have fabricated multiple stories in the late 1990s. All this, and the soft-spoken Christensen even appears to be keeping a level head in a crazy industry.

Life As a Glass House

Long before the Jayson Blair scandal rocked America, Glass was playing fast and loose with journalistic ethics. At age 25, Glass was already an associate editor at The New Republic and contributed to Rolling Stone, George, and Harper’s. A celebrity of sorts among Washington journalists, Glass was adored by his peers and known for his bold and detailed coverage of stories that sometimes seemed too good to be true.

As it turns out, they were. In 1998, The New Republic published a letter revealing that Glass had made up all or part of the facts in 27 stories written during his tenure there. Shattered Glass makes no attempt to explain why the reporter did what he did but instead focuses on the effect his actions have on those who trusted and supported the young writer. If the film has a hero, it’s editor Charles Lane, vividly brought to life by Peter Sarsgaard, who begins to unravel Glass’ deceptions.

Christensen admitted to having some reservations about playing a real person-especially a person who had no interest in seeing his life played out on screen. “He didn’t really want anything to do with our film, understandably,” said the actor. “It was something I kind of struggled with at the beginning. How do you not live with a guilty conscience, knowing that you’ve brought the most trying part of someone’s life to light and committed it to film for someone to walk into a video store and rent whenever they so please?”

If Christensen sounds sympathetic to Glass, it’s intentional. “I didn’t really want to give him an arrogance. When you play a character who is so flawed, it’s sort of an actor’s rule of thumb that you can’t judge him because then your interpretation is not an objective one and you have your own bias that comes through in your portrayal. So I was as sympathetic as possible and really tried to focus more on humanistic aspects of dealing with what he had done and what motivated him to do it: one, because we’re making a film about accurate storytelling, and two, because I couldn’t meet him so I could never ask why.”

Ultimately, Christensen decided it was better he didn’t come face-to-face with the real Glass. “I had enough accumulative information on him, considering that he wasn’t a well-known public figure and it wouldn’t be like doing a Nixon impersonation. I never had to hold up a mirror and say, “Am I getting this right?” I think that’s a trap you can fall into, and it keeps you from doing good work. I had an in to the character and my own take on what apparently motivated him to do this. I wasn’t concerned with making sure that I looked exactly like him, though I did want the broad strokes to be more or less accurate. But other than that, it was more about making my interpretation believable, which I think is easier when you’re not trying to imitate.”

Something that helped him shape the role was a photo of Glass that ran in Buzz Bissinger’s Vanity Fair article, upon which Shattered Glass is based. “I kept that picture with me at all times and really managed to derive a lot of my performance from just that still image. There’s something about his smile, there’s a look in his eyes where there’s distance. And inherently, in playing a con, there are those innate layers of who the person is at the core and what they have to present in order to deceive and create an environment for those lies to exist. You add some nuance and little idiosyncrasies, and you suddenly have a three-dimensional character. And there’s lots of fun to be played in those characters.”

And if he had any doubts about dredging up the past for Glass, he was ultimately swayed by the power of the story. “People need to be held accountable for their actions. What he did is a popular topic of conversation concerning ethics, especially in today’s society.”
Blockbusters and Career Builders

One has to wonder if Christensen is consciously trying to balance his blockbuster franchise with edgier fare. “I just do what gets me excited,” he said with a shrug. “I’ve been offered films that are much larger in scope and the characters are pretty familiar-sort of your generic heroes that aren’t conducive to doing work that’s going to push the envelope and make you grow as an actor. That’s kind of what my intent is, to better myself as an actor and not concern myself with the impact it will have on my career as a whole.”

So what’s the secret to enjoying a lengthy career in this fickle industry post-Star Wars, to being more like Harrison Ford than Mark Hamill? Even Christensen isn’t sure. “Honestly I don’t really try to navigate my career as far as the choices I make and the impact it will have on my world. It’s all really predicated on the stories that appeal to me and the characters that are interesting to me.” He also isn’t concerned with forever being known as the boy who would be Vader. “The whole typecasting thing, I think, is a little outdated. I can see how it had an impact on actor’s careers 20 years ago when there weren’t a lot of big blockbusters made. Now there’s, like, four every summer. It’s not like I’m on a television show where people will see me in one part for 10 years and that’s it.”

In choosing his roles, he has often displayed a complete fearlessness that actors twice his age have yet to master. During his break between Episodes II and III, he opted to appear alongside Anna Paquin and Jake Gyllenhaal in This Is Our Youth, as a high-strung drug dealer. It was another risky, non-heroic role for the actor, who jumped at the chance to make his professional stage debut in such an anticipated show. “You might say I was naively fearless, ” Christensen said with a laugh. “I was just really eager. Kenneth Lonergan is one of the finer playwrights out there right now and, as time passes, will be regarded as being one of the defining writers of his time. It was a neat part and a great time in my life.” Christensen won raves for his performance, Curtain Up London comparing him to a young Marlon Brando, and he relished the period of time when his life became all about the theatre. “I’d just go to and fro and sleep, breathe, and eat theatre. It’s definitely far more exhausting than making a film, and you experience your character’s life in its entirety every single night. It definitely starts to weigh on you after so many performances. Actors in the olden days would make a film during the day and rush to the theatre and do their show at night. I don’t know how they did it. But I definitely want to maintain some equilibrium between filmmaking and theatre.”

Time Out

For an actor who began his profession so young, Christensen doesn’t appear to be anywhere near going Hollywood. He still resides in Toronto, close to his family, whom he credited with helping to keep him grounded. His brother and sister were even willing to appear with him on the Discovery Channel’s Eco-challenge: Fiji Islands, which Christensen called “the most physically and mentally challenging thing I’ve ever done.” He also founded the production company Forest Park Pictures with brother Tove, who later became a producer on Shattered Glass. He joked that his only form of rebellion has been avoiding the Internet, as his father is a software developer. “I still haven’t figured out how to turn a computer on,” he said. “All my siblings are really well versed on the computer. I was kind of a good kid growing up, so this is my one act of rebellion.”

He has a simple way of keeping his wits in a crazy industry. “You take full advantage of your time off,” he noted. “One of the nicer aspects of what we do is that there’s a lot demanded of you when you’re actually working, but when you’re not you can go and explore any other facet of interest. I try to keep that as removed as possible from being an actor. That keeps you grounded and in the right place.”

Asked if he had any advice for actors looking for their big break, he admitted, “I’m still trying to figure it out myself.” But he offered the following: “I think the initial spark that makes you think you want to be an actor has to be cherished and preserved, because that desire can evolve into something that has really nothing to do with acting. That’s one of the traps. So cherish that spark.”

Another Cracking Christensen Christmas- December 23, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Star Wars star Hayden Christensen always makes sure film contracts allow him to head home to Canada for the holidays, because he can’t bear to be apart from his extended family at Christmas.

The actor, who plays Anakin Skywalker, in the Star Wars prequels, admits his family’s home is usually decorated so it looks just as festive as any department store.

He says, “Every Christmas is an event in my house. You get all the extended family to come to our place and it’s a very festive house.

“We go over the top with the decorations and the Christmas spirit. Every year I can’t wait for December to come around just for that reason.”

Christensen is desperate for one of his siblings to have children, so he can dress up as Santa Claus.

He adds, “We haven’t had anyone play Santa Claus in a while because the youngest attendee at Christmas is my little sister, who’s 18, so it would be a little redundant if we had someone dress up.

“I was actually the last Santa Claus maybe four years ago. We were actually in New York at my grandparents, who live on Long Island and I have a little niece who was about six, and they decided I would be the best Santa Claus.

“I got all dressed up. I wore the red suit, put the beard on and put a sack over my shoulder and did the `Ho, ho, ho!’ I got into character and it was one of my best performances, even if I say so myself.”

Finally the Bad Guys Win- June 30, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

The republic is crumbling, the forces of evil are massing and a legion of science-fiction fans are quivering in anticipation. The final chapter of Star Wars, the world’s most iconic film series, begins unfolding today when filming starts at Sydney’s Fox Studios. Nearly 1000 crew members will work on the $173 million production, which will star about 60 Australian actors and several hundred extras. For the first time, notoriously obsessive Star Wars fans will get to watch aspects of the production on web-cams beamed live across the Internet throughout the three-month shoot.

However, they will have to pay $30 for the privilege – and it’s unlikely series creator George Lucas will allow Internet footage to reveal aspects of the plot. Cast and crew are bound by confidentiality agreements until the film, still known only as Episode III, reaches cinemas in 2005. It will revolve around impetuous young Jedi warrior Anakin Skywalker being seduced by the dark side of the Force on his way to becoming the villainous Darth Vader. The conniving Senator Palpatine takes an iron grip on the Galactic Senate on his path to becoming Emperor, and orders the destruction of the entire Jedi order. Only two Jedi are believed to survive the subsequent cataclysm – Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Lucas, who only finished writing the script a few days ago, has said the tone will be much darker than other films in the series. “Let’s face it, all the bad guys win in the end, all the good guys are dead except for a couple, so it doesn’t have a happy ending,” he said. Lucas and principal actors Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen have been in Sydney for several days and held a pre-production party at trendy nightclub Boheme. Australian actors confirmed to appear include Joel Edgerton, Jay Laga’aia, Genevieve O’Reilly, Bruce Spence, Kristy Wright and Warren Owens. Characters from the original trilogy who will appear in the new movie include Yoda, droids R2D2 and C3PO, and hulking wookie Chewbacca. All Australian shooting will be inside Fox Studios, although some “plate shots” – landscape backgrounds later combined with visual effects – have been taken in New Zealand, Italy and Switzerland. A huge team of programmers and designers remain in the United States working on the computer-generated special effects. Australia has emerged as a popular location for Hollywood blockbusters. The Matrix trilogy was also filmed at Fox Studios and producers of Alexander the Great are looking at sites around Broken Hill.

Christensen Prepares To Join The Dark Side- June 08, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Star Wars star Hayden Christensen has been working out in preparation for his role in the next installment of the sci-fi franchise intensifying speculation he will play Darth Vader. The Virgin Suicides actor has already appeared as youthful Anakin Skywalker in the second prequel but it had been thought that a different actor would be used when the Jedi character joins the dark side in Episode III. But Hayden has hinted that he will be donning the fearsome black costume when his character makes the fatal choice to turn bad.He explains, “I’m probably in better shape than I’ve ever been in my life. “You can’t have a wimpy Darth Vader. I’m working out every day for an hour or two and I’m eating anything I can get my hands on.”

Shattered Glass,’ about a lying journalist, turns the ‘intrepid reporter’ drama inside out-Dateline: Fantasyland- October 26, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

In “All the President’s Men,” the 1976 movie about heroic reporters who exposed the corrupt nixon administration, the thrilling title sequence is merely typewriter keys striking a blank sheet of paper - but with the ferocity of gunshots.

In “Shattered Glass,” a new, fact-based movie about Washington journalists, there are no such heroics from the rising star at the center of the story. On the contrary: It is the characters around him - editors, fact checkers and a sharp-eyed writer from a rival publication - who recognize, too late, a troubled liar in their midst and expose him.

“Shattered Glass,” which opens Friday, is set in the late ’90s, when a nerdy, talented writer named Stephen Glass (Hayden Christensen) worked at the sometimes liberal-leaning New Republic, the influential public-policy journal that bills itself as “the in-flight magazine of Air Force One.”

According to a 1999 article in Vanity Fair, upon which the film is based, Glass, an Ivy League graduate then in his late 20s, was the magazine’s head fact checker, a polished reporter and a well-liked mentor to younger writers.

“But for whatever reason, it wasn’t enough,” says the film’s director, Billy Ray. “I don’t think even Stephen Glass could tell you why he did what he did next, which is begin to cook his stories and make things up - people, places, facts.”

Ray, 39, says he was fascinated by the Watergate hearings as a child and was thrilled by the “All the President’s Men” movie with its depiction of the crusading newspapermen of the Washington Post. “The sad legacy is that now some reporters want the fame of [Bob] Woodward and [Carl] Bernstein without having to do the kind of work that they did,” he says.

Whatever the reason for Glass’ deceit, the film unfolds as a suspense thriller, and what is at stake is not fame, sex, riches or the fate of the world.

The journalists of “Shattered Glass” throw themselves into this ethical conflict with the tenacity of avenging angels - or circling wolves, depending on your point of view. But not once do they ask if anyone outside their small cadre of low-paid, intellectual true believers much cares - except to condemn their sometimes noble, often chaotic profession based on one man’s aberrant behavior. (It is too early to say what approach will be taken by the recently announced Showtime movie about Jayson Blair, the disgraced former New York Times journalist.)

Glass is caught out when he writes an outlandish story about a teenage computer hacker making a deal with a dot-com company, and his whopper arouses the suspicions of Forbes online reporter Adam Penenberg, played by Steve Zahn. When Penenberg did some quick Internet searches and found that the dot-com company didn’t exist, he fact-checked the entire story and contacted the New Republic for an explanation.

Charles Lane, then the magazine’s editor and now a reporter for the Washington Post, says, “I knew Glass’ story [was fabricated] once I heard Adam Penenberg’s call. His research was so devastating as he described it on the phone.”

Still, Lane and his New Republic colleagues did not realize the extent of Glass’ fabrications, big and small, until Glass was confronted and all of his stories were rechecked.


“Before we made the movie, even while we were making it, I would have said it was a biopic about Stephen Glass,” says Ray. “But he wouldn’t speak to us. For me, it was always about the difference between being a hot reporter and a good reporter.”

Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Lane, says that flashiness, in journalism as in acting, is too often rewarded. He even wishes that his big dramatic moment had not been filmed. “We added that later, the scene in which Lane gets emotional, gets angry,” he says. “I didn’t want it to seem that he was saying, ‘I knew all along Glass was too flashy.’ This is not a film about jealousy. It is a kind of political thriller.”

However, he adds with a smile, “That kind of cringing, whining nonapology that Glass does: ‘I’m sorry if I offended you,’ If! He’s sorry for some theoretical offense. If there is something that would bring out violence in me, that would be it. Language is powerful, isn’t it?”

Hayden Christensen: Demons and Blessings- October 30, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

An actor can’t play more diverse roles than Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker and tainted journalist Stephen Glass who was exposed as faking 27 out of 41 news feature stories he wrote for the prestigious New Republic magazine and other mags for which he freelanced. Hayden Christensen is thrilled for the opportunity. The young, Canadian-born actor started in the biz at age 7 in commercials then appeared in a soap and a t.v. series before landing the coveted Anakin role and receiving SAG and Golden Globe award nominations for his touching turn as a troubled teen in Life as a House.

The soft-spoken, thoughtful actor finds varied satisfaction as a performer in both huge epics and smaller, more character-driven pieces like his new film Shattered Glass.

When we sat down to chat with Hayden at L.A.’s posh Mondrian Hotel (where the famous Sky Bar is located), the actor was scruffy-handsome in brown tee and black jacket. His hair is blonde-tinged and longer than we’ve seen it in the past. He spoke about spending some downtime playing tennis and hockey, his fascination and difficulty with the Glass character, his respect for journalists, his joy at having more intense acting opportunities in the new Star Wars film and a role in a new, romantic period movie.

See Episode III’s Final Duel- November 28, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Continuing the trend started with Attack of the Clones, the official Star Wars site has posted the first of the Episode III ‘making of’ featurettes. They’ve obviously put double the effort into this first look at the film in production and it’s sure to have you cursing the 18 months that stand between you and Star Wars nirvana. The only slight annoyance, however, is that it’s available to Hyperspace subscribers only.

If you’ve got the cash then we recommend signing up to see for yourself but don’t panic if you haven’t because we’ve seen it and this is what’s on show:

We begin with Lucas video conferencing with the production crew (and Rick “Rickmeister” McCallum) in Sydney as the Art department seeks clarification on the look of some of the film’s locales. What follows is a montage of some pretty fantastic design sketches of sets and concept art for laser pistols, which George gives his stamp of approval to - or not, as the case may be. Prosthetics for a corpulent blue alien, wookiee suits and an animatronic Mon Calamari head are all showcased but it’s the fight choreography that really peaked our interest.

“It’s going to be a real challenge to do this fight in there,” says Lucas, looking at the design art for a particular chamber, “but hey, Nick has to have something to do.” Enter the man himself, stunt co-ordinator Nick Gillard, who directs Hayden Christensen along with Ewan McGregor’s stunt double in what must be the film’s climactic lightsaber duel - set against against a blue screen.

Anakin advances, following parry with riposte, before delivering a hefty boot to his opponent’s face. Most thirilling of all? Anakin’s saber is a pleasing shade of red. A flurry of blows from the fledgeling Sith leave Obi-Wan on the defensive before we see him flung backwards across the room.

Later scenes see Ewan McGregor poring over photos of Alec Guinness and discussing how best to ensure that his character’s look reflects that of his older self. A few dashes of grey added to the Scotsman’s beard and the likeness is well on the way. “It’s only two years after the last one,” he says to the make-up artist. “It must have been a hell of a two years - just look at me now.”

Obi Wan isn’t the only one enjoying a makeover as Anakin’s locks undergo some modification with mock-ups of what he’d look like with an extended Mohawk (“I think it’s too much,” comments Lucas) and finally the finished product: a rugged-looking mop tied back in a pony tail.

Needless to say the whole thing leaves you wanting more, and more there will be. Part two will be online next month.

Source: Empire Online

Eco Challenge Information

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

What may be surprising or not surprising for some is who some of the people that participated in this race were, which included Actor Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Episode II: Attack Of The Clones), who was part of a Canadian team that also consisted of his brother and sister. Just seeing this guy come out of the jungle all scuffed up and dirty made me wonder what George Lucas might be thinking regarding his pivotal Episode III star participating in such a dangerous event? Reality TV veterans comprising of alumni from Survivor and Road Rules and a trio of Playboy Playmates along with some seasoned professionals from previous Eco-Challenges went neck and neck against each other with some yielding amazing results while others falling behind for many reasons.

Faux Boy- October 28, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

THIS isn’t Hayden Christensen’s first trip to the dark side.

But before he finally morphs from Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader in “Star Wars: Episode III” (out in 2005), he plays a more earthbound miscreant.

In “Shattered Glass,” which opens Friday, Christensen, 33, plays disgraced journalist Stephen Glass, the hotshot New Republic writer who fabricated dozens of articles, causing an unprecendented scandal at the influential political weekly dubbed “the in-flight magazine of Air Force One.”

Glass’ former colleagues remain livid at the betrayal - and according to those who worked with the real-life Glass, Christensen nail the young man’s tics - the awkward gait, the effusive apologies, the ingratiating manner.

New Republic editor Chuck Lane (played by an impressive Peter Sarsgaard), who now works f or the Washington Post and was a paid consultant on the film, visited the set during filming and gave a thumbs-up to Christensen’s portrayal.

Some feat, considering all Christensen had to work with was two photographs of Glass and his published articles (he also contributed to Rolling Stone, Harper’s and George).

“The general take on Stephen according to the people he worked with, was that he was a little effeminate, lacking in confidence,” Christensen says. “I thought that was enough to formulate the character.

“I definitely afforded myself some creative liberties because he wasn’t such a public figure.”

The real-life Glass took creative liberties of his own - in a field where getting the facts right is paramount.

He concocted sources and created fake business cards, Web sites and voicemail messages while writing his hugely entertaining - but sometimes completely fictional - accounts.

The nuts and bolts of cubicle-bound journalism can make for dull cinema but, as Glass’ web of lies unravels, “Shattered” becomes a gripping thriller, fueled by the increasingly tense interplay between Sarsgaard and Christensen as hunter and hunted.

Glass’ fall from grace - a precursor to the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times (which is to be made into a dark comedy for Showtime) - is a cautionary tale, according to writer-director Billy Ray.

“In the house where I grew up, Woodward and Bernstein were heroes,” says Ray, who dropped out of Northwestern University’s journalism school.

“And to see that legacy being handed down to this generation and see what this example of this generation had done with it . . .”

Glass, who refused Ray’s request to be involved with “Shattered,” told The New York Times he’d seen the movie and “it was very painful for me.”

That was never the film’s intention, says Ray.

“I thought the movie was important and Glass made himself vulnerable to this particular storytelling,” he says. “I’m sorry if it causes him pain.”

Source: Megan Lehmann-NY Post

Glass Houses

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hey, if Darth Vader looked this good rolling around in the sand, you’d go over to the dark side, too. “Star Wars” star Hayden Christensen has shown that the pen is mightier than the light sabre in his “Shattered Glass” role as the New Republic’s disgraced serial fabricator. “Stephen [Glass] was so driven by his desire to succeed that his moral infrastructure became questionable,” he tells Rolling Stone, out next week. Christen-sen also said he himself was recently the victim of a fabricated story: that he had been evicted. “I was renting a house in Los Angeles and the [landlord] decided that he wanted to sell the house, and I had no interest in buying it, so I moved out,” he told our spy, Robin Milling. “And, in moving out, he decided that it would be good publicity for the house — and maybe he could get a couple of extra bucks for it — if I was evicted. “I haven’t spoken to him since.”

Hayden’s Australian Dreams- October 26, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN is planning to head back to Australia so he can explore the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef.

The Canadian actor has spent years travelling back and forth to Sydney filming the STAR WARS prequels, but he has always been too busy on the set to explore Australia’s wilderness.

He says, “There’s tons of stuff to do but there was just no time to do it, which sucked. When I was there I didn’t make it outside of Sydney and that’s despicable.

“We were filming five days a week and rehearsing on Saturdays. It was pretty full on. We only had Sundays off and I was staying on Bondi Beach, and there’s no reason to leave Bondi when you just have one day off. I just laid on the balcony and slept.

“But there’s so much there that I have to go check out. It’s a pretty diverse country. It’s justification for a trip back. The plan would be to go back and not to work, but to go and explore.

“I got to go see The Outback. I got to go see The Great Barrier Reef while it’s still there. There’s lots to do.”

Hayden preparing for Episode 3

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Hayden Christensen has already begun a rigorous work-out regiment. As they put it, he’s “beefing up” and getting into top physical shape. In a recent issue of Star Wars Insider Rick McCallum stated that “Hayden will change physically in this film.” He’s going to be bigger… and not just for the Vader stuff. It also means Hayden as Anakin will likely be a more imposing figure as well. Hayden starting lifting weights and working out 6 weeks ago… and he will continue to keep in shape all the way into and through the end of filming (another year or two). Nick Gillard is already blocking “at least one” duel between Anakin/Vader and Obi-Wan. In fact, he began some work in August Both Hayden and Ewan McGregor will report to Fox Studios Australia as soon as late February or early March to begin working on the duel(s)… a full 3-4 months before shooting begins. (Principal Photography is still set to kick off on June 26, 2021).

It’s not easy being a fraud- October 29, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

‘Do I lose points for never having seen your ‘Star Wars’ films?” This is how I opened my talk with young Hayden Christensen, in town to tout his latest film, “Shattered Glass.” Hayden, 22 years old and adorable, said it wasn’t a black mark against me. (In fact, his expression indicated that perhaps he was pleased to find himself free of his George Lucas-invented Anakin Skywalker persona.)

Hayden’s new film is a galaxy away from the high-flying fantasy of futuristic heroes. “Shattered Glass” tells of the all-too-real fall of The New Republic writer Stephen Glass. In 1998, he was found to have partially or completely invented many supposedly factual stories. (He was the Jayson Blair of his day.) The film concentrates on Glass’ final deception and his unraveling. And if you don’t think a story about journalistic ethics can have the nail-biting tension of a thriller, you have a whopper of a surprise waiting for you in “Shattered Glass,” which has been directed with the pace of a runaway train by Billy Ray.

Hayden says that as an actor he had to make a sympathetic connection to the ultimately pathetic Glass.

“But it was a terribly difficult shoot. Every day, in character, I had to lie. I never spoke a word of truth to my fellow actors as Glass. It was a tremendous drain. I was happy when it was finally over.”

The movie doesn’t give much of a clue as to why Glass lied and fabricated and went to incredible lengths to conceal his lies, even when faced with them. Hayden says, “Well, there was obviously some pathological pattern here. He was this person whom you were both drawn to and ultimately felt repulsed by. This film poses a question but doesn’t give an answer, not really. I like that sort of mystery.”

The movie is a series of increasingly dramatic and emotional office confrontations. Peter Sarsgaard plays the initially disliked editor who has to unmask and fire Glass. He gives a stunning performance, graduating from skepticism to suspicion to cold fury. He is well-matched by Hayden’s depiction of desperate, self-pitying disintegration. (The intense final showdown between editor and writer is the scene that convinced Christensen he really wanted to make the movie.)

“Shattered Glass,” which also stars Hank Azaria, Chloe Sevigny and Steve Zahn, is a labor of love, co-produced by Hayden and his brother Tove’s own company, Forest Park Pictures, along with Cruise/Wagner Productions (that’s Tom Cruise and his partner Paula Wagner). The brothers Christensen discovered the story in Vanity Fair from an article by Buzz Bissinger. They thought it would make a good movie, then found out that director Billy Ray had already drafted the tale into a screenplay.


HAYDEN, the actor, was discovered as a child while watching his sister film a Pringles commercial, “I said ‘yes’ initially to doing commercials myself just to be polite. At the time I wasn’t really interested in acting at all. I was more into sports - tennis and hockey. I used to deny that I was the kid in the commercials. It seemed a silly way to make a living. Then I joined drama class in high school and got the bug.”

He is next slated for a romantic fable, to be directed by Gillian Armstrong. “It’s a period piece - 1908. It has a strong comedic aspect, which I’m looking forward to exploring, and I have other ambitions for myself, some big, some small. There’s a spy thriller in the works for the Zanuck company; Gary Oldman and Robert Duvall are already attached, and Paul Street will direct.”

Hayden, who is proving as proficient a movie mogul as he is an action hero with a light saber, laughs, “I figure everybody has to do at least one spy thriller, right?”

By the way, you can catch a provocative glimpse of the actor on the cover of Interview for November, tricked out in shiny leather pants. His T-shirt says “Boys Don’t Cry.” Well, they don’t when they’ve got the world on a string.

Source: NY Post

Love and War

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Oliver Stone is revisiting the Vietnam War with his script The Hunted, which producer Irwin Winkler (Raging Bull) hopes that Stone will also direct. “It’s about Bobby Garwood, the longest-held prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict,” says Winkler, who wants to cast Star Wars and The Virgin Suicide Canadian born hunk Hayden Christensen for the part.Oliver Stone is rewriting the script which is an adaption of the novel Spite House.Winkler Film/Columbia are producing.

La Dolce Musto- October 27, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Stephen Glass—the motherfucking scumbag journalist who made up stories for The New Republic—doesn’t deserve such a solid biopic as Shattered Glass, but he’s gotten it, and that’s no lie. The film compellingly details Glass’s undoing as his diabolical fabrications are discovered by editor Chuck Lane, and the result is so cleansing, The New Republic is supposedly throwing the premiere (though maybe they just figure it’ll take attention away from their latest scandal, the one involving another writer’s Jew remarks).

Over lunch at the Bryant Park Hotel, Hayden Christensen (who plays Glass) and Peter Sarsgaard (who’s Chuck Lane) submitted to my interrogation so truthfully that their noses didn’t grow, even as my chins tripled. Why doesn’t the flick include any backstory on how Glass got that way? Well, said baby-faced Sarsgaard, writer-director Billy Ray dropped such a scene—a conversation between Glass and his mom—because glib attempts at pop psychology don’t really further mankind in any way. (Ray’s childhood must have made him really cautious.)

Surprisingly, not everything Ray did use is the gospel truth, even though the flick’s supposedly about the dire importance of accuracy. Glass has at least one composite character, for starters, but Sarsgaard explained that too, saying that with real people, “if you play it exactly the way they said it happened, it’s not always helpful to their story. That said, it’s important to pay attention to what their intentions were.”

My intention has long been to pay attention to Sarsgaard, who was also brilliant as an ex-con killer in Boys Don’t Cry—it’s called range, folks—and whose career has moved in small steps, which he prefers to being overhyped and eaten alive. Meanwhile, Christensen—who looks more solid in person—has the big-hoopla role of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, but he’s made a point of seeking out non-clone-army-related side jobs. “Hollywood’s not as creative as you’d like it to be,” he earnestly told me. “If people halfway like you in a part, then my experience is, everything you get offered after that is just that character redefined. You make a concerted effort to find things yourself.” So how did Christensen land Shattered Glass? “I produced it!” he said, laughing. “I said, ‘Hayden, you’ve got to fucking let yourself go on this movie. Give yourself a part!’ ”

With only minimal prodding, the guys also let themselves go about Billy Ray (“He’s like an intuitive baseball coach,” said Sarsgaard. “He slaps you on the ass before you do a scene”), Lost in Translation (“I have a huge crush on both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson after seeing that movie,” confessed Sarsgaard. “I actually miss them being together”), and whether Christensen would ever agree to do, say, Star Wars on Ice (“I can pull it off,” he said, grinning. “First IMAX, then the Ice Capades!”)

But we couldn’t go back to our searingly truthful lives without addressing one other lying scumbag, so I wondered how the guys felt about Esquire’s since-retracted idea to have Jayson Blair review Shattered Glass. “If it takes a schmuck like Blair writing a piece in Esquire to get more people to see the movie, that would be valid,” Sarsgaard said, “except I don’t think people would really care.” Besides, it would probably jump-start an awful trend—Polanski reviewing Mystic River? Tom Cruise critiquing Elf? Let’s stop there.

For the really veracity-minded, The Golden Girls Live!—a/k/a Shattered Gas— packs the upper level of Rose’s Turn with rerun addicts who thrill to the faithful re-creation of actual Golden Girls scripts. The funny drag show—presented as if it were on “Estrogen television for women and homosexuals”—is not exactly Masterpiece Theatre, but it’s a welcome respite on the way to Shady Pines. And there’s an added charge in learning that the guys playing Sophia (Peter Mac, who also directed) and Dorothy (John Schaefer, a riot) are real-life lovers. Somehow that gave me a hot flash.

Picture Perfect- October 19, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Dressed in miniskirts, neon brights and lots of edgy leather, a fabulous crowd including Katie Holmes and P.Diddy’s mom Janice Combs gathered to toast party photographer Patrick McMullan’s new tome, “So80s” (PowerHouse; $42) on the main floor of Bergdorf’s on Wednesday night. While these ladies may have shared an ’80s-inspired dress code for the night, they couldn’t have been more diverse. Partying alongside uptown designers Carolina Herrera and Mary McFadden and socialites Cornelia Guest and Helen Schifter were downtown rock legend Deborah Harry, actors Hayden Christensen and Angela Bassett, and drag queens galore (Lady Bunny, Lypsinka and Amanda Lepore were all three on hand).

Christensen’s Ping Pong Challenge - October 23, 2021

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Movie star Hayden Christensen insists on a table tennis table when he’s on the set of a movie, so he can polish his skills in between takes. The Star Wars star, who was a promising tennis player before he quit to pursue acting, loves to challenge all comers to games of ping pong. He says, “I’m competitive. When we were making Shattered Glass we had a ping pong table on set and in between every shot Peter Sarsgaard and my brother Tove would rush back to the ping pong table and we’d have an on-going tally like 43-32. “Even when my brother and I go home we have a ping pong table there. At Christmas time we’ll keep a tally and it’ll get up to like 150-139.”

The Other Side of Simple Casting News

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Shannyn Sossamon (The Rules of Attraction) wil star in the lead female role in New Line Cinema’s. The Other Side of Simple,reports Variety. She will star opposite Hayden Christensen, Don Cheadle and Vince Vaughn.Written by Eric Kmetz, the film is helmed by Money Train director Joseph Ruben. “Other Side” follows two thieves who return to their old stamping ground after a lengthy absence. There they reunite with the naive younger brother of one of the thieves, who’d been captured by the cops during the trio’s failed robbery 10 years earlier