Archive for the ‘Interviews '04’ Category

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

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Because I like it. It’s familiar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You grew up in a house full of women.

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

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

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

Source: NW Insider Magazine

To emphasize it is an obsession in the U.S.A

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

The young person Darth Vader of ‘ the war of galaxias’ again opens his dark side like mentiroso journalist in ‘ the price of verdad’

-Do you know how many interviews will have to make to promote ‘ Star Wars III ‘?

- I have not calculated them. For the second episode, we began in Los Angeles: sixty interviews to the day. Later I did fifty or sixty a day during two weeks around the world. Press conferences and appearances in televising programs aside.

Hayden Christensen was able to be Darth Vader at 19 years old. George Lucas passed over four hundred other candidates, among them Leonardo DiCaprio and he fixed the life to him for always to this Canadian that now he is 23 years old and one complete agenda for 2005: the opening of the third and last episode of “Star Wars” in May will take to all the covers.

Before confronting with “immense laziness” marathon promotional, Christensen presented/displayed in the recent festival of cinema of the Palms of Great Canary “Shattered Glass,” the fascinating chronicle of the fall of journalist Stephen Glass. Star of ‘ The New Republic’ in the 90s, the more prestigious political magazine of the U.S.A., Glass was defensive when being discovered that almost all their invented exclusive rights were patronized. Another opportunity to open the cloudy facet of Christensen, by something Lucas saw seized in its innocent facade the dark side of the Force.

- Glass took to the end the value of the competitiveness, that in the U.S.A. inculcate from the institute.

- Yes. There, the importance of the person resides in the statue that reaches. In the institute, they concern notes and, mainly, your prestige, not the knowledge that you acquire. There is a mentality to stop ways: if something can be obtained of easy form, shortening distances, it becomes. From very small, the Americans learn to create figures. To emphasize is an obsession.

-Did you know Glass?

-No. He refused to participate from the beginning in the film. Later he has promoted a book that he wrote already called “The Fabulist’ that had digested its own personage (‘. Ed. Planet). I have not nor wanted to read it. It scares me that somebody is able to elaborate lies thus.

- How was it?

- An educated uncle. One always remembered details to please.’ The coffee without sugar, like you gustá. ‘What feels that blouse well you? She is new, right?’ Things thus. But it’s in a very different era.

- Why did it make news?

-Suppose that by an excessive and insane ambition. His family did not want her to be a journalist, but lawyer. Glass yearned for that they accepted him being successful. And he became a pathological liar. He was profuse in the details and it connected a lie with another one. Perhaps who knows, it needed a screw.

A pile of children

- What perception has a star of cinema of the journalists? Be sincere.

- The truth? No actor feels proud of the promotion work. We are the vaguest people in the world. Our work is the opposite of the office life, from nine to five. We have long free time. And we feel certain disdain towards those who come to us with a recorder. Because then we are not interpreting, we are not creating. True, that also there are actors who love to speak of themselves for three days. They are pure vanity.

- Have there been invented news on you?

-True. Recently, I read that during the running of ‘ Star Wars’ in Sydney I burnt the hands while maintaining the lightsaber for a long time. In fact, it is a wood that later the special effects turn laser. The press has invented me appointments, fiancées. If beams case to newspapers, I lead a most interesting life.

-and it does not infuriate to you?

-Me the volume with tranquility, because I assume that I comprise of the entertainment industry. You know? To disassemble the rumors also is amusing.

-If the journalists are competitive, neither the actors already nor your story.

- No. Passes the opposite right. The actors we have a very passive paper.My work depends on other actors, reason why he would be very little productive who tried to be a self-seeking one.

- Good values have been instilled in him..

-My older sister is actress. She introduced the passion to me. My family understood that I didn’t go to university and dedicated myself to a vocation that consumed me. They help me to remember who I am. We are very united. I’m dying to have my own family, a fixed house with a pile of children who hope to me. Now alive like in a soccer match, where everything happens to vertiginous rate.

- What race interests more to you like mirror in which to be reflected: the one of Tom Cruise or the one of Johnny Depp?

- I would like myself to benefit from the best thing of both: to roll the films of Johnny Depp but to count on the options of Cruise, that has its own producer (“Shattered Glass”‘ is produced by the star of ‘ Top Gun ‘).

- Today several canary fanatics of ‘”Star Wars” have assaulted you to request your autograph. What do you think of them?

- I do not want to judge to them. While they are pleasant with me I have some anecdotes with those obsessed fans. There was a priest who was sending harangues against me for a whole year. Like measurement to prevent, attempt to avoid the commercial centers. Of course, I never accept invitations to present/display myself in conventions of fans.

- Do you admire George Lucas?

- Yes. He has a very progressive mentality for which is to be accustomed to in Hollywood. He has an own world and he has developed a technology in his company that is a model. And, mainly, he is an amiable uncle.

- It always does not worry you to be Anakin Skywalker, the young Darth Vader?

-The classification does not worry me; if only there were three or four blockbusters to the year .Today, an actor is classified if he works six years in a television series. In addition, Anakin is only a stereotype.

-’Bowling for Columbine” offers an idyllic vision of Canada. He is really right’?

-Yes. It is certain that people do not have necessity to close their houses with a key. Michael Moore pays attention to the metropolitan districts, and Canada is something more than great cities. But there exists a general sensation of security.

- Do you like John Kerry?

- I have my own political ideas, I know who is doing things well and who badly. But I am not going to share them with you.

We’re Hangin’ With…..Hayden Christensen

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

An actor can’t play more different roles than Star Wars’ Anakin Skywalker and tainted journalist Stephen Glass who was fired for making up most of the news stories he created. 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 satisfaction as a performer in both huge epics and smaller, more character-driven movies 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.

AGW: A lot of teens and young adults are faking reports in school and may carry this behavior out through their lives. So after having played this part, what kind of a message would you have for them?
Hayden: I’m not usually one to give advice. But it’s a danger. You’re going to cut off your nose to spite your face if you start. It might get you the grade, but that’s not what you’re there for, really. That’s the misconception I think. You’re there to get a grade to get into university, and everyone’s sort of got this convoluted idea that sort of has veered away from the fact that you’re [really] there to better yourself. By lying and cheating on a test, you’re really just doing yourself a disservice. Not saying I didn’t do it myself [laughter].

AGW: Did you ever meet with the real Stephen Glass?
Hayden: I never met with him. I never got to speak with him. So my interpretation wasn’t an imitation. I had all of his articles so I had an idea for the kind of storyteller that he was and how colorful his lies were. And I talked a little bit to some of the people that worked with him. He was perceived in the office as being this guy who lacked self-confidence, [always asking] ‘are you mad at me?’ There was a lot of pressure from his family put on him, and they weren’t really so happy with his chosen line of work. I could never speak with him about why he did it, so I had to come to those conclusions on my own.

AGW: Did you do more research on him?
Hayden: I spent some time in different news publications getting a feel for general banter in the pitch meetings and the sense of this ambition to always up yourself from your last one, which was I think really indicative to how Stephen got away with it. Maybe starting off with a very small lie and letting that land on people. Then it was required of him to come up with one that was even more creative and more elaborate.

AGW: Did you watch the interview with him on 60 minutes? And, if so, did it confirm to you that you nailed the part?
Hayden: That was all after we had done the film. But, honestly it was a bit of a sigh of relief. I was somewhat nervous about playing a real person and not getting to meet him. I had a couple of pictures of him that informed how I dressed and how he smiled. There was sort of a distant gaze in his eyes, and that made me think there was something pathological about him, that wasn’t quite right.

AGW: Did you ever feel sorry for him at all?
Hayden: All the time. When you’re playing a character that’s flawed, the first rule is you can’t be judgmental, otherwise you’re playing him with that bias, and you’re projecting onto your character instead of just letting him be. So I was very sympathetic. And that sympathy and that sense of insecurity by the end of the film really got under my skin and I was really eager to be finished with it all. It’s not the most confident place to exist as an actor. You go to work every day wanting to connect with something real and honest, and when your task is to lie through your teeth every day, and still gauge how people are reading this, it’s a little nerve wracking.

AGW: Have you ever told a massive whopper that you got in trouble for?
Hayden: Sure. Not recently. Actors feel like, to a certain extent all actors feel like a con man. We’re always wondering if we’re getting away with it, if people are buying our bull****. That was the insecurity that I let blossom in me to play the role. It’s been a while since I’ve lied. Honesty is important.

AGW: Do you know all the lies being written about you in the tabloids, or do you just ignore that?
Hayden: I catch a bit of it. I find out about people I’m dating. It’s all really amusing. My brother and I were renting this house. The guy who we were renting from wanted to sell it, and we didn’t want to buy it. We were like, ‘that’s all right, we’ll move, find a different place’ and now [I'm reading that] I can’t afford to pay my rent [laughter].

AGW: The real Glass is sort of enjoying the press now. He wanted to be famous for the sake of being famous. Do you feel you are now aiding that?
Hayden: I struggled a bit at the beginning when I was deciding if I wanted to do the film. Putting all of someone’s lies, the worst times in their life and committing that to film for someone to go to a video store and rent whenever they so please. I was like, can I really do this with a good conscience? But then, you need to be held responsible for your actions. I came to the conclusion that there was a large part of Stephen that sought the spotlight, and that’s what motivated him to do all these sort of misdoings. And I think it’s become even more clear when he’s come out with this book now, and he’s doing all this press for his book. I don’t really feel so bad about it.

AGW: Do you have any desire to meet him at this point? Would you dread meeting him?
Hayden: I wouldn’t dread it, I’m not gonna try to make the introduction either. I’ve played the part now, and if I saw him at a party absolutely [I would walk up to him]. The one thing I could never really get around was intent. I never got to ask him why. I’m really curious. I’ve made up my own reasons and then there were opinions floating about. But I don’t really know, and I’m not saying he would give me an honest answer.

AGW: Do you ever think about being a journalist? It’s so competitive. Do you ever see why a journalist might do something like Glass did?
Hayden: Definitely. It’s a difficult line of work to report on something accurately without instilling your own bias. The line between journalism and newsworthy stories and entertainment is sort of getting blurred a little bit, and that’s something obviously that you guys have to compensate for. There’s a fine line. I have a great respect for what you do.

AGW: Okay, the Star Wars questions. Can you talk a little bit about the differences between doing something as small as this and something as large as Star Wars?
Hayden: Day and night. A film like Star Wars, you go and live in your imagination and for three months you’re in fantasyland. Blue screen, a majority of the film is done in entirely blue set. You go to work every day and it’s the exact same environment. It’s almost like Groundhog Day only you’re saying different lines [laughter]. The cameras are in the same place, everyone’s kinda looking at the exact same thing. When you get to do a film like Shattered Glass everything that is going to motivate you, all your stimulus is provided for you. When you’re on a big budget movie that has so many different aspects involved that are digital, the focus is a little scattered at times, and it can often get a little chaotic. They’re each their own demon, and each their own blessing. I think I’ve learned the most from those [Star Wars] films, in all honesty, I do feel very privileged to be a part of it just because there won’t be very many other films made the way they made those.

AGW: How are you dealing with being a part of a huge cult phenomenon? There are thousands of kids with light sabers running around.
Hayden: I get such a kick out of that. When the little ones come up, when you have ten year old kids, nine year old kids that can’t differentiate between Anakin and the actor who’s playing Anakin, then you bring [that] to life. You make their fantasyland tangible, and to be a part of that is a privilege. Star Wars obviously has had quite an impact on popular culture, and to have my name associated with that is …neat.

AGW: Do you have your doll/action figure?
Hayden: Honestly, I do have the doll. They send you one of everything that’s made to do with the film, so you get these boxes every few months. But the dolls are something that will stay in the boxes for a while, because that was like, I’ve got my own action figure, that’s the coolest thing. And the thing doesn’t look anything like me!

AGW: You mentioned that one of the things about doing these films is that they’re so big that sometimes the performance is not the primary focus in making it. Do you feel like the third film, with Anakin’s transformation to Vader will be an exception?
Hayden: I hope so. There’s no question that there was an excitement on this film that wasn’t as prominent on the last. Particularly, George [Lucas]’s approach was much more hands on this time, And just the inherent art of what Anakin’s journey is, is more enthralling than the last [film], and there was more for me to sink my teeth into. And that final transition is one for the books. It’ll be a neat film, definitely.

AGW: What is next for you?
Hayden: I’m gonna do a romantic period fable piece. Early 20th Century. It’s like a bit of an homage to the “Princess Brides” of filmmaking. It’s a Jillian Armstrong film that will go sort of middle of next year. So I still have a bit of time before that starts. I hope to do another film in the interim.