Archive for the ‘Magazines '06’ Category

One Magazine- April/May 2006

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This year, Hayden will star in two movies : The Decameron, a dramatic comedy, and Awake, a thriller with Jessica Alba. For us, the young canadian actor talks about these new projects.

Q. Which character do you play in The Decameron ?

A. The movie is based on Boccacio’s work. It’s about how in Italy, in the 14th century, ten young nobles escape from the Plague and took refuge in a remote villa in Florence. They’ll entertain each other by telling stories. I play Lorenzo, an aimless man who keeps running away because he can’t accept himself as he is and hates the world around him.

Q. You shot this movie in Italy. Did you enjoy living there for a few months?

A. I loved Italy. I really look forward to going back there. I visited Roma, Florence and also Capri. One of my grandmothers is of Neapolitan origin and she used to talk about Capri as a wonderful place. So I just rushed as soon as I could and that’s as beautiful as she told me. Italy is a fascinating country and what’s great about being an actor is that you can travel from a country to another and even from an epoch to another.

Q. What about Awake, the movie you shot with Jessica Alba?

A. It’s a psychological thriller about a pretty rare phenomenon : the fact that some patients wake up during surgery in spite of anaesthesia. They’re aware of everything that happens around them and especially of pain but unable to do any movement to warn the surgeon. In the movie, I play a man who experiences that when he undergoes heart surgery. It was a very difficult role, I had to act while lying down on a table without moving. A real challenge ! I had to learn staying very zen and still more than 30 minutes. I kept singing songs in my head and remembering memories to entertain myself.

Q. Which part plays Jessica Alba?

A. She plays my wife, who will have to deal with her own problems at the same time. Her performance is perfect in Awake and I think she will surprise the audience.

Q. In your next movie, you’ll play the singer Bob Dylan.

A. Not really. In Factory Girl, telling the story of the factory created by the artist Andy Warhol and his influence on musicians like Lou Reed, I play a character based on Bob Dylan. Actually, I believe the director didn’t get the singer’s permission, so my character bears another name. But I’ll take him as example to play the part anyway.

Q. You managed your celebrity pretty well. How is it now that you’re 25 ?

A. Apparently the same ! In any case nobody told me I became conceited ! I remember when Attack of the Clones came out, when I wasn’t used to be stared at yet. When I saw girls staring at me, I was convinced there was something wrong with my fly or I had mustard on my chin ! [laughs] Now, I’m more comfortable with that, but it took time…

Q. How did your friends react ?

A. My sudden celebrity allowed me to realize who were my real friends and who weren’t. Some people were there only for taking advantage of my success. Unfortunately, I even had a girlfriend who behaved in that way and at the moment, it really hurts.

Q. Now, do you intend to live in Hollywood?

A. It’s not in my projects and for now I plan to stay in Canada. Obviously I’ll come in L.A for work and promotion but that’s all. I don’t like life in Hollywood. People who live there define themselves only by the money they win and that’s really not my style.

Q. So, you’re not looking for things like success and money?

A. I have nothing against success and money but I really don’t want it to make me change and think only about that. Cause at the end, what being a celebrity will bring to me? Will I be luckier in life because of that? Not necessarily… For me the only things which really matter are family, friendship and one day, I hope so, the big love.

Jim Carrey passes Pam Anderson on Canadian mag’s power list

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Actor Jim Carrey has passed Pamela Anderson to take the top spot on Canadian Business magazine’s second annual Celebrity Power List.
The magazine used four criteria - estimated salary, press clippings, number hits on and TV mentions - to rank 15 Canadians who have demonstrated clout in the entertainment industry over the last year.

According to the magazine, Carrey’s improved web scores and a bump in the TV category put him ahead of Anderson. Carrey, who was born in Newmarket, Ont., is the highest-paid Canadian actor in Hollywood.

Anderson, a native of Ladysmith, B.C., slipped to No. 2 on the list after her sitcom Stacked was cancelled.

The complete list:

1. Jim Carrey.

2. Pamela Anderson.

3. Keanu Reeves.

4. Kiefer Sutherland.

5. William Shatner.

6. Mike Myers.

7. Avril Lavigne.

8. Rachel McAdams.

9. Matthew Perry.

10. Brendan Fraser.

11. Hayden Christensen.

12. Eric McCormack.

13. Sandra Oh.

14. Ryan Reynolds.

15. Evangeline Lilly.

VMAN- Fall/Winter 2006

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Hayden Christensen’s face is covered with clear viscous substance. He looks shellacked. After a day of being snapped at and prettied up, now he’s beem fitted into a Hefner-style jacket, pajamas, and beauty mask.

Nevertheless, he’s in a great mood. “Howyadoing?” he says, grinning as much as the substance will allow. He extends a hand, cigarette dangling from his mouth - a trouper. As the shoot continues, he points one gloved hand over Manhattan, jokes arounf with the crew, and stares into the camera not with a Zoolander pucker but with a wry flash of the eye. There’s not a trace of the petulant or blank characters he’s essayed on-screen.

Someone once said that the hardest part of being a success is continuing to succeed. On that note, the 25-year-old native of British Columbia faces a few challenges - like choosing which, of the variety of successes he’s sampled, is the one he’ll choose to pursue. After graduating from a Canadian soap opera to good reviews and receiving a Golden Globe nomination for the indie film Life as a House, Christensen was sucked into the big-time Hollywood machine courtesy of the three Star Wars prequels that just finished unspooling last year. His performance as Anakin Skywalker, a.k.a. Darth Vader, was controversially received but undeniably put him one romantic comedy away from super-stardom. He responded with a mature, fully realized performance as the complicated plagiarist of Shattered Glass, opposite Peter Sarsgaard.

In the next year he was three small, unusual films coming out: Factory Girl, the Edie Sedgwick biopic with Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, and Jimmy Fallon; an MTV-ified remake of The Decameron starring Mischa Barton; and Awake, a real-time thriller where he plays a man who undergoes anesthetic awareness during open-heart surgery.

After the shoot, we headed back to his penthouse suite at the Soho Grand Hotel, where we worked through half a dozen minibar bottles of Jack Daniels and all concerns of being Hayden Christensen: the reports that curiously intense online speculation that he’s into guys (reinforced by his refusal to discuss his sex life in interviews); and why he’s digging holes in his parents’ backyard.

MICHAEL MARTIN: You just had your twenty-fifth birthday. I read that a casino threw you a party.
HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN: They offered to fly my friends out, so I had a hard time saying no. But I can’t spend too much time in Vegas; that place is depressing. It was more exciting when I was younger and not allowed to be there. When I was 18, I went to a casino with my older brother’s ID. I sat down at the tables, won a little money, and went to cash it in. The cashier was like, “This isn;t you!” 18 years old, and I had serious baby face. The manager comes over with five intimidating security guards, and they’re all passing my ID around. One guy asks me what my star sign is, so I just say, “Aquarius” and he said, “That’s him.” So I run upstairs to my brother and say, “Tove, you’ll never believe it! I just guessed your star sign!” And he says, “Sagittarius?”
MM: Life is bluffing.
HC: I feel like that more times than you would guess.
MM: Your next film, Angels and Virgins, is based on The Decameron and has been described as a comedy set in the time of the Black Plague.
HC: It will be unlike most films that are out there right now. It’s definitely not a history lesson. I play this sort of wayfarer type named Lorenzo, who is constantly seeking adventure and getting himself into trouble. Throughout the movie he’s trying to evade Tim Roth’s character. I spend most of the film on the run, finding love and all that good stuff.
MM: How is this character different from others you’ve played?
HC: I don’t talk a lot, actually. There’s a large portion of the film where I’m pretending to be deaf and dumb, trying to seek refuge in a concent. I end up enjoying myself with the sisters. It’s a straightforward comedy, and I’ve never done that before. It was an opportunity to say I did a comedy, but “did” is the operative word. I would do a black comedy in the future but I’m really not a comedic actor. That’s a whole skill into itself and I don’t pretend to have it - at least not on-screen.
MM: Pasolini’s original version of The Decameron was known for its explicit sex. Did you have to go there?
HC: There’s a lot of nudity and sex in ours too, but it’s irreverent. Poking fun at it. There are sexually explicit scenes but you don’t see me naked. A breast every now and again, and then they cut away. Mischa Barton plays a girl I have a thing for and she ends up in the Convent, and we get together. I had to kiss her but no love scenes. It was fine - you know.
MM: Tell me about your role in Awake.
HC: It’s about this young well-to-do guy who needs a heart transplant. A heart becomes available, and I go into the operation, where I experience anesthetic awareness, which was got to be one of the most terrifying things imaginable. I talked to people who had it: you lie on this operating table in vary degrees of consciousness totally unable to do anything about it. Some people will experience little things, others will feel every cut and incision. The film get more fucked-up from there. It will be a different thriller. What Jaws did to being in the water, this will do to the operating room.
MM: What was it like working with Terence Howard?
HC: He’s the real deal and is going to become one of the defining actors of his generation. He plays the doctor. He and I became chess-obsessed. It was something we did because we both like chess and we’re very competitive, but it was also a tool for our work. It kept us interacting and playing off each other. I also did that with Peter Sarsgaard in Shattered Glass. A bit of chess and a lot of Ping-Pong.
MM: What about Factory Girl?
HC: It’s a biopic about Edie Sedgwick; her real life story. I play this folk star sort of guy who is based on Bob Dylan. My role was originally Bob Dylan, because they had an affair, but the film couldn’t get the rights to use his name. So we couldn’t use his name or any of his music, but essentially I’m playing Bob Dylan. I did a version of the voice and the mannerisms - sort of mumbling. I wrote a song sort of in the Dylan vein, which was very cool. I had to learn to play the guitar for the part.
MM: While you were shooting the film, the whole Sienna Miller-Jude Law tabloid frenzy was going down.
HC: It was definitely something everyone was aware of, but not something that was made too big of a deal. She was a very focused actor, and you don’t want people to think about that kind of stuff when it’s going on, so she made more of an effort.
MM: Reports said that you and Sienna were dating. Were you?
HC: I don’t really talk about my love life in interviews. I don’t think it’s really people’s business.
MM: There’s a sizable online contingent that’s very invested in the idea of you being gay. Why do you think there’s so much speculation about your sexuality?
HC: To be honest, I think it’s because I encourage it.
MM: Why?
HC: Because it’s fun, entertaining, and a bit of a joke. Because, who cares what people think? And because I think it’s sort of cool. You see pictures of Bowie wearing eyeliner and looking a little effeminate - to me masculinity is the ability to flirt with the effeminate. I will do things that are a little less masculine. There’s plenty of rumors about every actor everywhere being gay. When people catch a picture of Sienna and me, they can speculate, and I don’t do anything to dismiss the speculation because rumors are more fun than reality. The less people know about you as you, the more they believe you as a character. And I guess I was sort of setting myself up with Star Wars, as far as people not accepting me as other things, so I made a point of not doing much press, not letting people know much, just because it helps me as an actor.
MM: So at this point, are you comfortable with saying you’re gay, straight, or bisexual?
HC: The people I actually relate to know what I am. I think eventually people will clue in because there’s less I will be able to keep private, but I’ve been pretty good at it so far. So if they want to speculate that I’m gay, let them. Honestly, I enjoy it more when people speculate.
MM: I hear you have an interest in architecture.
HC: Yes, and it’s something that’s been made a lot more than it is. A tabloid said I’m quitting acting for architecture; it’s not true. I’ve always been interested in it, from the time when I was designing my dog’s house. I have friends who are into design, and we’re thinking about starting our own design company, but I’m not giving up acting for it.
MM: After Star Wars, were you afraid your career would be hurt? It seems you’re getting good scripts.
HC: You get offered what people know of you. Hollywood operates on that formula. If they can add A+B they’ll do it again and again. Life as a House was my first movie, and after that I got offered every sort of conflicted teenager role. Star Wars came out, and there was a lot of action-oriented stuff. I’ve always waited until someone takes a chance on me to do something I haven’t done before. I’ve only made five or six movies, because I only want to do what excites me. Star Wars afforded me the possibility of not having to work all the time, so I can approach acting from a more artistic perspective. Actors gain their general concept of what people and the world are like not from working but from living. Right now I’m landscaping my parents’ backyard and moving dirt around. You can’t bluff your way through regrading land. I’m getting my pilots license, and I’m learning how to fly-fish. My goal is to get a floatplane and go explore Canada. The great thing about acting is that it allows you to do other things when you’re not working. A lot of actors get caught up in an insular world, and when they’re not acting they’re doing something very close to it. They almost cut off their nose to spite their face.
MM: Have you watched Star Wars since it came out?
HC: I haven’t seen any of my movies since the premieres.
MM: How do you look back on your performance in those films?
HC: Not with great ease. I really can’t complain about Star Wars because it was unequivocally a phenomenal experience for me and for my family. But the work isn’t necessarily what you think it’s going to be. You have to make everything accessible to 7-year-olds. It’s like still photography - having to achieve a result. That said, once you’ve accepted that you’re a hired hand, as much as grip, as much as the visual artists who sketch out the scenes, then it’s fun. Every day there’s a new toy to play with. But if you approach it from a standpoint of “I’m a serious actor and I’m going to do my best work,” then you can get a little lost.
MM: Have you had any weird run-ins with Star Wars fans?
HC: Not just Star Wars fans - teenage girls, too. I’ve had instances where they get hysterical and start to cry, and hold on to you and literally won’t let go, and that’s unsettling. I mean, I don’t think it’s completely crazy, because I’m a huge hockey fan, and I remember the first time I met Wayne Gretzky. But it’s like, I didn’t score the winning goal. I auditioned for a role and some guy liked the way my nose sat on my face. You really don’t feel like you’ve earned it. It’s a bizarre thing. But not quite as bizarre as old men who are Star Wars fanatics who come up to you and ask every question in the book. You can chalk that up to an adolescent thing, but once you get a certain age, you want to say, come on.
MM: How did it feel to win the Razzie for worst supporting actor for two years, for Star Wars?
HC: The Razzie didn’t bother me. I sort of laughed at it. I also won the MTV award for that role, but I don’t necessarily care about the MTV award either. I also never got off on the Golden Globe nomination for Life as a House. They all seem to be the same level of superficial. I originally got into acting because it was fun, and then I decided to pursue is as a career because I felt it was something that was really worthwhile. And I think I took the worthwhile thing a little too far. If you’re trying to do something that’s really important, you don’t sign up to be an actor. You do it because you want to avoid the things that are seemingly important. And I guess that’s what allowed me to discard all the superficial things that are put on the profession - the awards, the fame. My friends and family force me to take things with humility. My older brother was a huge Star Wars fan, and then his little brother gets cast as Darth Vader? It’s like, you’re kidding me.

Typed by TinaJ.

Flaunt- August 2006

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Hayden Christensen with three new films to hit theaters by year’s end, Hollywood’s intergalactic heartthrob puts the light saber on ice.

Written by Shari Roman
Photographed by James White

Standing in the living room of his parents’ house, just outside of Toronto, Hayden Christensen is dressed in work boots, jeans, and a T-shirt, his tousled dark-blond hair flecked with topsoil. “I really love going fast. Take a drive with me sometime,” purrs Christensen. “You’ll see.” He points to a shiny red-and-white Bobcat compact excavator parked in the family’s backyard. “But not in that,” he laughs. “although I suppose we could race it around the block, scare the neighbors.”

When he was 4 years old, two years after Return of the Jedi (the final film in the Star Wars trilogy) opened in theaters, his older sister, Hejsa, would take coins and tape them to the garden leaves, convincing him, literally, that money actually grew on trees. Today, his handiwork with the Bobcat has transformed the once-magical backyard into a chaotic, torn up, vertiginous mound of loam. “I told my parents, if I began it, I’d see the job through.”

Last year’s rainfalls had caused massive water damage and he gave his word to restore the backyard to its former splendor. “And I will. I will. I will. I promised.” He cocks his head. “At the moment, it does look a little bit like that crazy mashed-potato-and-dirt mountain Richard Dreyfuss made in Close Encounters. What was it called, Devils Tower? My hopeless earth mountain,” he deadpans sorrowfully. “It’s just not as shapely. And,” he says, looking up at the gathering storm clouds, “soon may be completely out of my control.”

As a child, many years before director George Lucas would beckon the blue-eyed boy to become Anakin Skywalker, the young Jedi-knight-turned-dark-lord, Christensen had already witnessed untrammeled power of a different kind. Motoring with their parents, he and his three siblings would regularly journey to New York from their home in Toronto, Ontario, to visit their grandparents. The route they traveled always took them through Niagara Falls, where every second, 150,000 gallons of water tumbles 176 feet. The car vibrated, his skin prickled. Being surrounded by all that space and the thundering sheet of water unnerved him, but at the same time he was exhilarated. Christensen never forgot the sensation. “It was overwhelming,” he recalls, “but I loved the sound, the feeling, the beauty, the sheer power.” When his own larger-than-life future was set in motion, he says, it was like being swallowed by that waterfall.

“I was 19 years old. I had been out of high school no more than eight months before I was cast in Star Wars,” he says. He had been working in commercials and Canadian television since he was 7 years old, and had played small roles in features such as Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides, and a leading role in Life as a House. “But at that moment in time, the enormity of a lot of what went on in a project like Lucas’s was so foreign to me,” he says. “To try and acclimate to a life that I was still vert, very uncertain about, it does age you, mature you, whatever you want to call it.

“You see the potential in the job and you expect so much of yourself, set such high standards that nothing, nothing, seems to be good enough. It took a while for me to play catch up. I couldn’t get my head around it. I didn’t want to get my head around it.”

Even though the films hadn’t even come out, he had become a lifetime member of the Star Wars cinema meta-hierarchy. Overnight, a nearly anonymous teen from Canada was the most talked-about man about town. “I was recognized, pointed at everywhere I went. Out of nowhere, masses of people would come up and shake my hand, or rush up to me in a crowd. There were girls screaming. I didn’t know what to do.” He grins. “I still don’t, but I’m working on it.”

Although he has only been in a handful of films, these days he has it all under control, career-wise. Aside from the final two Star Wars features, in between there’s been Shattered Glass, in which he played The New Republic writer/con artist Stephen Glass (produced by Forest Park Pictures, the production company that he runs with his older brother, Tove), and the aforementioned Life as a House, in which his protrayal of Kevin Kline’s rebellious teen son earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

Now, there are three new profects about to emerge in theaters over the next few months, opposite a series of eye-catching It girls. Angels and Virgins (the film’s other working title is Guilty Pleasures), a take on the Renaissance tales of the Decameron, with Mischa Barton; Awake, in which he plays a man trapped in a paralytic state, with Jessica Alba; and the Andy Warhol-inspired Factory Girl, wherein he is a “Bob Dylan-like” character to Sienna Miller’s Edie Sedgwick. (Weezer guitarist Brian Bell plays Lou Reed and the band’s drummer, Patrick Wilson, attempts to invoke John Cale.)

“When I try to describe what I do, the films I am in, I say, ‘I play, I inhabit…,’ but no matter how you try and put it, the work always sounds so funny, so unreal. One second you can be shooting a tender love scene. The next, you’re on fire, climbing up a hill.” And, although Christensen can be a somewhat impulsive person hoping luck will win the day, he no longer looks at the work as simply an organic process. In the beginning he wouldn’t have differentiated the way he “acted” from the way he played, but as he matures, he has grown more analytical, which, he says, has inadvertently changed his approach. In wanting to return to that state of “just letting it come out,” or one has to be free, yet completely self-aware.

“with all the things going on in the world, I do wonder,” says Christensen, “am I doing enough, am I doing the right thing? I keep asking myself those questions and it keeps driving me forward. I think that’s one of my greatest struggles - finding that truth. Which is why, at the very least, doing this job right and doing it well is so important to me.

“Preparation, research, sinking into character - I love all that. What I hate is watching myself afterward. I’m hyper-critical of the flaws. I see all the mistakes. One would have to be really self-involved to enjoy looking at yourself in a film all the time. Then there would be people watching you watching yourself watch yourself in a movie theater. That is so surreal. It’s why taking care of the backyard, doing stuff like this for my family…withdrawing, coming home, getting away from the film business has been necessary at times, mentally…emotionally. I’ve spent so much time feeling almost like a stranger in my own body.”

It’s a scientific fact, Christensen says, that one cannot observe something without affecting it, and the effect that follows ultimately becomes a new point of view. It exists as an exponentially ongoing ritual of experience and observation. Even though he didn’t offer the following information, it has also become a mathematical corollary that people are very keen to keep looking into reality of being Hayden Christensen.

Though the number of results varies daily, should you type his name into Google’s search engine, in about a tenth of a second you’ll see that there are between two and four million sites linked to the actor’s life, work, desires, and passions. These sites reveal that his father, who is of Danish and English ancestry, is a software developer; his mom, whose family hails from Sweden and Italy, writes speeches; and his sister, Hejsa, is a former trampoline champion. Furthermore, it is written that Hayden is an alpha male - a competitive sportsman who was a top junior tennis and hockey player. He was a ball boy once at the Canadian Open (He jumped out match with John McEnroe, causing a pause in the game) and learned tae kwan do for Star Wars fight scences. He has been linked romantically to the actresses Sienna Miller and Natalie Portman. He celebrated his twenty-fifth birthday in April at Tao, the splashy Las Vegas nightclub made famous by Paris Hilton’s many indiscretions. And supposedly, his favorite Star Wars character is Lucas’s prankster Buddhist master, Yoda.

Recent favorite films will have to remain a mystery. “Maybe it’s how intense flim has become to me,” he says, “but I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies just for fun.” The last thing that really spoke to him was Ron Fricke’s 1992 documentary, Baraka. “The filmmakers juxtapose tribal living with modern society and present it in such a way to show how civilized tribal life is and how, even with all of our technology and modern ways, how discombobulated and chaotic our lives are.” In one swift loop, he indicates the Bobcat and himself. “As with most things, thet manipulate things a bit to prove their point. But they do it in a very, very effective way.”

What keeps him sane, he says, are two old-school pursuits: music - he listens Arcade Fire and Outkast (“I’ve also really been getting into this musician called Micah P. Hinson. He’s got this great kind of folky-melodic sound, really beautiful.”) - and books. One that he keeps coming back to is The Rebel Sell, by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter.

“They are a couple of Canadian professors. It’s about the birth of counterculture and how society is based on conning people into consumerism. I’m also trying to finish something I picked up a long time ago called Flatland, by Ian Stewart, the same author of Flatterland. It touches on physics, celestial mechanics, and quantum theory. Quantum physics really promotes the intangible…I dont pretend to understand all of it, but I find it exciting to let my head go to those places.

“I like the tangibility of the intangible,” he says. “When I think of the people I love, what’s real to me is the way the smile comes into the eyes. I think of fire. The way it jumps, snaps, colors, and catches the underside of a log. I think of air, the way that you can see it move. There is so much of life in science and nature that we are aware of, but we can’t really grasp. More and more, I often feel the day-to-day can sometimes be a preoccupation and we are unaware of the things we are really meant to be doing.”

He regards his mound of dirt and repeats the mantra, “I told them, promised them, I’d see the job through. And I will. I will. I will.” Sheets of rain begin to pound the ground. “Damn! Oh no,” he laughs, looking up at the sky, “it’s starting to pour!” Massive plonks of water bounce off the Bobcat and onto Christensen’s mountain of earth, which is rapidly melting into a drooling pool of mud and good intenstions. “Look at this mess. What a disaster.” He escalates a quick scheduling equation. In a few days, he heads to New York, then to Europe, then back to the States to begin a new film.

“I feel like tossing in a few Milk-Bone dog biscuits and calling it and archeological dig site. I don’t know how I’m going to take care of this in time.” He sighs. He turns his back on the storm and heads into the kitchen to make a sandwich. “Ok, then. I just will. There is always a way.”

Typed by: Tina J