Archive for the ‘2006’ Category

The Bullrun 2006

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Granted, the last thing we need in the world is another story about a cross-country race where rich guys in exotic cars try to outsmart the nation’s finest to grab a meaningless checkered flag. The premise is a tired one, especially considering Hollywood has already made a couple of bad movies on the subject. But when I received an invitation to partake in the 2006 Bullrun, the latest version of a coast-to-coast speed contest, I couldn’t resist the temptation. Not because I had a desire to win the thing, but I wanted see what kind of characters were willing to put up the $14,000 team entry fee and if they really drove like kamikaze pilots on Quaaludes.
Admittedly, there’s a curious temptation about recklessly breaking the speed limit and trying to get away with it. But considering I had quite a bit to lose (my job), I decided the best thing to do was to run the event using my brain. My plan was to drive as I drive every day, obeying most traffic laws while exhibiting a certain degree of etiquette. I chose the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR as my mount — perhaps not the first thing to come to mind for a cross-country trip, but a good choice considering its high level of performance and traffic-carving size. Jason Spencer of Oakley Sunglasses, a good friend of mine, was my driving partner.

What makes the Bullrun different from other events is that each day ends at a designated hotel. There are two checkpoints every day — you receive the first one in the morning; the second one is handed out at midday, which leads to a hotel where your room is already booked (the cost of the rooms is included in the entry fee). Once there, a dinner and a small party ensue (also included). The event began in Times Square in New York City and ended eight days later in Beverly Hills, California. Here are some highlights of the things that happened in between.

First Half: New York to Toronto to Chicago to Kansas City
Mario Andretti was the guest of honor at the start of the race, made possible by his association with MagnaFlow, a major sponsor of the Bullrun. I asked him what he thought about guys with little to no talent, racing high-performance machines on public roads. He laughed and said, “I don’t recommend it. But there are stretches of road along the way where people can go fast safely. It’s all about picking your spots.”

It turned out, not many of these guys had a clue about picking spots. As the green flag dropped in Times Square, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Spykers and 50 or so other expensive machines sped off recklessly to the first checkpoint: Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. The distance is about 105 miles, which Jason and I completed in about an hour and a half. One fellow, who got there after we did, collected five tickets during that first stint. As we made our way to Toronto and then Chicago, we passed a number of Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches pulled over on the side of the road, with flashing lights behind them. Radar detectors were helpful but not foolproof. Spencer and I ran into trouble when a state trooper pulled our Mitsu over in Illinois. We were stopped for doing about 80 mph, but in the end, it turned out to be just a warning.

As we drove the long stretch of Interstate from Chicago to Kansas City, a blue Ferrari F430 whizzed past us going about 120 mph. Although tempted to get on its bumper, we maintained our pace. Approximately 20 minutes later, we saw the Italian exotic on the side of the road with a patrol car parked behind it. Another hour or so later, the same Ferrari passed us again. Sure enough, it was pulled over having another friendly visit with a patrol officer a half hour later.
Later in the day, the F430 pulled up next to us at a gas station. The driver stepped out of the car with a dejected look on his face. I recognized him right away: Hayden Christensen, the actor who played young Darth Vader in the last two Star Wars movies. “How many times did you get nabbed today?” I asked him.

“Five. And you?” he asked.

“None,” I answered. “We’ve been going at a normal pace the whole time.”

He shook his head. “And yet here we are at the same exact point at the end of the day…”

You have much to learn about The Force, young Skywalker.

Second Half: Vail to Las Vegas to San Diego to Beverly Hills
As soon as we departed Vail, we heard through the grapevine that a couple of Bullrun contestants had been pulled over and thrown into jail. They were the drivers of a Chevrolet Corvette C5 and a Porsche 996. These characters, a couple of Brits on holiday, had been an absolute menace on the road. They consistently passed on the shoulder, split lanes and were a hazard to everyone, including other Bullrun contestants. So I wasn’t too shocked or upset when hearing of their arrest. However, I did shed a tear for them when I heard they were subjected to a strip search.

The drive through Colorado, just outside of Denver, is one of the most picturesque in the country. A pack of Bullrunners, including our Evolution, ran together here, just enjoying the scenery. Our final checkpoint that day was Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Despite our relaxed pace, we were in the top 10, but at this point, no one seemed to care about the running order. The Bullrun organizers did a fine job of staging the event, but left many details unaddressed, such as posting the running order of the race. We later found out that some participants skipped the afternoon checkpoints altogether, going straight to the hotel to get an early start to the partying.

Jason and I hit every checkpoint, and on the final day, we were the first to arrive at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Although we weren’t the overall winners of the race (at least we don’t think so), we did have the satisfying feeling of crossing the finish line first after 3600 miles. More important, we were the only car to get through the thing without a traffic violation. Although there were no accidents, Bullrun organizers estimate that more than 400 tickets were issued — from speeding to reckless driving — totaling more than $100,000. No wonder the race attracts a lot of bored rich guys. For more on the Bullrun, go to the R&T website or

Information about Bull Run 2006

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Bullrun is the most glamorous and high profile of the new breed of high-end “luxury lifestyle” automotive rallies. Each year, a hundred of the world’s premier super-cars embark on the beginning of an invite-only epic eight-day rolling party across the USA, bringing together a celebrity strewn cast of characters and ’petrosexuals’ for an unforgettable adventure, where, the only obligatory goals are to party, drive and enjoy…

Fueled by an impressive schedule of public and private events at the finest venues and hotels and in the most exciting cities in America, ’Bullrunners’ make their way from one checkpoint to the next, learning their destinations daily, rocking to a close each night in the party capitals of America.

In July 2005 Bullrun ran the, the 8-day USA West coast rally, Los Angeles to Los Angeles, covering 3,000 miles with overnight stops. Celebrities included Hayden Christensen as part of the official Lucas Films Star Wars team and Dennis Rodman in the Lamborghini.

Bullrun 2006 is a coast to coast classic, New York to Los Angeles, July 21st - July 29th. Starting at secret location in Manhattan Bullrun will make it’s way to Los Angeles over 7 amazing days and nights.

Amongst the drivers on the grid, Mario Andretti, Dennis Rodman and Hayden Christensen have all confirmed they want to attend again after claiming the last event was ’the best week of their lives’ and we’ll have some other interesting Hollywood characters coming along also.

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

Jessica’s Nightmare: ‘Awake’ During Surgery!

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

‘Into the Blue’ star JESSICA ALBA is teaming up with Darth Vader himself, HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN, in an all-new thriller, ‘Awake,’ and ET has your first look!

Golden Globe nominee TERRENCE HOWARD (‘Hustle & Flow’) rounds out the cast of this psychological thriller about “anesthetic awareness,” a horrifyingly common phenomenon where a patient wakes up and becomes fully conscious — but physically paralyzed — during surgery.

Hayden plays the unlucky patient who wakes up while the surgeons are performing heart surgery. Terrence is his doctor and best friend, and Jessica is his loving wife, who is forced to struggle with her own demons as a terrifying drama unfolds around the couple.

“That was the biggest challenge,” Hayden tells ET. “To get myself into some Zen-like space where I could just be still for an hour-and-a-half on end … I sing songs in my head, recount old memories, that sort of thing.”

“You see, for the other actors, we think Hayden got the cushy job,” interjects Terrence, “because half the movie he gets to sleep on the table. You would love to go to work and just lay there with your eyes closed.”

While Hayden worked on achieving a Zen-like state while hidden under a prosthetic body to “operate” on, Terrence did his own research by stepping into an actual operating room during real-life surgery!

“I couldn’t get enough of it,” he says. “You think that you’re going to be in the observation room, but no, you’re standing right over the lead surgeon’s shoulder with the heart being as far away from my face as my knee is, and watching the entire procedure, whether it’s an aortic valve replacement or a transplant. To be that close to life or death, it’s amazing.”

As for working with their sexy ‘Into the Blue’ star, the boys are nothing but diplomatic when talking about Jessica. “She’s really crafted a nice performance in this film,” says Hayden. “I think people will be very impressed.”

“You would like for her to be your friend,” adds Terrence. “That’s how warm and wonderful she is.”

Watch ET for your first look at ‘Awake’!

Hayden’s freewheelin’ role

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Not many actors have had to play Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison - let alone all at once. But Hayden Christensen stands ready for the challenge.

We’ve told you before that the original script for “Factory Girl” had ’60s It-girl Edie Sedgwick having a mad affair with Dylan. But after the Dylan camp disputed that he’d actually had the affair, bits of Jim and Mick were stirred into the script’s rock star character, now known as Danny Quinn.

Still, Christensen obviously sees Dylan as the foundation of the role.

“I don’t want to talk with him,” Christensen said of the reclusive Dylan. “But I am watching all his documentaries. I’m doing my homework.

“It’s a great mountain to climb,” the former Anakin Skywalker said last week at the Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival. “I don’t know if I can do it.”

Among the other real-life figures who’ll receive a looks upgrade in the movie is Andy Warhol, who’ll be played by lantern-jawed Aussie Guy Pearce.

Upcoming 2006 Film Projects

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

2. Awake – This psychological thriller, starring Jessica Alba and Hayden Christiansen follows a man (Christiansen) suffering from ‘anesthetic awareness’ where he wakes up during surgery but finds himself unable to tell anyone. Uggh! Along with his surgery-induced trauma, his wife (Alba) has her own demons to overcome. According to Variety, this film has been pitched as doing for surgery what Jaws did for swimming.” Yikes!

Enough of Star Wars right now, I’m Bob Dylan

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Hayden Christensen is shy. He always admits it during every interview and he adds that acting “avenges” everyone who’s like him. His personality was confirmed on the 31st of December. The other guests who attended the “Capri Hollywood Film Festival” were celebrating the arrival of the new year dancing and toasting with spumante (the Italian version of champagne): Franco Nero was singing on the stage, Eva Mendes was almost out of her mind, Gabriella Pession was showing off her sensuality. However, the “Star Wars” trilogy’s Anakin Skywalker was in a corner far from everybody else. He was wearing a coat that resembled the one worn by Bob Dylan forty years ago (not to mention Dylan will be his next character) and he was silently filming the whole scene with his inseparable video camera. These are the mysteries of a star who doesn’t feel like one, even if “People” includes him as one of the 50 most handsome unmarried men in the world. And Christensen, 25 next April, is really handsome, perhaps even talented. He has nothing of the “macho” type, he’s more of an ephebe, but this is just a detail for the long line of girls who asked for an autograph. Nevertheless, Hayden would give anything to escape from these “possessed” fangirls: “To me the most important thing is acting, not being successful. When I was 8 I accompanied my sister Hejsa to a screen test and I was chosen for a crisps advert. I knew then what I wanted my future to be like”.

Hayden Christensen’s New Year’s Eve

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The famous Star Wars actor gave a hot welcome to 2006 (in Italian we usually use “fuochi d’artificio” metaphorically to describe a hot [both negative and positive] situation between two or more people,whereas literally the _expression means “fireworks” in English, and in the next line the journalist says that in this case it’s both literal and metaphorical). The fascinating star of the new “Star Wars” trilogy, an important guest at the Capri Hollywood Film Festival, was apparently dazzled by the atmosphere present on the island at night: in consequence of this, he had a bit of fun. Apparently he started a game that turned out to be very successful, using small rockets and fireworks. However, it seems that Hayden’s most successfully achieved game was with the beautiful ladies in Capri. Some say they cought him being very “friendly” with actress Eva Mendes, the star of “Hitch”. Others say he spent a lovely evening dining with Gaia Bermani Amaral, model and actress.

Hayden Plays Secret Dylan in Warhol Film

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN was forced to play the only fictional character in new ANDY WARHOL/EDIE SEDGWICK biopic FACTORY GIRL because screenwriter CAPTAIN MAUZNER couldn’t guarantee BOB DYLAN wouldn’t sue if he alleged the rocker had romanced Sedgwick.

Christensen was excited about playing his rock hero in the film - alongside GUY PEARCE and SIENNA MILLER - but, instead, he’ll now play a character called DANNY QUINN.

The Canadian actor says, “(it was) a character originally scripted as Bob Dylan. They changed it to Danny Quinn to make it more ambiguous.”

Factory Girl’ Transforms Downtown Shreveport To NYC

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The City of Shreveport played the lead role on Thursday, dressed up as the city that doesn’t sleep. Texas Street became Lexington Avenue, New York circa 1965, for a scene in the movie, “Factory Girl”. It’s a movie based on the rise and fall of Andy Warhol’s leading lady, Edie Sedgwick. Director George Hickenlooper says, “she wanted to become famous, became famous, and tragically died of a drug overdose”. The leading lady in this film is Sienna Miller. In this scene, Sedgwick learns some disturbing news from her accountant James Townsend, played by Edward Herrmann. Herrmann says, “he is managing Edie’s trust fund and he tries on numerous occasions to warn her that she’s burning through it at an alarming rate”.
With 60 extras dressed in the time period clothing, and yellow cabs driving the streets, Herrmann praises Shreveport’s ability to blend. Herrmann says, “they did an extraordinary job of making this look like Lexington Avenue in 1965 or 1966″. You may remember Herrmann from the 1987 movie “The Lost Boys”. Herrmann tells us he’s enjoying Shreveport, especially after dinner at Shreveport’s Noble Savage Tavern. Herrmann says, “I was invited to a table with the locals to sit and from there we went to a number of places I can’t remember”. The cast and crew say Shreveport is up and coming in the movie ranks.
“Factory Girl” Director George Hickenlooper expects the movie industry to make a big move to Shreveport, saying there’s nervousness about shooting in New Orleans during hurricane season.

Flying under the radar

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Guy Pearce wasn’t using his body as a memo pad, so maybe that’s why the “Memento” star seemed to go unrecognized during a visit to The Andy Warhol Museum to research his role as Warhol for the movie “Factory Girl.” Or maybe patrons were just too sophisticated to stare or ask for autographs.

After much back-and-forth about scheduling a date, Pearce and actress Sienna Miller, who is playing Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick, toured the museum and its archives in late November with director Tom Sokolowski. “Tom met with them both,” Colleen Criste, assistant director/external affairs, says.

Miller, whose engagement to Jude Law landed her on the gossip pages, is now on screen in “Casanova” as a feminist writer. Known for “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Memento,” “L.A. Confidential” and cheekbones that could cut glass, Pearce was engaging and interesting, and Sokolowski offered to lend him a Warhol wig. “We were open to the public that day, and I didn’t hear any stories of anyone stopping them,” Criste says.

Pearce apparently also met with Andy’s brother, John Warhola, and toured Pittsburgh. Criste, a Pearce fan, wasn’t at the museum that day. “We gawkers on the staff decided to cut the man a break and let him do his work.”

The movie, tentatively set for a September release, also stars Hayden Christensen as Danny Quinn, modeled after Bob Dylan.

Redgrave, Dafoe among major stars expected at Bangkok film festival

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Dozens of movie stars and directors from around the world, including old hands such as Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Lee, are expected in the Thai capital next month for an international film festival.
Among other stars scheduled to make an appearance at the fourth Bangkok International Film Festival on Feb. 17-27 are Willem Dafoe, Diane Ladd, Helen Mirren, Hayden Christensen and Japan’s Tadanobu Asano.
Also coming are directors Bruce Beresford and Fred Schepisi of Australia and American Terry Gilliam, and producer Donald Ranvaud who was responsible for City of God and last year’s The Constant Gardener, from a John le Carre novel.
The festival will feature about 160 movies from 50 countries, including Invisible Waves by Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and the film version of the Broadway hit Rent, directed by Chris Columbus.
There will also be a spotlight on films from Southeast Asia, Denmark, Canada and Italy, as well as dance movies, including classics like Singing In the Rain and West Side Story, and documentaries Ballets Russes, Iberia, and Rize.

Weinstein Co. stirs ‘Awake’Thriller sold to raft of countries

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Weinstein Co. stirs ‘Awake’Thriller sold to raft of countries
BERLIN — The Weinstein Co. has finalized sales to most major territories on Joby Harold’s thriller “Awake,” starring Hayden ChristensenHayden Christensen and Jessica Alba.
Pic, which just finished shooting, has been picked up by Pan-Europeene in France, Kinowelt in Germany, Eagle in Italy and Icon for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Artport has bought rights in Japan, Svensk in Scandinavia, West in Russia and Sun Distribution in Latin America.
Christensen plays a wealthy young heart transplant patient who because of an anesthetist’s error finds himself conscious though immobile during the operation, and discovers that his wife and doctors are conspiring to kill him.
Terrence Howard and Lena Olin co-star.TWC will release the movie in North America.

Bauer Martinez’s Crash Bandits delays Thailand shoot

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Bauer Martinez’s Crash Bandits has pushed back filming in Thailand to January 2007 to allow for longer pre-production time, according to government agency Thailand Film Office.
The John McTiernan-directed big-budget action adventure feature was originally scheduled for a three-month shoot in southern Thailand from mid-February through local fixer Kantana.

The project was expected to bring in a significant $5.1m (200m baht) in local spend, comparable to the large revenues generated by Oliver Stone’s Alexander shot in 2004, and to re-establish Thailand as an international film hub after a year-long slump.

Last year, earnings from foreign feature shoots dropped by 40% to $6.2m (244.6m baht) due to a series of devastating events such as the 2004 tsunami which took thousands of lives and destroyed much of popular locations such as Krabi and Phuket in the south.

Nevertheless, French director Alain Berberian last week started the camera rolling for Fix Production’s $17.8m (Euros 15.m) Treasure Island, making it the first international production to shoot in Thailand this year.

French actor Gerard Jugnot and actress Alice Taglioni are currently filming on the Krabi set, which features a 30 m long pirate boat built especially for the shoot. ‘Thailand is the location for about 60% of the film. We’ve scheduled a six-week shoot in the south from Krabi to Trang, which is expected to generate a local spend of approximately US$2 million,’ says executive producer Georges Langlois who coordinated the shoot through his Bangkok-based company Flash Cineservices.

In addition, Hong Kong director Oxide Pang is currently shooting his latest psychological thriller Diary in Thailand while his brother Danny is set to start filming his thriller Forest of Death also in the same country later this week.

Exciting Star Wars News

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Star Wars fans prepared to be thrilled.

The Force is getting a whole new lease of life in the shape of a brand new TV series.
Star Wars creator George Lucas has agreed to make 100 episodes, covering the years between prequel Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and the first 1977 Star Wars movie.Series producer Rick McCullum told the Daily Mirror: “We’re very excited - we just got confirmation George Lucas has committed himself to writing the Star Wars TV series. “I guess this is the news all fans have been waiting to hear.But will any familiar faces be popping up in the TV shows? None of the films’ actors, from Ewan McGregor to Carrie Fisher, will be taking part. But Anthony Daniels, who played C3P0 will appear.Rick added: “It will all be new because the originals will all be too old. But we will be using Anthony as C3PO because there is such a thing as loyalty.”George waited nearly 20 years before making the prequel films which star Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman.In the last prequel we saw Anakin Skywalker go to the dark side to become Darth Vader and the TV series will concentrate on the rise of his evil empire.What we can’t tell you though is which side the series will be on…Looks like there’ll be another kind of war to decide that.

Inside the Mask

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

One of the most haunting images of Revenge of the Sith is the fearsome black mask that lowers over Anakin Skywalker’s ravaged face, forever sealing him in an implacable armored shell, marking a seemingly irreversible transformation into Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith.
Though the Sydney-based Costume Props Department developed a full suit of armor for Hayden Christensen, the shot of the helmet lowering was achieved separately in postproduction by Industrial Light & Magic. The ILM Model Shop was tasked with building the separated helmet, and Practical Model Supervisor Brian Gernand assigned the task to Don Bies, for good reason.

“He knew of my affinity for movie history and Star Wars lore,” says Bies. Years ago, Bies worked as the archivist for the Lucasfilm Archives, the repository of the props, costumes and models used in various Lucasfilm productions. In that role, Bies had actually rescued the original Vader helmet used in for the unmasking in Return of the Jedi.

“The original prop I found at the bottom of a crate with a bunch of junk on top of it — shredded papers and stuff like that,” recalls Bies. “The crate almost got tossed, but I decided to check it and pulled out this brown flannel bag, and inside were the pieces of the mask.”

The mask became one of Bies’ favorites pieces in the Archive, and he studied it extensively, unknowingly preparing himself years in advance for the assignment of recreating it for Revenge of the Sith. The original mask, on a museum tour in Japan at the time of Episode III production, did not have much inner detail, allowing considerable artistic freedom in designing the inside of the mask.

“Ryan Church had created a design that was very manufactured and more medical,” says Bies. “I started making suggestions as to how to build it. His direction was that it’s supposed to look painful; it goes easy but it doesn’t come off easy. Having that freedom allowed me to start playing around with different materials. I used the readers from computer hard drives in there — it made it look like if you slipped this thing on your face that it would cut into your cheeks.”

Bies worked off of extensive photographs of the original prop, discovering that many of the “found” objects used to dress the original could not be found locally. “A lot of must have been from England surplus stores. I ended up having to laser cut almost all of it,” says Bies.

Some of the material he did find included electronic molex connectors, stainless steel studs from punk rocker collars, and parts from a Tamiya tank model kit. The two silver knobs bracketing Vader’s mouthpiece, nicknamed the “tusks,” came from a surprising source. “We were running short on time, so I actually bought them from a fan.”

Joining Bies on the project were John Duncan, who built the “harmonica” mouthpiece and Carol Bauman who helped paint the helmet. The helmet deviated from the original in that it used the Episode III mold which had a symmetrical face, and the new incarnation was solid black as opposed to the two-tone paint job seen in Episode VI.

“They had a heck of a time shooting the thing,” explains Bies of the shot looking at the mask coming down. “Kim Marks, who shot it, tried to get the angle right. When you get it over the lens, it distorted crazily because of the wide angle. So they had to tilt it. It’s really angled forward and looks more ominous.”

For the side angle shot of the mask lowering onto Anakin face, it was actually a composite since Hayden Christensen had already been photographed in Sydney separately a year earlier.

Weinstein Co. stirs ‘Awake’

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

BERLIN — The Weinstein Co. has finalized sales to most major territories on Joby Harold’s thriller “Awake,” starring Hayden Christensen and Jessica Alba.
Pic, which just finished shooting, has been picked up by Pan-Europeene in France, Kinowelt in Germany, Eagle in Italy and Icon for the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Artport has bought rights in Japan, Svensk in Scandinavia, West in Russia and Sun Distribution in Latin America.

Christensen plays a wealthy young heart transplant patient who because of an anesthetist’s error finds himself conscious though immobile during the operation, and discovers that his wife and doctors are conspiring to kill him.

Terrence Howard and Lena Olin co-star.

TWC will release the movie in North America.