Spotlight: Hayden Christensen
Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the son of Alie, a speechwriter for the heads of large companies, and David Christensen, a software program writer and communications executive. His father is of Danish descent and his mother has Italian and Swedish ancestry. Christensen has an elder brother and sister, Tove and Hesja, and a younger sister, Kaylen. Raised outside Toronto in Thornhill, Ontario, Christensen attended E.J sand Public School, Baythorn Public School and Unionville High School in Unionville, Ontario, Canada. He was an athlete in high school, playing hockey at a competitive level and tennis on a provincial level. Christensen spent summers in Long Island with his maternal grandmother, Rose Schwartz, and attended the Actors Studio in New York as well as the Arts York program for drama at his high school. He was “discovered” when his older sister Hejsa, a former trampoline champion, was shopping around for an agent after she landed a role in a Pringles potato chips commercial.
Christensen’s first acting role was on the television series Family Passions, which aired on Canadian television in September of 1993, at age of twelve. The following year he acquired a minor role in John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness. From 1995 through 1999, he appeared in several movies and television shows, including Harrison Bergeron, Forever Knight, Goosebumps, The Virgin Suicides, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?.
He acquired wider notice while starring in Fox’s Family Network TV series, Higher Ground in 2000, portraying a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother, who then turned to drugs in his despair.
While Christensen’s critically acclaimed portrayal of a misunderstood teenager in Life as a House (2001) earned him Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations as well as the National Board of Review’s award for Breakthrough Performance of the Year, the performance didn’t receive widespread public notice. For his part in the movie, Christensen lost 25 pounds through a special diet. He eventually gained the weight back during the filming for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
His role as Anakin Skywalker (who was previously played by Sebastian Shaw and Jake Lloyd) in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) made him a star. Although his performance was met with mixed reviews by critics (even earning him the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor in both Episodes II and III), he became very popular among audiences, being named in both People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People and Teen People’s 25 Hottest Stars under 25. He went on to receive good reviews for 2003’s Shattered Glass, which tells the true story of journalist Stephen Glass, who was discovered fabricating stories as a writer for The New Republic.
Stock footage of Christensen was used in the controversial 2004 DVD release of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, where he was inserted over the original actor, Sebastian Shaw. This version is now considered the canonical version in the Star Wars universe. Christensen insists this was done without his knowledge, an act that is confirmed by Lucasfilm itself in the featurette “Return of the Jedi: What has changed?” as seen on the official website to commemorate the 2006 DVDs.
Christensen was the subject of part of London photographer Sam Taylor-Wood’s photographic series called Crying Men (2002-2004), which also features 26 other actors in private moments of reflection.
Christensen will be seen in Virgin Territory, opposite Mischa Barton. The film, based on The Decameron, is about a group of people who escape the Black Plague epidemic by hiding out in a Tuscan Villa in Italy. He starred in Awake, with Jessica Alba, which tells the story of a man who remains awake but paralyzed during heart surgery, and in Factory Girl — as a character loosely based upon Bob Dylan — opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. Christensen next starred with Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell and Rachel Bilson in the film Jumper, the story of a young man who discovers he has the ability to teleport; the film was released on February 14, 2008. Christensen is also slated to star in a movie adaptation of William Gibson’s seminal cyberpunk novel, Neuromancer, set for a 2009 release.
Neuromancer (2009) (pre-production)
Beast of Bataan (2008) (pre-production)
Factory Girl (2006)
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Shattered Glass (2003)
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Source: wiki, imdb