Hayden Christensen
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Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen 05-2005.jpg
Christensen at the Berlin premiere of Star Wars: Episode III in 2005
Born (1981-04-19) April 19, 1981 (age 36)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Actor, film producer
Years active 1993-present
Rachel Bilson (2007-17)
Children 1
Relatives Tove Christensen (brother)

Hayden Christensen (born April 19, 1981)[1] is a Canadian actor and producer. He began his career on Canadian television at the age of 13, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He was praised for his acting as Sam in Life as a House (2001), earning Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Christensen gained international fame for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). His honors for these films include a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Actor and the Cannes Film Festival Revelation Award.

Early life

Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Alie, an American speechwriter, and David Christensen, a Canadian computer programmer and communications executive.[1][2] His father is of Danish descent, and his mother has Swedish and Italian ancestry.[2] Christensen is one of four children, with three actor siblings: older brother Tove, older sister Hejsa, and younger sister Kaylen.[1][3] Christensen was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.[4]

He spent summers on Long Island with his maternal grandmother, Rose Schwartz, and attended the Actors Studio in New York City; he studied as well at the Arts York drama program at Unionville High School in Markham, Ontario.[5] After accompanying his older sister to her agent's office after she landed a role in a Pringles commercial, he began being cast in commercials as well, including for Triaminic cough syrup.[5]

Career

1993-2005

Christensen made his acting debut in September 1993, when, at the age of 12, he played a supporting role on the German-Canadian television series Macht Der Leidenschaft/Family Passions.[6] The following year, he had a minor role in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness.[6] From 1995 through 1999, he appeared in several films and television series, including Harrison Bergeron, Forever Knight, Goosebumps, The Virgin Suicides, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?[6]

He acquired wider notice while starring in Fox Family Channel's television series Higher Ground in 2000, portraying a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother, and then turned to drugs in his despair.[6][7]

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.[8][9][10] However, the performance did not receive widespread public notice.[7] In 2002, Christensen made his London theatre debut with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in This Is Our Youth.[11]

He went on to receive good reviews for 2003's Shattered Glass, which tells the true story of journalist Stephen Glass, who was discovered to be fabricating stories as a writer for The New Republic and other publications.[12][13]Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "Hayden Christensen is sensational as Glass, finding the wonder boy and the weasel in a disturbed kid flying high on a fame he hasn't earned."[14] In 2005, Christensen made his Broadway debut when he appeared briefly in a 10-minute play.

In 2005, he took part in the fifth annual "24 Hour Plays" benefit, which raises cash for nonprofit groups in the Big Apple.[15]

Star Wars

On May 12, 2000, Christensen announced that he would be starring as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). The casting director reviewed about 1,500 other candidates before director George Lucas selected Christensen.[16] Lucas is quoted as saying that he chose Christensen because he "needed an actor who has that presence of the Dark Side". This was essential to solidify the story that Lucas was trying to tell: Anakin Skywalker's fall from grace and transformation into Darth Vader.

During the production of Revenge of the Sith, Christensen asked Lucas if a special Vader suit could be constructed to fit his own body, rather than have a different actor don one of the original sets of Vader armor worn by David Prowse.[17] Lucas agreed, and a suit was engineered to fit Christensen's frame, even including extensions to allow for the actor to attain Vader's 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) height. His voice as the "robotic" Vader, however, was dubbed over by James Earl Jones, who first made the voice famous in the original trilogy.[18]

Stock footage of Christensen was used in the 2004 DVD-release edition of Return of the Jedi, where he was inserted to replace Sebastian Shaw as the ghost of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker.[19] This was one of the most controversial changes.[20][21] Lucas wanted Anakin's inner person to return to who he was before he turned to the dark side.[22] Christensen insisted this was done without his knowledge, an act that was 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.[23]

His performance in both Episode II and III received generally mixed reviews by critics[24][25][26][27] (earning him the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor in both films).[28][29][30]

Christensen was named in both People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and Teen Peoples 25 Hottest Stars under 25.[31] For his performance in Episode III, he won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.[32]

2006-present

Christensen with ex-girlfriend Rachel Bilson filming Jumper in Rome in 2006

Between 2006 and 2007, he starred in Awake, with Jessica Alba, which tells the story of a man who remains awake but paralyzed during heart surgery,[6][33] and co-starred in Factory Girl, opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce.[6][34] Christensen next co-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.[35][36] Bilson and Christensen co-starred again in the same segment of the film New York, I Love You.[37] Christensen appeared opposite Mischa Barton in Virgin Territory, which was released directly-to-DVD in North America on August 26, 2008.[38] 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.[39]

In October 2009, Christensen started shooting the horror film Vanishing on 7th Street, directed by Brad Anderson, with Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo.[40][41] Christensen appeared in the crime drama Takers with Idris Elba and Paul Walker, released in the United States on August 27, 2010.[42]Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey is the fourth film in which Christensen stars with Samuel L. Jackson.

In 2010, Christensen sued USA Network over allegations that they stole his idea for the TV show Royal Pains. The suit alleges that Christensen met with USA to pitch a similar series entitled Housecalls. During the meeting, Christensen alleges, he was never informed that a similar program was in development.[43][44] Although a federal judge at first dismissed Christensen's lawsuit in 2011, in June 2012, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this decision and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings, in what was considered a legal victory for Christensen.[45]

On May 20, 2013, during the Cannes Film Festival, the Russian company Enjoy Movies announced the creation of Glacier Films, an alliance company with Christensen and his brother Tove. Over a three-year period, Glacier Films intends to make 11 "micro-budget" movies costing $1.5M each. The first project, American Heist, starring Christensen, Adrien Brody and Jordana Brewster, started filming in June 2013. It is a remake of Steve McQueen's The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery.[46] In 2014, he starred in the American-Chinese-Canadian film Outcast, an action drama, alongside Nicolas Cage.[47]

Personal life

In 2007, Christensen began dating actress Rachel Bilson, with whom he filmed the movie Jumper. They became engaged on December 25, 2008.[48][49] In mid-2010, they broke up, but began dating again a few months later.[50][51][52][53] On October 29, 2014, Bilson gave birth to their daughter Briar Rose.[54]

In 2007, Christensen bought a farm near Uxbridge, Ontario.[55][56] He noted in 2008 that he had been renovating the property himself and devoting time to learning about "livestock, crops, and agricultural machinery".[55] In November 2013, Christensen collaborated with Canadian fashion chain RW&Co to release a men's clothing line inspired by his farm.[57]

An avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan,[] Christensen performed a public service announcement for Do Something's Teens for Jeans Campaign in 2008.[58] He modelled in Louis Vuitton's advertising,[59] and was also named as the face of Lacoste's newest fragrance, Lacoste Challenge.[60] He was featured in RED's Lazarus Effect Campaign, which is intended to increase awareness for its efforts to fight AIDS in Africa.[61][62]

Filmography

Film
Year Title Character Notes
1995 In the Mouth of Madness Paper boy
1996 No Greater Love Teddy Winfield
1995 Street Law Young John Ryan
1998 The Hairy Bird Tinka's date
1999 The Virgin Suicides Jake Hill Conley
1999 Free Fall Patrick Brennan
2001 Life as a House Sam Monroe Young Hollywood Award One to Watch - Male
National Board of Review - Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture
Nominated - Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated - Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated - Chicago Film Critics Association Awards - Most Promising Performer
2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones Anakin Skywalker Cannes Film Festival - Male Revelation
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor
Nominated - Saturn Award - Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie Actor: Action
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie: Chemistry (shared with Natalie Portman)
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Natalie Portman)
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie: Male Breakout Star
2003 Shattered Glass Stephen Glass Las Palmas Film Festival - Best Actor (shared with Peter Sarsgaard)
Nominated - Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
2004 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker DVD Re-release
2005 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader ShoWest - Male Star of Tomorrow
MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor
Nominated - Saturn Award - Best Actor
Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Ewan McGregor)
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie Actor: Action
Nominated - Teen Choice Award - Choice Movie: Villain
2006 Factory Girl Billy Quinn
2007 Awake Clayton "Clay" Beresford, Jr. Nominated - Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screen Combo (shared with Jessica Alba)
2007 Virgin Territory Lorenzo de Lamberti
2008 Jumper David Rice Nominated - MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Jamie Bell)
2009 New York, I Love You Ben Segment: "Jiang Wen"
2010 Takers AJ Nominated - Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
2010 Vanishing on 7th Street Luke Ryder
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Jammer (voice)
2014 Outcast Jacob
2014 American Heist James Kelly
2015 90 Minutes in Heaven Don Piper
2017 First Kill Billy
2017 Numb, at the Edge of the End Kurt Post-production
2018 Little Italy Leo Campo Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Family Passions Skip McDeere Unknown episodes
1995 Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story Fletcher Television film
1995 Harrison Bergeron Eric Television film
1996 No Greater Love Teddy Winfield Television film
1996 Forever Knight Andre Episode: "Fallen Idol"
1997 Goosebumps Zane Episode: "Night of the Living Dummy III"
1999 Real Kids, Real Adventures Eli Goodner Episode: "Paralyzed: The Eli Goodner Story"
1999 Are You Afraid of the Dark? Kirk Episode: "The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge"
1999 The Famous Jett Jackson Steven Episode: "Popularity"
2000 Trapped in a Purple Haze Orin Krieg Television film
2000 Higher Ground Scott Barringer 22 episodes

References

  1. ^ a b c "Hayden Christensen Biography (1981-)". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Leith, William (March 13, 2002). "A force to be reckoned with". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved 2008. 
  3. ^ "Hayden Christensen Biography". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on January 1, 2006. Retrieved 2008. 
  4. ^ Lee, Linda (October 21, 2001). "Film: Up and Coming -- Hayden Christensen; Life as the Latest Bearer of the Force". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007. 
  5. ^ a b Goldman, Andrew (March 10, 2002). "Space Boy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Hello Magazine Filmography -- Hayden Christensen". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 2008. 
  7. ^ a b Welch, David (May 20, 2002). "The cast and crew of the latest Star Wars flick aren't cloning around". Sci Fi. Archived from the original on 2009-05-18. Retrieved 2008. 
  8. ^ "HFPA -- Awards Search". Golden Globes. Retrieved 2008. 
  9. ^ "8th Annual SAG Awards Nominees". SAG Awards. Archived from the original on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2008. 
  10. ^ "National Board of Review of Motion Pictures -- Awards 2001". NBRMP. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2008. 
  11. ^ Loveridge, Lizzie (March 2002), "A CurtainUp London Review: This is Our Youth", CurtainUp.com.
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 7, 2003). "Shattered Glass Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Roger Ebert.com. Retrieved 2008. 
  13. ^ Schembri, Jim (May 20, 2005). "Darth wish". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 2008. 
  14. ^ Travers, Peter (October 23, 2003). "Shattered Glass Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28. Retrieved 2008. 
  15. ^ "The 24 Hour Plays 2005". IBDB. Retrieved 2010. 
  16. ^ "Robin Gurland -- Don't Call Her; She'll Call You". Star Wars.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved 2010. 
  17. ^ "Star Wars -- Lucas Made Vader Suit Extra Awkward". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010. 
  18. ^ "Hayden Christensen Talks About "Revenge of the Sith"". Movies About. Retrieved 2010. 
  19. ^ Star Wars Trilogy: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2004. 
  20. ^ Johnson, Derek. "Star Wars fans, DVD, and cultural ownership: an interview with Will Brooker; Interview", Velvet Light Trap, September 22, 2005, pg. 36-44.
  21. ^ Ebert, Roger (May 1, 2005). "Anakin's fans strike back". Chicago Sun-Times. Roger Ebert.com. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  22. ^ "Moviefone Unscripted with Hayden Christensen and George Lucas". YouTube. 2005. 
  23. ^ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2005. 
  24. ^ "Review: Star Wars: Episode II -- Attack of the Clones". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2002. 
  25. ^ "Revenge of the Sith review". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2005. 
  26. ^ "May the Force Be Over". Village Voice. Retrieved 2005. 
  27. ^ Scott, A. O. (May 10, 2002). "Kicking Up Cosmic Dust". New York Times. Retrieved 2002. 
  28. ^ "26th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award "Winners"". Razzies.com. Retrieved 2015. 
  29. ^ "It's Madonna! It's Britney! It's -- BOTH Pop Divas TIE at 23rd RAZZIE Awards". Razzies. Retrieved 2015. 
  30. ^ "Hello Magazine Profile -- Hayden Christensen". Hello Magazine. Retrieved 2008. 
  31. ^ "Hayden Christensen: Actor". People. May 13, 2002. Retrieved 2008. 
  32. ^ "2006 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Retrieved 2008. 
  33. ^ Scheck, Frank (December 3, 2007). "Awake: Bottom Line: Sleep won't be an option". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 18, 2009. Retrieved 2008. 
  34. ^ Howell, Peter (February 9, 2007). "'Factory Girl': Time's up". TheStar. Retrieved 2008. 
  35. ^ Kiefer, Peter (December 17, 2006). "Oh My God, Can You Rent the Colosseum?". New York Times. Retrieved 2008. 
  36. ^ "Christensen Onboard Jumper?". Moviehole. July 22, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006. 
  37. ^ "Bilson and Christensen Reteam For New York Love Story". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010. 
  38. ^ "Virgin Territory". Tribute.ca. Retrieved 2010. 
  39. ^ Foster, Dave (June 26, 2008). "Virgin Territory (R2) in August". DVD Times. Retrieved 2008. 
  40. ^ "Hayden Christensen is 'Street' smart". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved . 
  41. ^ "Hayden Christensen is 'Vanishing on 7th Street'". Cinematical. Retrieved 2010. 
  42. ^ "Takers". Coming Soon. Retrieved 2010. 
  43. ^ "Hayden Christensen claims USA stole his idea for 'Royal Pains'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2010. 
  44. ^ Golding, Bruce. "Christensen sues USA Network over 'stolen' TV series". New York Post. Retrieved 2010. 
  45. ^ "Hayden Christensen Wins Big Victory Against USA Network in 'Royal Pains' Appeal". Hollywood Reporter. 
  46. ^ Dave McNary (May 16, 2013). "Hayden Christensen Launching Glacier Films Slate". Variety. 
  47. ^ "Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen to Begin 'Outcast' Chinese Shoot in April". Hollywood Reporter. 
  48. ^ "Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen are engaged". People. Retrieved 2009. 
  49. ^ "Christensen Proposed Over Christmas". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010. 
  50. ^ "Rep: Rachel Bilson, Hayden Christensen's Wedding Officially "Off"". Us Weekly. August 9, 2010. Retrieved 2010. 
  51. ^ Chiu, Alexis; Shira, Dahvi (August 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen & Rachel Bilson Call Off Engagement". People Magazine. Retrieved 2010. 
  52. ^ Byrne, Alla (November 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen & Rachel Bilson Are Dating Again". People Magazine. Retrieved 2010. 
  53. ^ Everett, Cristina (November 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson 'dating again' months after calling off engagement". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010. 
  54. ^ Confirmed by Bison's representative in Webber, Stephanie (November 6, 2014). "Rachel Bilson Gives Birth, Welcomes Baby Girl Briar Rose With Hayden Christensen". Us Weekly. Archived from the original on March 20, 2016. 
  55. ^ a b Hiscock, John (February 13, 2008). "Hayden Christensen dreaming of the simple life". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2013. 
  56. ^ Heilbron, Alexandra (May 31, 2007). "Christensen buys Toronto area farm". Tribute.ca. Retrieved 2013. 
  57. ^ "Hayden Christensen Teams With RW&Co: Collection Inspired By 'Star Wars' Actor's Farm". Huffington Post. September 16, 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  58. ^ "Hayden Christensen Promotes Teens for Jeans". Do Something. Retrieved 2008. 
  59. ^ "Hayden Christensen Smartens up for Louis Vuitton". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2009. 
  60. ^ "Hayden Christensen's New "Challenge": Face of Lacoste Fragrance". People. Retrieved 2010. 
  61. ^ Christensen, Hayden (July 31, 2010). "Hayden Christensen on 'The Lazarus Effect'". CNN. Retrieved 2008. 
  62. ^ "The Lazarus Effect Campaign". Join Red. Retrieved 2010. 

External links


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