|Occupation||Actor, film producer|
|Known for||Star Wars prequel trilogy|
|Partner(s)||Rachel Bilson (2007–2017)|
|Relatives||Tove Christensen (brother)|
Erik Christensen (cousin)
Hayden Christensen (born April 19, 1981) 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 the Star Wars prequel trilogy films, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), a role he will reprise for the announced Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi. His honours for these films include a nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Actor and the Cannes Film Festival Revelation Award. He also received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Stephen Glass in the 2003 film Shattered Glass.
Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, to Alie, an American speechwriter, and David Christensen, a Canadian computer programmer and communications executive. His father is of Danish descent, and his mother has Swedish and Italian ancestry. Christensen is one of four children, with three actor siblings: older brother Tove, older sister Hejsa, and younger sister Kaylen. Christensen was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.
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. 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 in 1988.
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. The following year, he had a minor role in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. 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?
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.
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. However, the performance did not receive widespread public notice. In 2002, Christensen made his London theatre debut with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in This Is Our Youth.
He went on to receive positive 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. 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." In 2005, Christensen made his Broadway debut when he appeared briefly in a 10-minute play.
On May 12, 2000, Christensen announced that he would be starring as an adult Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005), Skywalker was previously portrayed by Jake Lloyd as a child in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). The casting director reviewed about 1,500 other candidates before director George Lucas selected Christensen. 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 armour worn by David Prowse. 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.
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 force ghost of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker. This was one of the most controversial changes. Lucas wanted Anakin's inner person to return to who he was before he turned to the dark side. 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.
Christensen was named in both People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and Teen People's 25 Hottest Stars under 25. For his performance in Episode III, he won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.
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, and co-starred in Factory Girl, opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. 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. Bilson and Christensen co-starred again in the same segment of the film New York, I Love You. Christensen appeared opposite Mischa Barton in Virgin Territory, which was released directly-to-DVD in North America on August 26, 2008. 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.
In October 2009, Christensen started shooting the horror film Vanishing on 7th Street, directed by Brad Anderson, with Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo. Christensen appeared in the crime drama Takers with Idris Elba and Paul Walker, released in the United States on August 27, 2010. 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. 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.
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. In 2014, he starred in the American-Chinese-Canadian film Outcast, an action drama, alongside Nicolas Cage.
In 2015, Christensen starred in the film 90 Minutes in Heaven co-starring Kate Bosworth and directed by Michael Polish based on the best-selling novel by the same name. In 2015, filming began of an unreleased World War II Nazi zombies horror movie titled Untöt, set to star Christensen. In 2017, he was in the film First Kill alongside Bruce Willis. In 2018 he appeared in the Canadian-American romantic comedy Little Italy with Emma Roberts and in the same year was in The Last Man.
Return to the Star Wars franchise
In 2019, Christensen returned to the role of Anakin Skywalker, providing a voice cameo of the character's voice in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Christensen also received a voice credit as Anakin Skywalker jointly alongside Matt Lanter for the penultimate episode of the final season of the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars entitled "Shattered" despite the fact the dialogue used for the episode spoken by Christensen was reused archival audio from Revenge of the Sith. On December 10, 2020 during Disney+ Investor Day 2020, it was announced that Christensen would reprise his role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader for the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series on Disney+.
In 2007, Christensen began dating actress Rachel Bilson, with whom he filmed the movie Jumper. They became engaged on December 25, 2008. In mid-2010, they broke up, but began dating again a few months later. On October 29, 2014, Bilson gave birth to their daughter Briar Rose. Christensen and Bilson separated in September 2017.
In 2007, Christensen bought a farm near Uxbridge, Ontario. He noted in 2008 that he had been renovating the property himself and devoting time to learning about "livestock, crops, and agricultural machinery". In November 2013, Christensen collaborated with Canadian fashion chain RW&Co to release a men's clothing line inspired by his farm.
An avid Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Christensen performed a public service announcement for Do Something's Teens for Jeans Campaign in 2008. He modelled in Louis Vuitton's advertising, and was also named as the face of Lacoste's newest fragrance, Lacoste Challenge. He was featured in RED's Lazarus Effect Campaign, which is intended to increase awareness for its efforts to fight AIDS in Africa.
|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|
|2020||Star Wars: The Clone Wars||Anakin Skywalker (voice)||Episode: "Shattered" (archival audio from Revenge of the Sith)|
|2022||Obi-Wan Kenobi||Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader||Upcoming Disney+ limited series|
- "Hayden Christensen Biography (1981-)". FilmReference.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
- Leith, William (March 13, 2002). "A force to be reckoned with". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "Hayden Christensen Biography". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on January 1, 2006. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Lee, Linda (October 21, 2001). "Film: Up and Coming — Hayden Christensen; Life as the Latest Bearer of the Force". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2007.
- Goldman, Andrew (March 10, 2002). "Space Boy". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- "Hello Magazine Filmography — Hayden Christensen". Hello Magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- 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 May 18, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "HFPA — Awards Search". Golden Globes. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "8th Annual SAG Awards Nominees". SAG Awards. Archived from the original on September 7, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "National Board of Review of Motion Pictures — Awards 2001". NBRMP. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Loveridge, Lizzie (March 2002), "A CurtainUp London Review: This is Our Youth", CurtainUp.com. Retrieved on April 19, 2018
- Ebert, Roger (November 7, 2003). "Shattered Glass Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Roger Ebert.com. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
- Schembri, Jim (May 20, 2005). "Darth wish". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Travers, Peter (October 23, 2003). "Shattered Glass Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 28, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2008.
- "The 24 Hour Plays 2005". IBDB. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- "Robin Gurland — Don't Call Her; She'll Call You". Star Wars.com. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Star Wars — Lucas Made Vader Suit Extra Awkward". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Hayden Christensen Talks About "Revenge of the Sith"". Movies About. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- Star Wars Trilogy: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2004.
- Johnson, Derek. "Star Wars fans, DVD, and cultural ownership: an interview with Will Brooker; Interview", Velvet Light Trap, September 22, 2005, pg. 36–44.
- 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 February 26, 2010.
- "Moviefone Unscripted with Hayden Christensen and George Lucas". YouTube. 2005.
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 2005.
- "Review: Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved May 10, 2002.
- "Revenge of the Sith review". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 30, 2005.
- "May the Force Be Over". Village Voice. Retrieved May 10, 2005.
- Scott, A. O. (May 10, 2002). "Kicking Up Cosmic Dust". The New York Times. Retrieved May 10, 2002.
- "26th Annual Golden Raspberry (Razzie©) Award "Winners"". Razzies.com. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
- "It's Madonna! It's Britney! It's -- BOTH?? Pop Divas TIE at 23rd RAZZIE Awards". Razzies. Archived from the original on April 15, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
- "Hello Magazine Profile — Hayden Christensen". Hello Magazine. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "Hayden Christensen: Actor". People. May 13, 2002. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "2006 MTV Movie Awards". MTV. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
- 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 July 1, 2008.
- Howell, Peter (February 9, 2007). "'Factory Girl': Time's up". TheStar. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Kiefer, Peter (December 17, 2006). "Oh My God, Can You Rent the Colosseum?". New York Times. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "Christensen Onboard Jumper?". Moviehole. July 22, 2006. Archived from the original on October 13, 2006. Retrieved July 24, 2006.
- "Bilson and Christensen Reteam For New York Love Story". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- "Virgin Territory". Tribute.ca. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
- Foster, Dave (June 26, 2008). "Virgin Territory (R2) in August". DVD Times. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- Kit, Borys. "Hayden Christensen is 'Street' smart". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- "Hayden Christensen is 'Vanishing on 7th Street'". Cinematical. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- "Takers". Coming Soon. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- "Hayden Christensen claims USA stole his idea for 'Royal Pains'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 11, 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2010.
- Golding, Bruce. "Christensen sues USA Network over 'stolen' TV series". New York Post. Retrieved May 30, 2010.
- "Hayden Christensen Wins Big Victory Against USA Network in 'Royal Pains' Appeal". Hollywood Reporter.
- Dave McNary (May 16, 2013). "Hayden Christensen Launching Glacier Films Slate". Variety.
- "Nicolas Cage, Hayden Christensen to Begin 'Outcast' Chinese Shoot in April". Hollywood Reporter.
- Kay, Jeremy (May 19, 2015). "Hayden Christensen horror 'Untöt' sells for 13 Films". Screen Daily. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- Breznican, Anthony; Robinson, Joanna (December 20, 2019). "25 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Cameos You Might Have Missed". Vanity Fair.
- O'Neill, Shane (May 2, 2020). "Clone Wars Uses Hayden Christensen's Revenge of the Sith Dialogue With A Twist". Screenrant. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
- "Future Lucasfilm Projects Revealed". StarWars.com. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- Orloff, Brian (February 18, 2009). "Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen are engaged". People. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- WENN. "Christensen Proposed Over Christmas". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved July 11, 2010.
- "Rep: Rachel Bilson, Hayden Christensen's Wedding Officially "Off"". Us Weekly. August 9, 2010. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- Chiu, Alexis; Shira, Dahvi (August 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen & Rachel Bilson Call Off Engagement". People Magazine. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
- Byrne, Alla (November 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen & Rachel Bilson Are Dating Again". People Magazine. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- Everett, Cristina (November 9, 2010). "Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson 'dating again' months after calling off engagement". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
- Confirmed by Bilson'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.
- US Weekly Staff. "Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen Split". usmagazine.com. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
- Hiscock, John (February 13, 2008). "Hayden Christensen dreaming of the simple life". The Toronto Star. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Heilbron, Alexandra (May 31, 2007). "Christensen buys Toronto area farm". Tribute.ca. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- "Hayden Christensen Teams With RW&Co: Collection Inspired By 'Star Wars' Actor's Farm". Huffington Post. September 16, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
- Daniell, Mark (August 23, 2018). "Hayden Christensen trumpets cooking skills in 'Little Italy'". Toronto Sun. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
- "Hayden Christensen Promotes Teens for Jeans". Do Something. Retrieved January 7, 2008.
- WENN. "Hayden Christensen Smartens up for Louis Vuitton". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved October 5, 2009.
- "Hayden Christensen's New "Challenge": Face of Lacoste Fragrance". People. Archived from the original on April 21, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2010.
- Christensen, Hayden (July 31, 2010). "Hayden Christensen on 'The Lazarus Effect'". CNN. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "The Lazarus Effect Campaign". Join Red. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hayden Christensen.|