Canadian actor Hayden Christensen began appearing on film and television when he was only seven years old, and by his late teens had earned considerable buzz for his emotionally gripping performances...
Vancouver, British Columbia, CA
|Danielle Steel's 'No Greater Love'||Actor||Teddy||7|
|The Genesis Code||Actor||n/a||7|
|Other Side of Simple||Actor||n/a||7|
|Trapped in a Purple Haze||Actor||Orin Krieg||7|
|Shattered Glass||2003||Actor||Stephen Glass||20037|
|Vanishing on Seventh Street||2011||Actor||Luke||20117|
|Life As A House||2001||Actor||Sam||20017|
|Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith||2005||Actor||Anakin Skywalker||20057|
|Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy III||1996 1995 - 1996||Actor||Zane||19967|
|Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones||2002||Actor||Anakin Skywalker||20027|
|Sizzlin' 16 of 2002||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||n/a||20017|
|Higher Ground||1999 1998 - 1999||Actor||Scott Barringer||19997|
|New York, I Love You||2009||Actor||Ben||20097|
|AFI's 100 Years..100 Heroes and Villains||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Interviewee||20027|
|Free Fall||1998 1997 - 1998||Actor||Patrick||19987|
|The WB Presents: Teen People's What's Next||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||n/a||20017|
|Nickelodeon's 18th Annual Kids' Choice Awards||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Presenter||20047|
|2004 IFP/Independent Spirit Awards||2003 2002 - 2003||Actor||Presenter||20037|
|Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron||1994 1993 - 1994||Actor||Eric||19947|
|In the Mouth of Madness||1995||Actor||Paper Boy||19957|
|American Idol: Week 5B: Hollywood Auditions, Part II||Actor||Himself||7|
|All I Wanna Do||1998||Actor||Tinka's Date||19987|
|Spike TV's Video Game Awards 2007||2007 2006 - 2007||Actor||n/a||20077|
|Love and Betrayal: the Mia Farrow Story||Actor||n/a||7|
|The Virgin Suicides||2000||Actor||Jake Hill Conley||20007|
|The Decameron: Angels & Virgins||2007||Actor||n/a||20077|
|Acted on the Canada-filmed TV soap opera "Macht der Leidenschaft/Family Passions"|
|Co-starred as a teen haunted by sinister puppets in TV special "Goosebumps: Night of the Living Dummy III" (Fox)|
|Reprised the role of Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" the final chapter in the Star Wars saga|
|Co-starred with Rachel Bilson in the sci-fi thriller "Jumper"|
|Had a cameo as a paper boy in John Carpenter's mystery thriller "In the Mouth of Madness"|
|Appeared in the futuristic satire, "Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron" (Showtime)|
|Had a supporting role in the heroin addiction-themed ABC TV-movie "Trapped in a Purple Haze"|
|Had small role in "Strike/The Hairy Bird"|
|Portrayed a man paralyzed in a state of 'anesthetic awareness' in the thriller "Awake"|
|Starred in the critically acclaimed "Life as a House" as Kevin Kline's disaffected teenage son; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations|
|Played a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother in Fox's Family Network TV series, "Higher Ground"|
|Won the coveted role of Anakin Skywalker for the final two Star Wars films|
|Acted in the TV-movie romance "Danielle Steel's 'No Greater Love'" (NBC)|
|Appeared in the feature "Street Law" (direct-to-video release in 1995)|
|Guest starred on the vampire-turned-cop TV series "Forever Knight" (USA Network)|
|Appeared in the ensemble crime thriller "Takers"|
|London stage acting debut in "This Is Our Youth"|
|Raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|With brother Tove, formed Forest Park Pictures; signed two-year, first-look deal with New Line Cinema in 2002|
|Co-starred in Sophia Coppola's directorial debut "The Virgin Suicides"|
|Starred as writer Stephen Glass in the drama "Shattered Glass," based on a true story|
|Starred as Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones"|
|Portrayed a fictional rock star who is based upon Bob Dylan in "Factory Girl"|
Hayden Christensen was born on April 19, 1981, in Vancouver, British Columbia. He grew up with two sisters and a brother outside Toronto, Ontario, where he was an accomplished hockey and tennis player. When he was seven, Christensen accompanied his sister to a meeting with a talent agent (she had done some commercials) and was asked if he was also interested in doing some acting. Christensen could not turn down the chance to miss a few days of school and make some extra money, so he began appearing in commercials, though he generally denied his theatrical outings to his athletic buddies. By the age of 12, however, Christensen could not deny that he had a regular role on the daily Canadian soap opera "Family Passions." Christensen became more serious about acting, joining a local dramatic arts program and attending the Actor's Studio during the summer while visiting his grandmother in New York. Commercial auditions led to TV and film auditions, and the handsome new face found extensive work in projects lensed in his home country, including the direct-to-video release "Street Law" (1994), and John Carpenter's eerie thriller "In the Mouth of Madness" (1995).
Christensen continued with TV movie work, taking featured roles in the sci-fi satire "Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron" (Showtime, 1995) and the heady romance "Danielle Steele's 'No Greater Love'" (NBC, 1996). He also racked up credits with guest roles in preteen programming like "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (Nickelodeon, YTV, 1990-2000) and "The Famous Jett Jackson" (The Disney Channel, 1998-2001). Meanwhile, as Christensen approached his graduation from Unionville High School, he was faced with the decision to either pursue acting or go off to college on a tennis scholarship. He chose acting, and landed a starring role on the Fox Family Television show "Higher Ground" (2000). Christensen arguably had the juiciest part on the series, giving an emotionally jarring performance as a drug-abusing delinquent and victim of sexual abuse in the otherwise lackluster series. The short-lived show earned the actor his first legion of fans, who responded to his strong and emotionally credible performance as a troubled teen. The role also led to Christensen's supporting performance as the glue-sniffing, pill-popping, disaffected teenage son of Kevin Kline in the effective tearjerker "Life as a House" (2001). His intense performance earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations and had directors scrambling to snap up this handsome actor with the unexpected depth.
Sofia Coppola was next to tap Christensen's appeal, casting him in her directorial debut "The Virgin Suicides" (2002) as an academic achiever granted permission to escort the lovely but cosseted Lisbon sisters. Christensen built on his reputation for dangerously misunderstood adolescents with a supporting role in "Trapped in a Purple Haze," ABC's gripping horrors-of-heroin addiction telepic. George Lucas was suitably impressed by Christensen's resume of youth-gone-bad roles and his ability to completely change his look from angelic to indecent with a flash of his eyes, so he cast him in the much-coveted role of Anakin Skywalker in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002). Filling the boots of a character as steeped in American popular culture as Darth Vader would be a challenge for any up-and-coming actor, and as much as Christensen might have seemed able to handle the transformational requirements, he was not able to portray the complexities of the character's inner struggle. His performance was criticized as wooden, whiny, and one-dimensional, but the film reached huge box office numbers anyway and ultimately earned better reviews than the earlier prequel.
The role of Anakin had thrust Christensen into the spotlight, and at the end of the day, most of the public was forgiving of his Vader portrayal and more interested in his physical attributes. People magazine concurred by including him in their Most Beautiful People issue. But Christensen avoided the pretty-boy in Hollywood route by maintaining his residence in Toronto and launching Forest Park Pictures, along with his brother Tove. The pair's first effort was a solid one and a marked departure from Christensen's earlier roles. "Shattered Glass" (2003) told the true story of Stephen Glass, a hotshot New Republic journalist who fell from grace following the discovery that his facts, quotes and sometimes his entire stories were fabrications. Christensen's highly praised performance as Glass was full of self-deprecation, puppy dog insecurity and hard-working earnestness on the surface but fueled by ambition, arrogance and a desire to make a name for himself at any cost. Indeed, it was a real-world version of the Darth Vader story and one ultimately more engaging than Christensen's prior performance in the franchise films.
And when Christensen returned to the role of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader for "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005), his portrayal of the fallen Jedi was also more compelling than the first time out, although the actor was only slightly better served by the script as Skywalker at last gives in to the Dark Side. Christensen was ready to put the role and the entire persona to bed, and in 2006, enjoyed a supporting role as a Bob Dylanesque singer in "Factory Girl." George Hickenlooper's fictionalized account of 1960s socialite and aspiring actress Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller) was unfortunately not well-received by critics. Nor was Christensen's follow-up, the thriller "Awake" in which he played a heart transplant patient who overhears a plot to kill him while under poorly-administered anesthesia. "Jumper," the 2008 sci-fi release which starred Christensen as a man able to teleport through space and time, hit number one at the box office but again failed to interest critics, who were left scratching their heads over the lackluster career of the once-promising Golden Globe nominee from "Life as a House."
|Rachel Bilson||Companion||Met while filming "Jumper" (2008); Began dating in March 2007; Announced their engagement in February 2009; Announced split in August 2010; Began dating again in November 2010|
|Kaylen Christensen||Sister||Born c. 1984|
|Tove Christensen||Brother||Born c. 1974|
|Hejsa Christensen||Sister||Born c. 1976; former Junior World Trampoline Champion|
|Sienna Miller||Companion||Met while filming "Factory Girl" (2006) and casually dated for a few months; No longer together|
|Unionville High School|
|"It's in the eyes. He's on the verge of adulthood, so his face still has this innocence, but in the eyes, there's this intelligence that's so knowing, so mature, which makes him just perfect for Anakin." - "Star Wars" casting director Robin Gurland quoted in Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 2, 2001|
|"It was important to me that if I did a movie before "Star Wars," that I be as unrecognizable as possible. I want to make sure [my work as Anakin] is as impactful as can be. I don't want to detract from that by developing some persona before that film comes out." - Hayden Christensen in Entertainment Weekly, Nov. 2, 2001|
|"All my characters have characteristics I don't know anything about, and that's the joy. Being able to justify their actions, and find sympathy in their wrongs, and understand their accomplishments. After Life as a House I took a while off and tried to remember who I was at the beginning of the film. You obsess, and it's exhausting, to lose your sense of self." - Christensen quoted in London's Evening Standard, March 1, 2002|
|"Dad wanted me to go to university on a tennis scholarship," Christensen told Entertainment Weekly, May 19, 2005. "When I got the part (of Anakin), he sent me a card that said, 'Some things are bigger than a tennis scholarship to Harvard.'"|
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