[IMG:L]Two card-carrying members of "young Hollywood," Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson find themselves at a similar career crossroads.
Free of their respective mega-successful franchises--him, Star Wars, and her, The O.C.--the two stars have already fastened their shoes and started down the path of what they may one day refer to as 'Chapter Two'.
Christensen's Anakin Skywalker-less professional life began with a role as a Bob Dylan-ish musician in Factory Girl, and then as a heart transplant patient in the psychological thriller Awake.
In her first major film role, Rachel Bilson broke out of Orange County to play Kim, the apple of Zach Braff's eye in The Last Kiss.
[IMG:R]The project that brought them together, though, Jumper, was almost a missed opportunity for the pair. The leads that were cast at first were younger actors, and it wasn't until weeks before shooting that Doug Liman and Co. saw that a Hayden-Rachel romance would both fit and enhance the story.
Hollywood.com talked with the stars about their Jumper experience, and a host of other topics:
Hollywood.com: Has there been any official word on a Jumper sequel yet?
Hayden Christensen: There's been lots of talk but no, nothing officially slated yet.
Hollywood.com: It appeared from the film, that you guys really wanted to set it up in a way for it be continued.
Hayden Christensen: Yeah, they did set it up that way. [Confidently] I think everybody wants to make another one, but nobody is rushing into it at this point.
[IMG:R]Rachel Bilson: Millie, my character, has a lot to do with the second part, so I'm hoping they go for it [smiling].
HW: You were brought on pretty late into production, just a few weeks before shooting began; how did you spend that short time preparing and getting in tune with the characters?
HC: We did a little bit of SCUBA training for the underwater scenes, but most of my preparation was script-related. For every character, I have to feel sympathetic to his cause, whether I’m morally sympathetic to it or not, I have to, as an actor make it OK on my end. My character in Jumper definitely has his shortcomings--but my job was to focus on what's motivating those shortcomings.
[IMG:L]RB: He [Hayden] was brought on before me. I was thrown right into it. I had two or three SCUBA lessons that I was trying to squeeze in on weekends--or after I wrapped O.C. shooting--to try and get certified; but that never happened. I was flying back and forth, playing two characters at once.
HW: Many people were connected to your character, Summer, in The O.C. How are you similar to her?
RB: Well, I don't know how much alike we are. I do like how Summer spoke whatever she felt, but I’m a little more reserved and embarrassed than her...
HW: …Kind of an odd profession for someone who's shy, no?
RB: Yeah, I get embarrassed talking to people and having any attention on me, so it’s funny that I'm in a business where there's a lot of that. But I get through it.
[IMG:R]HW: Hayden, you haven't done too many films since the Star Wars saga wrapped up. What's your approach to taking on a new project?
HC: I just have done maybe three films since Star Wars. I don’t know, I think I just enjoy my time off too much.
HW: How do you spend it?
HC: I have a farm that I'm currently doing some building on, and I'm getting more and more into flying.
HW: Being relatively new to film, do you have a role model when it comes to acting? Someone you can look at and try and aim for career-wise?
RB: I look up to different people, but, Kate Winslet is fantastic at being herself and being true to herself. I admire her.
HW: What type of film would you like to work on next?
RB: I'm open to trying everything. I'd love to do a musical, actually. I sang in high school, but, again, I get a little embarrassed [blushing smile], so I'm not sure how that will go over.
[IMG:R]HW: So, Hayden, coming off of Star Wars, and now Jumper, are you officially "boys" with Samuel L. Jackson yet?
HC: Haha, yeah. He's a good guy to see on the set, definitely.
HW: Who do you think got the best of Mr. Jackson fight-wise in Jumper, you or Jamie?
HC: His fight with Jamie was pretty cool, but I did get the last laugh.