Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor and producer best known for playing the role of ‘Anakin Skywalker’ in the popular ‘Star Wars’ movie series. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, he made his acting debut when he was 12. He appeared in a supporting role in a German-Canadian TV series named ‘Family Passions.’ After appearing in supporting roles in several TV films and TV shows, he gained popularity after appearing in the American-Canadian drama TV series ‘Higher Ground.’ Though the show received good ratings and critical acclaim, it had to be canceled after the first season as its broadcast network was sold. Hayden gained international popularity after he was selected to play ‘Anakin Skywalker’ in the American sci-fi film ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ which was part of the famous ‘Star Wars’ film series. The film became a huge success and also won an ‘Oscar’ nomination for ‘Best Visual Effects.’ Hayden’s performance was also appreciated and he reprised his role as ‘Anakin’ in ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.’
Childhood & Early Life
Hayden Christensen was born on 19 April 1981, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to Alie and David Christensen. His mother worked as a speechwriter, while his father was a computer programmer and communications executive. He has Danish ancestry from his father’s side, and Swedish and Italian ancestry from his mother’s side.
He was raised in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada. He attended several schools, including ‘Baythorn Public School’ and ‘Unionville High School.’ He used to be an athlete during his school days, and played competitive hockey as well as tennis. He also attended ‘Actors Studio’ in New York City, and ‘Arts York’ program for drama at ‘Unionville High School,’ before starting his acting career.
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Hayden Christensen made his acting debut in September 1993 when he was 12. He appeared in a supporting role in a German-Canadian show titled ‘Family Passions’ where he played a character named ‘Skip McDeere.’
The next year, he made his film debut in the 1994 psychological horror movie ‘In the Mouth of Madness.’ After appearing in several other films, such as ‘The Hairy Bird’ (1998) and ‘Free Fall’ (1999), he appeared in the 2001 American drama film ‘Life as a House’ where he played an important role. His role in the film earned him two awards and several nominations.
From 2000, he also started playing a significant role in the American-Canadian TV series ‘Higher Ground.’ The series was about a group of teenagers attending ‘Mount Horizon High School,’ a therapeutic boarding school, while struggling with their respective addictions and disorders.
His career touched newer heights in 2002 when he appeared in the movie ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.’ The film, which was directed by George Lucas, became a huge hit. For his portrayal of ‘Anakin Skywalker,’ Hayden earned much popularity on an international level. He also won two awards along with several nominations.
He reprised his role as ‘Anakin Skywalker’ in ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’ (2004 DVD re-release) and ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ (2005). Both the films became huge hits, and earned Hayden much popularity.
Over the next few years, he appeared in films, such as ‘Factory Girl’ (2006), ‘Virgin Territory’ (2007), ‘New York, I Love You’ (2009), and ‘Vanishing on 7th Street’ (2010).
He was then seen in films like ‘American Heist’ (2014) and ‘90 Minutes in Heaven’ (2015). He played lead roles in both films. Unfortunately, both the films turned out to be commercial failures, and received negative reviews from critics.
He was cast in the film ‘First Kill’ alongside Bruce Willis in 2017. The following year, he was seen in the Canadian-American romantic comedy film ‘Little Italy’ alongside Emma Roberts. The same year, he was also seen in ‘The Last Man.’
'Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ second film of the ‘Star Wars’ film series, is among the most significant works in Hayden Christensen’s career. The film, which was directed by George Lucas, starred actors like Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christopher Lee. The film was a commercial hit. It received mostly positive reviews and also won several awards. It received a nomination for the ‘Oscars’ for ‘Best Visual Effects.’
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‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi,’ which released in 2004 (DVD re-release), is also among Hayden Christensen’s major works. The film was directed by Richard Marquand. Apart from Hayden, the film also starred actors, such as Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Anthony Daniels. The film was a commercial success, and also won the ‘Oscar’ for ‘Best Visual Effects.’ It also received mostly positive reviews from critics.
‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,’ which released in 2005, is one of the most important films in Hayden’s career. The film was directed by George Lucas. Apart from Christensen, the movie also starred actors like Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Ian McDiarmid. The film was a huge commercial success, breaking several records and earning more than $800 million worldwide. It received mostly positive reviews. It also received an ‘Oscar’ nomination for ‘Best Makeup.’
Awards & Achievements
Hayden Christensen won the ‘Young Hollywood Award’ and ‘National Board of Review Award’ for ‘Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor’ for his performance in the 2001 movie ‘Life as a House.’ He also received five other nominations for the role
For his role in the 2002 sci-fi movie ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ he won the ‘Cannes Film Festival Award’ for ‘Male Revelation.’ He also received six other nominations; two for ‘Saturn Awards’ and four for ‘Teen Choice Awards.’
His role in the 2003 biographical crime drama ‘Shattered Glass’ won him the ‘Las Palmas Film Festival Award’ for ‘Best Actor.’ He was also nominated for a ‘Satellite Award’ for ‘Best Actor.’
For his role in the 2005 sci-fi film ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith,’ he won the ‘ShoWest Award’ for ‘Male Star of Tomorrow’ and ‘MTV Movie Award’ for ‘Best Villain.’
Hayden Christensen was in a relationship with American actress Rachel Bilson. They have a daughter, who was born in October 2014. They separated in 2017.
He has an estimated net worth of $12 million.