Hayden Christensen Explains Why He Quit Hollywood After Star Wars


Most actors would likely agree that being cast in a Star Wars movie would be the definition of a big break. Star Wars prequel actor, Hayden Christensen, doesn't look at his big screen breakout that way.

Christensen had never set foot on a major film set prior to Episode II's in 2002. The assumption that the role of Anakin Skywalker in one of the world's largest movie franchises would change his life would be common, even George Lucas told him so. Nevertheless, Christensen wasn't ready for the big changes which came with fame. He believed that his acclaim wasn't earned in any meaningful way so much as it was given to him, so, after 2005's Episode III, he would buy some farmland and get out of Hollywood.

"I guess I felt like I had this great thing in 'Star Wars' that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me," Christensen said while out promoting his latest film (yes, he's back in the game), 90 Minutes in Heaven. "I didn't want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave."

"You can't take years off and not have it affect your career," he said. "But I don't know — in a weird, sort of destructive way, there was something appealing about that to me. There was something in the back of my head that was like, 'If this time away is gonna be damaging to my career, then so be it. If I can come back afterward and claw my way back in, then maybe I'll feel like I earned it.'"

Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast two totally obscure actors in leading roles for the franchise's revival with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley playing Finn and Rey, respectively. The two seem to be quite enjoying their recent stardom, though, as they trot around the world gleefully promoting Episode VII.

Christensen is working his way back into Hollywood, now at the age of 34, and ready for what once overwhelmed him.

(source: LA Times)