Hayden Christensen is synonymous with the dual roles of Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader. When the actor first played the Jedi on a journey to the dark side of the Force in Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones, he couldn’t believe he had secured the role, as he was sure someone else would portray it. 

Almost 22 years ago, Christensen made up his mind that anyone but not him could be cast as Anakin Skywalker. Considering the contenders for the role, he thought Skywalker would end up being played by another performer. Christensen shared during an interview with Empire, that he thought Oscar-winning actor Leonard DiCaprio would get the role. He said,

“I had heard that they’d met with Leonardo and a bunch of other actors. That just confirmed my thought that the role would go to another actor. Through the entire auditioning process I had told myself, from day one, that I wasn’t going to get the part. It just wasn’t a possibility. And I think that probably helped me a lot because it just freed me up in a lot of ways. And so it really came as a surprise to me when I got the part.”

He further added, “The scope of the opportunity — the enormity of it all — was exciting to me. It was obviously a little daunting, too, but there’s a saying: ‘Pressure is a privilege.’ I just felt very lucky to have it. I was really thrilled that I was gonna get to express George’s [Lucas] mapping out of how someone goes from good to bad.”

The role of Anakin Skywalker was a distant dream for Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen donned the Jedi robes of Anakin Skywalker at the early age of 18. Though today he is loved for his role, he has also faced criticism initially for the same. During the same interview, Christensen reflected on how the role of Skywalker was a distant dream for him. He shared how daunting it was to put his name forward for the role. He said, “I was 18, and I got a call from my agent saying that they were casting for Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars. And I thought, ‘Wow, how cool.’ But it just seemed too big. And I remember asking my agent, ‘Is there maybe another role that they’re also casting right now that you can put me up for? Because Anakin sort of seems unattainable.’ And there was not. So, I threw my name in the hat like everyone else.”

Nevertheless, when he got the role, he not only evolved with it but also became the face of the franchise. His portrayal of Anakin in the Skywalker-turned-Vader storyline of Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith helped the film become a box office hit, with an $868.4 million worldwide gross. 

Today, Christensen continues to portray the role of Anakin Skywalker. 

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