Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hayden Christensen

Hayden Christensen (born April 19, 1981) is a Golden Globe-nominated Canadian actor. He appeared in Canadian television programs when he was young, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He moved on to minor acting roles before being praised for his role of Sam in Life as a House. He gained international fame playing the young adult Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in the Star Wars films.

Christensen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His father is of Danish descent and his mother has Italian and Swedish ancestry. Christensen has an elder brother and sister, Tove and Hesja, and a younger sister, Kaylen. He was "discovered" when his older sister Hejsa, was shopping around for an agent after she landed a role in a Pringles potato chips commercial.

Christensen's first acting role was on the television series Family Passions, which aired on Canadian television in September 1993, at the age of twelve. The following year he acquired a minor role in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. From 1995 through 1999, he appeared in several movies and television shows, including Harrison Bergeron, Forever Knight, Goosebumps, The Virgin Suicides, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?.

He acquired wider notice while starring in Fox's Family Network television series, Higher Ground in 2000, portraying a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother, who then turned to drugs in his despair.

While Christensen's critically acclaimed portrayal of a misunderstood teenager in Life as a House (2001) earned him Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations as well as the National Board of Review's award for Breakthrough Performance of the Year the performance didn't receive widespread public notice. For his part in the movie, Christensen lost 25 pounds through a special diet. He eventually gained the weight back during the filming for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
His role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) made him a star. He went on to receive good reviews for 2003's Shattered Glass, which tells the true story of journalist Stephen Glass, who was discovered fabricating stories as a writer for The New Republic.

Between 2006 and 2007, he starred in Awake, with Jessica Alba, which tells the story of a man who remains awake but paralyzed during heart surgery, and in Factory Girl — as a character loosely based upon Bob Dylan — opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. Christensen next starred with Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell and Rachel Bilson in the film Jumper, the story of a young man who discovers he has the ability to teleport; the film was released on February 14, 2008. Bilson and Christensen co-starred again in the same segment of the film New York, I Love You. Rachel Bilson and Christensen is currently dating.

Christensen also appeared opposite Mischa Barton in Virgin Territory, which was released directly-to-DVD in North America in August of 2008. The film, based on The Decameron, is about a group of people who escape the Black Plague epidemic by hiding out in a Tuscan Villa in Italy.

In September of 2008 it was announced that Christensen and Paul Walker signed onto the crime drama Bone Deep set for a 2010 release. He will play a young detective alongside Matt Dillon.
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