Hayden Christensen

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Interviewed by James Mottram

Were you daunted by the prospect of taking on this already mythical figure?

Yeah, when I first got the part, it was very daunting. I tried not to project my thoughts there, because it wasn't conducive to doing my best work. Really, it was a great exploration for me to play a character who goes through such an amazing transformation.

George Lucas said that when he cast you, he could see an inner darkness within you. How did that make you feel?

I was aware of the dynamic of the character, and what was necessary for the part to be played properly. Playing a character that has those darker elements, you do learn more about yourself and your own qualities when you're figuring out a way to motivate yourself for those scenes. Playing Anakin was an amazing self-discovery process and getting in touch with the darker side of myself that I didn't necessarily know existed.

You work a lot with Natalie Portman in "Attack of the Clones". How was that?

She's a very capable actress and it made my work a lot easier having someone who has a presence. She's a fine girl, I consider her sort of a friend. We were portraying a love story, so obviously I have to look at her with adoring eyes. She's a very beautiful girl, so that made it easy. Outside of that, she does her job very capably.

How long did it take to get used to fighting with a lightsabre?

I went to Australia about a month before we started filming and worked with the fight coordinator every day for about five hours, and it worked. It was fun to fight with the lightsabre.

What colour lightsaber do you have - green or red?

I don't know. I think it's green. Green is a good colour. I'm still a good guy, on the right side. Maybe it'll change to red in the next episode.

Did you do a lot of your own stunts?

I did all my own stunts except one, that's not me but a digital version of me. I felt for my stunt double because he showed up every day with nothing to do. He was frustrated. He wanted to be a part of it too. But I wanted to make as big a contribution as I possibly could and I was physically capable of doing my own stunts. I didn't see any reason to have someone else do them.

Do you see "Star Wars" as a fairytale or as sci-fi?

It's a sci-fi movie in a very fantastical world. It's a fantasy. It involves all of your ideal myths and a sense of ideology with the characters. Every character in the story pretty much is the archetypal figure of something from another myth. That's George Lucas' writing.