You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Hayden Christensen, Ditch Digger

In the L.A. Times, actor Hayden Christensen explains that he was terrible in the Star Wars prequels because that's what George Lucas wanted him to be:

George came up to me on the set one day during my first 'Star Wars' and said something that I never fully understood until after we were done filming. He said, 'As an actor, you have to think of yourself as a ditch digger.' . . . What he was implying was that on his movie, I needed to think of myself as a ditch digger, because it wasn't the proper arena for actual creative expression. This was his thing. It was all very thought-out in his head, and I needed to show up to make his wants a reality. And so really, what he was saying to me, was: 'Don't let this experience discourage you from what acting can really be about, because that's not what this is.'

In his current release, the sci-fi movie Jumper, Christensen says he had a much better experience with director Doug Liman:

Doug . . . really wanted the actors' insight into the story, asking us to script meetings, which was a treat, you know, how collaborative he was. It was really satisfying.

Sadly, it appears to have been a new route to a familiar destination:

Christensen is a leaden slab, whose charisma deprivation made me long for David to be teleported back to his high-school years, when he was played by the much more attractive Max Thieriot.-- Richard Corliss

What is it about Christensen’s voice that’s so dead, even without dialogue by George Lucas? Is he trying to suppress his Canadian accent? -- David Edelstein

“Star Wars” fans will remember Hayden Christensen as the young Anakin Skywalker, or, to be accurate, as a kind of handsome void where Anakin was supposed to be....One day, I feel sure, the rich mantle of charisma will descend upon him, but “Jumper” is not that occasion. -- Anthony Lane

Hayden Christensen is an actor of precisely one affect: a petulant, boyish entitlement so impregnable it borders on malevolence. -- Dana Stevens

Etc.etc., etc.

--Christopher Orr