Where Are They Now: Hayden Christensen and life after 'Star Wars'

Actor Hayden Christensen was launched into mainstream popularity in the early 2000s thanks to his role as a young Anakin Skywalker in the “Star Wars” prequels, but hasn’t been a visible figure in Hollywood in the following years. So, where is he now?

Christensen, who was selected by “Star Wars” creator George Lucas from the casting director’s pool of about 1,500 candidates, did not receive a particularly great response for his performance as Skywalker. He earned the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for both 2002’s “Attack of the Clones” and 2005’s “Revenge of the Sith.”

However, he rode his newfound prominence into another blockbuster starring role in 2008’s “Jumper,” which follows the dangerous journey of a young man with the ability to teleport. “Jumper” received bad reviews from critics, with James Berardinelli writing “Christensen has enough highlights on an uneven resume to convince me he can act, but lazy performances such as this don’t make him someone to watch for.”

After “Jumper,” Christensen mostly disappeared from mainstream films due to a selective nature, and a desire to pursue other interests. According to the Toronto Star, he purchased a farm just outside Toronto in early-2008, and began teaching himself about agriculture.

“It’s a hobby, but I want to have the appearance of being a proper farmer,” Christensen told the Star. “I’m trying to figure it out. It’s all new to me, but I would eventually like it to be a fully operational farm with livestock and different crops.”

But what about his film career?

“I don’t really think about my career because the idea of a career is not something I can put a lot of thought into,” Christensen told the Star in 2008. “I do the work that appeals to me and I pass on films that would probably benefit my career.”

Christensen did appear in a few films shortly after “Jumper,” including the horror film “Vanishing on 7th Street” in 2009 and the crime drama “Takers” in 2010.

In recent years, Christensen has become more involved in the film industry, albeit on a much smaller scale than “Star Wars.” At the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that Christensen and his brother Tove would be launching a production company called Glacier Films in a partnership with Russian producers.

Glacier Films set a 11-picture slate over the three years following its initial announcement, according to Variety. Six of the eleven films would have budgets in the $10 million range, while the other five would be made for about a budget of $1.5 million each.

Glacier Films’ first production was the 2014 crime drama “American Heist,” starring Christensen and Adrien Brody as criminals. Christensen and Brody received some praise, but the film was heavily panned, with IndieWire’s Nikola Grozdanovic writing that “the only thing of value that gets robbed in “American Heist” is our time.”

Christensen made two other notable appearances in the last 18 months: as a warrior alongside Nicolas Cage in the Chinese action film “Outcast,” and as a car crash survivor in the Christian drama film “90 Minutes in Heaven.” Neither film made any noise at the box office.

With the galaxy far, far away recently shooting its way back into public consciousness with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” last December, Christensen is still nowhere to be found. The big screen isn’t his style, and he has other aspirations in mind.

“My ultimate dream is getting a float plane and exploring parts of Canada I’ve never been to. That gets me excited,” he told the Toronto Star in 2008.


Tyler Keating is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu.