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Hayden Christensen Talks About "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"

Christensen on His "Star Wars" Experience and Transforming Into Darth Vader

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Hayden Christensen Talks About

Hayden Christensen in "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith"

© Lucasfilm
On October 6th, 2005 Hayden Christensen made his way to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch just outside of Oakland, CA for a special day of visiting with the press in support of the November 1st release of the “Star Wars Episode III” on DVD. Looking relaxed and a little less bulked up than he was in “Episode III,” Christensen settled back in a comfy chair to field questions about playing Anakin Skywalker and taking a walk on the dark side as Darth Vader:

Hayden Christensen on Getting in Touch With His Dark Side: “Well, as an actor, I usually try to keep my motivation in the context of what my character is going through. So I don’t think of my dog that died when I was 8 years old and how that made me feel. I try to stay within the psychology of Anakin. It was really just letting his frustration seep in and how that would affect me.”

Hayden Christensen on Reining It in for “Episode II:” “It was challenging, honestly it was, because you are cast as this character that is the connective tissue to someone who represents all that is evil and so your natural instinct is to try to take him there. And George [Lucas] was constantly asking me to pull back from that and to make him someone who is struggling and someone who allows his frustrations to present themselves in ways that aren’t necessarily perceived as evil but may be in other ways. And to keep it at that and to not really show any sort of a character arc in ‘Episode II’ because it was more about who he was at that time in his life.

‘Episode III’ was about changing him and making him evolve into Darth, which was why I was very excited to get to ‘Episode III’ to finally get to do that. Which was something that I sort of built up in my head for so long.”

Hayden Christensen on His Approach to the Pivotal Moments in “Episode III:” “With great joy and glee. It came very easily because I just thought about it so much already. It was just an eventuality for me, you know? It was orgasmic (laughing). I don’t know. It was amazing. I was waiting and waiting and waiting and finally I got to take him to the dark side.”

Hayden Christensen on Convincing George Lucas to Let Him Wear the Darth Vader Suit: “I just very politely asked if it was possible. And George and Rick - and the kind of people that they are - allowed me that privilege. I just said, ‘Listen, I’ve read the script. Now I know he’s going to make an appearance at the end.’ And I think they were already in the process of meeting with basketball players and really tall people to do that job. I just said, ‘I don’t know if you guys can even make this happen but it would be really great for me if I could actually put the suit on.’”

On How It Felt to Become Darth Vader: “It was indescribable, you know? It was one) a completion of a job. And then my sort of five year journey was over coupled with the fact that it was just this incredibly powerful feeling, this beastly feeling that wells up inside of you when you’re playing a character that is Darth. You walk by and people see Darth and you know you watch the reactions on their faces. The days that Darth came out was quite the event on set. Everyone wanted to see what was going on. It was a one of a kind experience.”

It may have been a great experience to slip into the suit but the actual costume itself was anything but fun to wear. Christensen said it was really heavy and the logistics of actually being inside the suit weren’t that great. “It was very hot. They tried to make some air conditioning apparatus that didn’t work. It was just very claustrophobic and your vision is very limited. And as well they had to compensate for the height difference so they put these big lifts in the shoes so it was like walking around with, you know, 20 pound weights on your shoulders in high heeled shoes. (Laughing) Not that I practiced that way, but it was something like that,” explained Christensen.

Hayden Christensen Shares His Opinion of the Relationship Between Padme and Anakin: “I really like it in that it’s what drives him to commit these horrible acts. He’s doing it for, he thinks, the good of his love. Obviously she doesn’t see it that way so the relationship goes south. But no, I mean that’s what sort of makes it all hit home, I think for me and most audiences. That transformation is something that is driven by love, which is something that I like.”

Page 2: Hayden Christensen Reflects on "Star Wars" and Seeing Kids Dressed in Anakin and Darth Vader Costumes

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