Hayden Christensen Biography
Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor and producer. He began his career on Canadian television at the age of 13, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s.
He was praised for his acting as Sam in Life as a House (2001), earning Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. Christensen gained international fame for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Hayden Christensen Family
Christensen was born on April 19, 1981 in Vancouver, British Columbia, to his parents Alie Nelson, an American speechwriter, and David Christensen, a Canadian computer programmer and communications executive. His father is of Danish descent, and his mother has Swedish and Italian ancestry. Christensen is one of four children, with an older brother, Tove (also an actor and producer), an older sister, Hejsa, and a younger sister, Kaylen.
Christensen was raised in Thornhill, Ontario. He attended E. J. Sand Public School, Baythorn Public School, and Unionville High School in Unionville, Ontario. He was an athlete in high school, playing hockey competitively and tennis on a provincial level.
He spent summers on Long Island with his maternal grandmother, Rose Schwartz, and attended the Actors Studio in New York City, as well as the Arts York program for drama, at Unionville High School. He was “discovered” when his older sister, a former trampoline champion, was searching for an agent after she landed a role in a Pringles commercial.
Hayden Christensen Career
Christensen first started acting in September 1993, at the age of 12, he played a supporting role on the German-Canadian television series Macht Der Leidenschaft/Family Passions. From 1995 through 1999, he appeared in several films and television series, including Harrison Bergeron, Forever Knight, Goosebumps, The Virgin Suicides, and Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Christensen acquired wider notice while starring in Fox Family Channel’s television series Higher Ground in 2000, portraying a teen who was sexually molested by his stepmother, and then turned to drugs in his despair.
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. In 2002, Christensen made his London theatre debut with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Paquin in This Is Our Youth.
Christensen went on to receive good reviews for 2003’s Shattered Glass, which tells the true story of journalist Stephen Glass, who was discovered to be fabricating stories as a writer for The New Republic and other publications. In 2005, he took part in the fifth annual “24 Hour Plays” benefit, which raises cash for nonprofit groups in the Big Apple.
On May 12, 2000, Christensen announced that he would be starring as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). For his performance in Episode III, he won the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.
He starred in Awake Between 2006 and 2007, with Jessica Alba, which tells the story of a man who remains awake but paralyzed during heart surgery, and co-starred in Factory Girl, opposite Sienna Miller and Guy Pearce. Christensen next co-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. Christensen appeared opposite Mischa Barton in Virgin Territory, which was released directly-to-DVD in North America on August 26, 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 October 2009, Christensen started shooting the horror film Vanishing on 7th Street, directed by Brad Anderson, with Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo and also appeared in the crime drama Takers with Idris Elba and Paul Walker, released in the United States on August 27, 2010.
Christensen sued USA Network over allegations that they stole his idea for the TV show Royal Pains, in 2010. The suit alleges that Christensen met with USA to pitch a similar series entitled Housecalls. During the meeting, Christensen alleges, he was never informed that a similar program was in development. Although a federal judge at first dismissed Christensen’s lawsuit in 2011, in June 2012, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this decision and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings, in what was considered a legal victory for Christensen.
Hayden Christensen Wife
Christensen began dating actress Rachel Bilson in 2007, with whom he filmed the movie Jumper. They became engaged on December 25, 2008 however, in mid-2010, they broke up, but began dating again a few months later. On October 29, 2014, Bilson gave birth to their daughter Briar Rose Christensen.
According to reports of September 2017, the two split up again after nearly 10 years together. Their life together could be described as having been an on and off relationship for almost 10 years but never got married. They take turns on watching their young daughter Briar.
Hayden Christensen Filmography
- In the Mouth of Madness
- No Greater Love
- Street Law
- The Hairy Bird
- The Virgin Suicides
- Free Fall
- Life as a House
- Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
- Shattered Glass
- Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
- Factory Girl
- Virgin Territory
- New York, I Love You
- Vanishing on 7th Street
- Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
- American Heist
- 90 Minutes in Heaven
- First Kill
- Numb, at the Edge of the End
- Little Italy
- 1993 Family Passions
- 1995 Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story
- 1995 Harrison Bergeron
- 1996 No Greater Love
- 1996 Forever Knight
- 1997 Goosebumps
- 1999 Real Kids, Real Adventures
- 1999 Are You Afraid of the Dark?
- 1999 The Famous Jett Jackson
- 2000 Trapped in a Purple Haze
- 2000 Higher Ground
- 2018 Star Wars Rebels