Here's why Hayden Christensen says he totally walked away from fame after the 'Star Wars' prequels

Hayden Christensen Leonard Adam Getty finalLeonard Adam/GettyHayden Christensen.

Hayden Christensen became an overnight star when George Lucas cast him as the older Anakin Skywalker in the last two “Star Wars” prequels, “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith.” And if it seems like you haven’t heard from him since then, well, there’s a reason for that.

After becoming globally recognised at the age of 19, and the target of many criticisms directed at the prequels, Christensen walked away from the spotlight. He’s spent most of the years since on his farm in Canada.

“I guess I felt like I had this great thing in ‘Star Wars’ that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me,” the actor told the LA Times. “I didn’t want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave.”

It’s an interesting remark from an actor who, beyond the “Star Wars” films, was building a respectable if limited filmography with movies like “Life as a House” and “Shattered Glass.” Even the Doug Liman action/thriller “Jumper,” starring Christensen in the lead, has its moments.

Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones hayden christensenStar Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones19-year-old Hayden Christensen in ‘Attack of the Clones.’

Now 34, Christensen was recently the lead in the faith-based movie “90 Minutes in Heaven,” and he’s starred in straight-to-video titles in the last handful of years. It sounds like, from what he tells the LA Times, he’s not against making a comeback — on his own terms.

“You can’t take years off and not have it affect your career,” he said. “But I don’t know — in a weird, sort of destructive way, there was something appealing about that to me. There was something in the back of my head that was like, ‘If this time away is gonna be damaging to my career, then so be it. If I can come back afterward and claw my way back in, then maybe I’ll feel like I earned it.'”

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