‘Star Wars’ Actor Hayden Christensen Reveals He Almost Lost His Role To Leonardo DiCaprio

Mariane Angela Contributor
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Hayden Christensen revealed he thought Leonardo DiCaprio would land his role in the “Star Wars” franchise in an interview with Empire Magazine published Wednesday.

Christensen, best known for his portrayal of Anakin Skywalker in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith,” opened up about being included in the cast of the iconic franchise. “I had heard that they’d met with Leonardo and a bunch of other actors,” he told Empire Magazine.

“That just confirmed my thought that the role would go to another actor,” he continued. “Through the entire auditioning process I had told myself, from day one, that I wasn’t going to get the part. It just wasn’t a possibility. And I think that probably helped me a lot, because it just freed me up in a lot of ways. And so it really came as a surprise to me when I got the part.” (RELATED: Chad Stahelski Wants To Try His Hand At Directing ‘Star Wars’ Film)

Despite his eventual success in securing the role, Christensen’s journey in the “Star Wars” universe wasn’t without its challenges. His performance as Anakin faced criticism, mirroring the broader backlash against the prequel trilogy. “The character was criticized, my performance was criticized, and that part sucked,” Christensen recalled.

“But I also felt like I had some context that perhaps helped a little bit” the actor continued. “When ‘Episode I’ came out, there was a lot of excitement that they were making a new ‘Star Wars,’ and it was going to be the backstory of Darth Vader. But I had friends that were upset that the character was starting off as this young kid. And I watched the film, and I loved it. It was everything I wanted and more. And I didn’t understand the disconnect between the movie that I saw, and the negativity in some of the reviews.”

Over time, Christensen’s portrayal of Anakin Skywalker has seen a reevaluation among fans, with many now appreciating his contribution to the “Star Wars” saga. Christensen reprised his role as Anakin/Darth Vader in several recent “Star Wars” TV series on Disney+, such as “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and “Ahsoka.”