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What You Probably Never Knew About Hayden Christensen

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" on Disney+ has been an instant success for the streaming platform. And while it has been great to see Ewan McGregor step back into his legendary role of Obi-Wan Kenobi, the series also sees the return of fellow co-star and friend, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader. The two actors haven't worked together since 2005 when "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" was released. And this marks the first time Christensen will be playing the role of Vader proper for longer than his brief appearance at the end of the film.

Given his reemergence in Hollywood, we thought we'd pique your interest by looking at some unknown facts about the actor behind the iconic mask. Christensen is a notoriously private person who has chosen to reside in his native country of Canada on a farm, far away from the prying eyes of Hollywood, per Parade. However, we've managed to dig up some of the most interesting things that you probably never knew about the actor.

Hayden Christensen and his brother Tove own a production company

Christensen grew up with three other siblings, two sisters Hesja and Kaylen, and a brother Tove. However, it might surprise you to know that Hayden isn't the only Christensen who works in the film industry. His brother Tove works as a producer and the two opened up a production company of their own. They called it Forest Park Pictures.

The Christensen brothers have produced two films together. The first was back in 2003 with the biographical drama film "Shattered Glass." This story detailed the scandal of the former American journalist for The New Republic magazine, Stephen Glass. The film also starred Hayden Christensen in the titular role of Stephen. Following that film, the brother's collaborated once more in 2010 for the post-apocalyptic thriller "Vanishing on 7th Street" which also had Hayden in a leading role.

Hayden Christensen and Ian McDiarmid bonded while filming

In 2017, Christensen attended a Star Wars Celebration panel hosted by Ewok actor Warwick Davis. As reported by ComicBook.com, Christensen detailed that, while filming "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," he and co-star Ian McDiarmid developed a close bond. The two worked closely alongside each other during this film as it outlined Anakin's fall to the dark side. It's in this film that audiences see how he ultimately becomes Darth Vader and joins McDiarmid's Emperor Palpatine.

Christensen said, "Working with Ian was a treat and a privilege. Everyone knows he's such an amazing actor, but he's also an incredibly generous actor. [He] really took me under his wing and was just very caring and giving. I owe a lot of what I was able to accomplish in Episode III to being able to work with Ian." Clearly, life imitated art with the relationship between these two actors.

His multiple on-set injuries

Christensen is an actor that goes all out for his roles, and he's got the scars to prove it. During his time on set for his 2008 film "Jumper," Christensen told BANG Showbiz (via LondonNet) that "I got a nice scar across my hand, I split my ear open, I knocked my head really badly in this one scene and my pupil got stuck in this extremely dilated position, which was really disconcerting because I couldn't see." It was in this film that he met Rachel Bilson, his long-term partner from 2007 through 2017. Luckily, her on-set injuries were far less severe, as she stated, "I was pretty much injury-free, although I had [a few] bruises and scratches."

Unfortunately, this isn't the only major injury Christensen has experienced. Back in 2001, he acted in a small drama film called "Life as a House." According to Orlando Sentinel, Christensen improved a particularly emotional scene in the film. Once his character Sam learns the truth about his father's health, Christensen punched a wall, resulting in a hairline finger fracture. While that take ultimately didn't make it into the film, Christensen was proud of the moment, telling the Sentinel that "I turned around and I was crying, my hand was bleeding real blood. It was great!"

Christensen was discovered at eight years old

You would be forgiven for thinking that Christensen's first role came when he landed the iconic character of Anakin Skywalker. However, the actor has actually been in the game since he was a mere seven years old. According to The New York Times, Christensen landed his first gig when he was cast in a Pringles commercial. However, it was his time in a Canadian soap opera called "Family Passions" where he made his mark.

"Family Passions" followed the story of two families working in the automobile industry. The Hallers were from Germany, while the McDeeres were from Canada. In 1993, Christensen was cast to play the role of Skip McDeere, one of the young sons in the family. Although the series only lasted for one year, it's forever got a place in our hearts, as we're able to watch a young Christensen break into his soon-to-be career.

He's a big Toronto sports fan

While Christensen grew up in a city just outside of Toronto, Ontario called Markham, he was originally born in Vancouver, Canada on the West Coast. However, he's completely acclimatized to his Toronto roots, as he's discussed the fact that he is a huge fan of most Toronto sports teams. This is especially the case for the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays.

He told Toronto Sun, "I'm a massive Maple Leafs fan. I grew up playing hockey, so hockey's my first love. But I'm a fan of all things Toronto, so Jays, Raptors, Leafs, Toronto FC... I support them all." Back in the summer of 2018, Christensen threw out the first pitch before a Jays game. The Jays posted about his time on their Instagram account with the caption, "The Force is strong with Hayden Christensen –- and Darth delivered a dart!" As a major fan of the game, this was likely to be a huge honor for the actor.

He worked with a 'Vader movement specialist'

Now that Christensen has returned to the "Star Wars" franchise as Darth Vader in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," the actor has detailed some changes he had to make when stepping back into the role. During an interview with Radio Times, he shared that to become Darth Vader once more "There was a lot of physical prep — just trying to put on some size so that I could fill out the suit a little bit more. Most of my time on [Obi-Wan] was actually spent in preparation."

While Christensen was incredibly excited and humbled to be returning to the franchise after 20 years, he acknowledged that he spent most of the prequels playing Anakin. Now that he's Darth Vader, it's like playing a completely different character. Therefore, Christensen told Entertainment Weekly that he worked with "Vader movement specialist" Joann Jansen to ensure he got the right movements for the character in the Kenobi series. According to ComicBook.com, Jansen has worked as a movement coach on the sets of "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" and the upcoming "Avatar: The Way of Water."

His daughter doesn't know how famous her dad is

Christensen shares his daughter with actress Rachel Bilson, who he met on the set of "Jumper" in 2008. And a here's a little fun fact about Briar Rose Christensen: she doesn't know the extent of her father's fame. Christensen aims to ensure that his daughter has a relatively normal childhood. While he and ex Bilson may be in the spotlight, they don't want the same for their daughter.

It's because of this stance that Christensen's daughter is unaware of her father's role as Darth Vader. Bilson once told US Weekly of their daughter, "Luckily, she's not aware that her dad is one of the biggest villains of all time. When that [time] comes, I don't know how that'll probably fare in school because nobody will mess with her!" However, now that Christensen has stepped back into the limelight, and with his daughter being older, it's likely that she'll discover sooner rather than later that her father is legendary villain Darth Vader.

He prefers to keep a lower profile

Before Christensen returned to the "Star Wars" franchise in "Obi-Wan Kenobi," he had kept a relatively low profile. In 2008, The Toronto Star broke down the actor's love for the quiet life after Christensen bought a farm just outside of Toronto. He detailed his excitement in his new lifestyle, saying that "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 crop ... It's my sanctuary. I've been trying to do most of the work myself, including a lot of the carpentry and tiling. I've fixed up an old farmhouse that was on the property ... Right now there's an apple orchard that I want to extend and I've started a small vegetable garden and I want to turn a hayfield into lavender."

Christensen's concern seems to be more with building his life than a career, and that's just fine with him. As he told Business Insider in 2015 (via Yahoo), "You can't take years off and not have it affect your career. But I don't know — in a weird, sort of destructive way, there was something appealing about that to me ... If I can come back afterward and claw my way back in, then maybe I'll feel like I earned it."

He was nominated for a film most fans missed

In 2001, Christensen starred in the film "Life as a House." He was cast in the role around the same time as "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones." Director Irwin Winkler told the Orlando Sentinel that chose Christensen because he felt "a sense of toughness about him behind this very sweet guy." This is also a sentiment that director George Lucas felt when casting Christensen in the role of Anakin.

It seems as though critics agreed with Winkler's opinion, as Christensen was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sam in the movie. "Life as a House" follows the story of a man diagnosed with terminal cancer. Knowing that he only has a little time left, he decides to try and reconnect with his estranged wife and teenage son, played by Christensen. As he connects with his family, he rebuilds his house which acts as a metaphor for him fixing his relationships before his time runs out.

The Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus calls the film a "tearjerker," as it covers various serious topics for each character to overcome and grow from throughout the film's runtime.

Christensen's priceless reaction to landing the role of Anakin

Christensen was cast in the role of a lifetime when he landed the part of Anakin Skywalker. With his return to the world of "Star Wars," Christensen spoke to StarWars.com to reflect on his time prior to returning as Darth Vader in "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

He recalled how he felt upon receiving the news of his casting, saying "I remember when I got the phone call saying that I got the part. I was still in bed, actually, in my apartment in Vancouver at the time. I recall walking out after I got off the phone, just sort of stunned and in disbelief by the news, walking into the living room where my roommate was ... and he saw my smile and immediately understood that there was good news. My response was, I lit up an imaginary lightsaber. He was a big 'Star Wars' fan too ... and we had this whole imaginary lightsaber duel around our apartment, jumping on all the furniture and just screaming like giddy little children."

Unfortunately, fans gave Christensen a hard time for his portrayal of Anakin. Luckily, his support has risen since his return to the franchise, with many fans expressing their love for the prequels and their excitement to see Christensen dawn the suit once more.