There's a lot of issues that Star Wars fans like to pick on when it comes to the prequels, and one of the most commonly-heard ones is Hayden Christensen's performance as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Even the Honest Trailer for Episode III hilariously made fun of him. Though he'd been acting for more than a decade before taking his Star Wars role, he took a break from Hollywood and recently revealed why.
And it turns out that it wasn't because of the fan backlash against his performance as Anakin. Speaking to Yahoo, he revealed it was more that he felt like he hadn't earned his newfound status. He said:
"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. I didn't want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave."
Revenge of the Sith hit theaters in 2005, and though Christensen starred in a few films here and there afterwards, most notably Jumper, he mainly took a break from Hollywood. In 2007, he purchased a farm in Ontario, Canada, and spent a lot of time renovating the property and learning about the daily mechanics and operations of farming.
Christensen's film career had a substantial gap between 2010 through 2014, though though he's been getting busier over the last year or so. In 2014, he appeared with Nicolas Cage in the adventure film Outcast, as well as the crime action film American Heist with Adrien Brody and Jordana Brewster, and last year he starred in the drama film 90 Minutes in Heaven.
Christensen opened up about how he feels about the time gap in his career:
"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. 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.'"
Now, we know that Hayden is returning to acting with a reprisal role in the new Obi-Wan series releasing on Disney+. Filming has just wrapped on the series, and it will take place 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith.