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Hayden Christensen Thanks Leonardo DiCaprio For Giving Up On Anakin Skywalker Role

Christensen became famous for playing Anakin in Star Wars, but he got the role after DiCaprio decided not to take it.

Hayden Christensen, the actor behind Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, recently opened up to Empire Online about how he secured the role. At the heart of this story is Leonardo DiCaprio, whose decision to pass on the role paved the way for Christensen’s casting.

Becoming Anakin Skywalker was fraught with doubts for Christensen. Recalling his audition process, he said:

“I was 18, and I got a call from my agent saying that they were casting for Anakin Skywalker in ‘Star Wars,’ and I thought, ‘Wow, how cool.’ But it just seemed too big. And I remember asking my agent, ‘Is there maybe another role that they’re also casting right now that you can put me up for? Because Anakin sort of seems unattainable.’ And there was not. So I threw my name in the hat like everyone else.”

Especially after learning that Leonardo DiCaprio was also in consideration for the role, Christensen started to believe his chances were slim to none:

“I had heard that they’d met with Leonardo and a bunch of other actors. That just confirmed my thought that the role would go to another actor. 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.”

Why Did Leonardo DiCaprio Turn Down the Anakin Role?

Leonardo DiCaprio had indeed met with George Lucas about playing Anakin Skywalker. However, DiCaprio ultimately decided against taking on the role. According to a 2015 interview with Shortlist, DiCaprio said:

“Just didn’t feel ready to take that dive. At that point.”

This decision left the door open for Christensen, who, against his own expectations, was chosen to bring Anakin Skywalker to life.

Reflecting on the initial backlash he faced over his casting and performance in the same interview, Christensen acknowledged the criticism but also noted the more positive reception his Anakin has received in recent years. Today, Christensen’s portrayal is celebrated by fans, and he has reprised his role in recent series like ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ and ‘Ahsoka.’

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