Dream casting the Star Wars saga: Tye Sheridan as Anakin Skywalker
Okay, this is a big one. Reactions to Hayden Christensen’s performance as Anakin Skywalker were…mixed, to put it lightly. Christensen is a talented enough actor (check out Life as a House or Shattered Glass if you want to see what he can do), but his Anakin came off as an insufferable brat. As with Natalie Portman in the role of Padmé Amidala, it wasn’t entirely his fault (it doesn’t matter how good an actor you are—no one’s going to make that sand speech from Attack of the Clones sound believable), but another actor may have done a better job of getting the audience on Anakin’s side.
Rising star Tye Sheridan might be that actor. Sheridan made an impression in 2012 in Mud, where he played a young, volatile boy who befriends a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey). With his charisma and talent, Sheridan more or less stole the movie out from under McConaughey and earned a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Young Actor/Actress.
At the time, Sheridan was 16. He’s 20 now, just a year younger than Christensen was when he made Attack of the Clones. Hollywood has taken notice. Sheridan headlined Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse and appeared as Cyclops in the X-Men franchise. He’s being groomed for stardom, and Star Wars might as well get in on the ground floor.
Because Sheridan is a naturally charismatic actor, he might have what it takes to make Anakin a compelling character. For example, there’s a lot of impotent anger simmering under the surface of his performance in Mud. That could be perfect for Anakin, whose anger and fear eventually boiled over into a turn to the Dark Side. Christensen wasn’t quite able to sell that transition. Sheridan might.
Next: The little green guy