Hayden Christensen thought Anakin role would go to Leonardo DiCaprio

Hayden Christensen didn't believe he stood a chance against a big name like Leonardo DiCaprio, who was being eyed for the role of Anakin Skywalker.

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Hayden Christensen never had much hope of being cast as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. During auditions, the actor heard rumors that A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio was being eyed for the role as well, and he felt certain that DiCaprio or another big name actor would bag the part.

Christensen says that getting the role of Anakin Skywalker "just seemed too big," which is why the actor asked his agent if there was any other part in prequels that he could audition for. Hayden believed the role was "unattainable," but fate had something else in store for him. Having no hope that he would be cast helped him audition without high expectations, and he believes this helped him.

"“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.”"

Hayden Christensen

DiCaprio revealed in 2015 that he turned down the role because he wasn't ready for it. The stars aligned for Hayden, who eventually got cast as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Though he says it came with a lot of pressure, he believes that "pressure is privilege". The actor has maintained a positive attitude about his experience in Star Wars, but it hasn't been easy.

Over the past 2 decades, Hayden has gone through the highs and many lows that come with a high-profile role in a popular franchise. He's been criticized unnecessarily at times, and for a while, many believed that he took a break from acting because his career never quite recovered from how fans and critics picked apart his performance. Though the movies were slammed hard at the time, they've grown to be loved.

Shows like The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels have helped enrich the prequels and add more layers to Anakin as a character. This has allowed Christensen to return to the franchise, a return that's been met with enthusiasm and plenty of praise. His performances in Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ahsoka have been extremely well-received by fans and critics, so there's no doubt that Hayden is now one of the most beloved actors in the franchise.

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of Hayden's return to Hollywood, and he'll have an opportunity to play even more characters that fans can cherish forever.

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