Hayden Christensen knew he was shooting for the stars (in more ways than one) during his auditions for Star Wars. The actor revealed this week he nearly lost hope for the project when he heard his name in contention with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Christensen played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith (2005).

“It just seemed too big,” Christensen recalled of the chance to audition for the role in a recent interview with Empire magazine. He was 18 at the time, and asked his 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.”

The imposter syndrome continued, Christensen said, when he learned that Leonardo DiCaprio was also in talks for the role. “That just confirmed my thought that the role would go to another actor,” he said. “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.”

DiCaprio told ShortList in 2015 that George Lucas offered him the role of Anakin, but he turned it down, saying he “just didn’t feel ready to take that dive.”

Christensen understands DiCaprio’s perspective, telling Empire “the scope of the opportunity” was exciting, but also daunting. “There a saying,” he said: “Pressure is privilege.”

“I just felt very lucky to have it,” the actor continued. “I was really thrilled that I was gonna get to express George’s mapping out of how someone goes from good to bad.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *