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Last Updated: Wednesday May 08 2002 19:44 GMT

Hayden Christensen talks to Newsround

Anakin Skywalker actor Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen talks to Newsround's Lizo about his role as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Lizo: How does it feel to play a character who's gone from being a great Jedi to one of the most evil villains who's ever lived?
Hayden: It's thrilling. It's an amazing role and an amazing saga and an amazing transformation. It's a character that's started off as the embodiment of all that's good and pure in a person I and to evolve into what we know as Darth Vader is a lot to do and a lot of fun as an actor.

Lizo: Why do you think they've chosen you to do this?
Hayden: No idea, I've no idea. I contemplated that for about a week after I got the part and I couldn't figure it out so I stopped thinking about it. I guess I look a little bit like the kid... I don't know.

Lizo: How did you feel what they rang you up and said you're got the part? What was going through your head then?
Hayden: I was just overwhelmed with joy. The whole time I was auditioning for the film I never once felt like it was feasible I'd get the role. And when they told me it was complete disbelief - it was just a shock to the system. I was on cloud nine for about a week then I got down and started doing my work and trying to figure out the character. I just couldn't believe it.

Lizo: Do you feel pressured to get the character right?
Hayden: Absolutely. I'm a fan of the saga and I don't want to be the one who messes it up. I think it's scripted in a manner that is very subtle and I think very detailed in terms of what's going on stage by stage in Anakin's psyche. And with George's guidance hopefully we'll get it right. But it's a gradual process of going to the Dark Side.

Lizo: Did George Lucas give you any hints about Episode III just to help you in this one?
Hayden: No - there were times when I would want to play a scene a little more innocently and he'd want a different emotion so it was more believable in Episode III that I'd made that transition. It was just a process of trying to find some kind of balance. He never actually told me what would happen in Episode III - like why you have to do this now. He likes to keep his secrets to himself.

Lizo: What was it like having your own lightsabre?
Hayden: Absolutely thrilling. It's the coolest thing in the world. To hold it was fun. I went off to Australia about a month before hand and learned how to wield the lightsabre - it was just every kid's dream. I can't wait to go back and train for Episode III!

Lizo: Was it hard work?
Hayden: Oh yeah, learning how to swing a lightsabre because I wasn't a really expert swordsperson prior to this but at the same time the things are really heavy so it's a good workout. But you're not really learning a fighting style, more the dances to a step choreography before your arrival. So I was just learning where my feet went, picking up the pace gradually.

Lizo: How does it feel just a few days before the release of the most talked about movie of the summer?
Hayden: It's a little daunting. But I'm excited. I saw the film just a couple of days ago myself and I thought it was pretty spectacular so I hope that people who are awaiting the film will enjoy it as much as I did.

Lizo: Did you do many of the stunts yourself?
Hayden: I did all of 'em myself. I had a stunt double on set but when I got the part there was no way I was going to let someone else share screen time with me, playing my character. I wanted to do it all. I have somewhat of an athletic background so I felt physically capable of doing most of the stunts.

Lizo: What was it like working with George? How much help was he on set?
Hayden: He was a load of help. His whole universe that we were acting in... he's created the relationships and the dynamic that's present on screen so when you're taking direction from him you're taking it from the creative guidance person. I found him to be great.

Lizo: As a fan, have you found yourself reciting some of those classic Darth Vader lines from the final films?
Hayden: No, I don't really do that. I don't know, I'm just going to wait till I get the script for Episode III to see what my dialogue is for that.

Come back on Thursday for Lizo's interview with Natalie Portman who plays Padme Amidala




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