Why Hayden Christensen Left Hollywood After the Star Wars Prequels – Vanity Fair

Hayden Christensen was largely unknown before he rocketed to fame (or ignominy) as Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. And while he followed up those Star Wars prequels with a few more movies—including the truly great Shattered Glass—the actor told the L.A. Times why after Episode III was released he “bought some farmland and largely retreated from Hollywood.”

“I guess I felt like I had this great thing in Star Wars that provided all these opportunities and gave me a career, but it all kind of felt a little too handed to me,” Christensen said while promoting his first film in five years, the faith-based drama 90 Minutes in Heaven. “I didn’t want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave.”

Daisy Ridley, the hero of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is facing down a similar onslaught of fame. Kristen Stewart, no stranger to fame onslaughts, gave the following advice to Ridley via The Hollywood Reporter: “Focus on the fact that you’re stoked ’cause you’re doing the work that you want to do. It’s literally mainly just about focusing on what makes you happy. And if losing your anonymity or whatever doesn’t make you happy, then focus on something else.”

Related: Here’s How Hayden Christensen Was Supposed to Appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It sounds like that’s exactly what Christensen did. The actor may no longer be swinging a lightsaber and acting out the fantasies of millions of boy and girls around the world, but he’s doing pretty well for himself. He and actress Rachel Bilson welcomed a baby daughter in October, 2014.

Staying out of the spotlight looks good on him.