View Full Version : Hayden Christiansen - shit actor?
08-25-2008, 12:35 PM
Okay, so we all know and loathe Christiansen for his so-wooden-he's-hand-carved performance in the Star Wars prequels. But a lot of people claim that this isn't due to a lack of acting ability on Christiansen's part, but more
a) a lack of directing ability on the part of Lucas (after all there are plenty of other good actors in those films giving completely sub-par performances) and
b) the fact that it's pretty impossible to act well when 90% of your co-stars and activity is occurring on a green screen.
People also cite Shattered Glass as a film in which Christiansen is actually (shock horror) quite good.
Now, I saw Shattered Glass earlier today and agree that Christiansen is several orders of magnitude better in that than in any of the SW films. But one swallow does not a summer make, and given that people don't exactly rave about his performances in films like Awake and Jumper I'm wondering if maybe that was an abberration and his default setting is, in fact, shit.
What say you Straight Dope?
08-25-2008, 12:43 PM
He was good in Life as a House. Eh, I don't think he's a great actor, but he's certainly not a bad one.
08-25-2008, 12:46 PM
I thought he was fantastic in Life As A House, as well. I haven't seen anything else. I think he may just be a very young actor, and still subject to the whims and talents of his director.
Let's face it, Liam Neeson was wooden in SW, and even my beloved Ewan MacGregor was a bit...off. If those two strong experienced actors couldn't salvage the work from Lucas's hamfisted dialogue and cardboard characterizations, what hope did Christensen have? I don't think it's that Lucas couldn't direct, it's that he OVER directed - he had this little boy's comic book vision of what his movie should look like, and he didn't let perfectly competent actors do their job.
08-25-2008, 12:48 PM
He is too weaselly and immature in his bearing to be a leading man. He was perfect in Shattered Glass playing someone insecure, unctious, superficially nice but untrustworthy and whiny. There's not a lot of parts (beyond character-driven and second banana roles) that require that sort of emotional tenor. He may be fine within a limited range, but when playing someone romantic or charismatic or smart or interesting, he's simply absurd and unbelievable.
08-25-2008, 12:50 PM
He seems to be as good as his material.
Actually good material makes him better, bad material makes him worse.
08-25-2008, 01:09 PM
While I think he did a decent job in Life as a House and was perfect for Shattered Glass, he's...not a great actor and I'm not sure if he'll ever become one. There's something very mannered about the way he talks and carries himself, so that he never disappears into a role. With some actors, they can get away with not disappearing into a role, but they need to have a ton of charisma to get away with that.
Christensen is hot, but he's not very charismatic. Even in interviews, he doesn't seem to come off as terribly charming. There may be the potential to grow as an actor, but with his current choice in films I'm not seeing much opportunity for it. Some more theatre work and juicy character roles might help, but they don't appear to be on the horizon right now.
Then again, if he just spent all of his time on screen naked and not talking, it'd all be good.
08-25-2008, 04:07 PM
He is too weaselly and immature in his bearing to be a leading man. He was perfect in Shattered Glass playing someone insecure, unctious, superficially nice but untrustworthy and whiny. There's not a lot of parts (beyond character-driven and second banana roles) that require that sort of emotional tenor. He may be fine within a limited range, but when playing someone romantic or charismatic or smart or interesting, he's simply absurd and unbelievable. Bingo.
Skald the Rhymer
08-25-2008, 04:47 PM
Like several others, I came in to mention the wonderful Life as a House, in which AC was quite good. His poor performance in the SW trilogy was because he was simply overwhelmed by the horrible script and direction and lacked the experience to compensate for it. Consider that Natlie Portman (also quite talented but about the same age) also did a poor job, while McGregor, Jackson, and (especially) Lee were all quite serviceable because they'd been around longer.
08-25-2008, 05:05 PM
There's something about Hayden's voice and enunciation that falls short for me. Maybe he's struggling to project in a lower register than what comes naturally; maybe it's a quirk of his sinus cavities; maybe it's a slight speech impediment; maybe he has an I.Q. of 87. But until he develops a gift for gab, I think he should stick to action films. I thought he was fine in Jumper and particularly well-matched to the age and other aspects of his character. As eye candy, on the proverbial decimal scale the lad's an eleven.
Has anybody seen H.C. in the latest remake of the Decameron stories yet? It's gotten some terrible reviews, but I'm partial to the Boccaccio classic and will rent this sooner or later, regardless of how bad it's said to be.
One reviewer on IMDB called it "soft porn" (with H.C. playing the character who gets the most action, including seducing various nuns, this is very promising indeed). Hmm, come to think about it, this may be a title worth buying... :D
08-25-2008, 11:07 PM
The Scrivener, he's mentioned in interviews before that he has a larger-than-average tongue. He had to wear a special mouth guard when he played sports in school to keep from biting it off. While it does make his voice a bit slurry, I won't hold his unusually large tongue against him. (Now, against me, on the other hand...)
08-25-2008, 11:09 PM
He and James Franco should play brothers.
08-25-2008, 11:58 PM
The Scrivener, he's mentioned in interviews before that he has a larger-than-average tongue. He had to wear a special mouth guard when he played sports in school to keep from biting it off.
You have got to be kidding me. Well, it explains Jamie Oliver.
He and James Franco should play brothers.
No, they should play boyfriends.
HC is much like Keanu Reeves. It's not that he can't act. It's that most of the time he chooses not to.
And really, can you blame him? He performs the way he does and people still want to pay him millions of dollars. If people were willing to pay me millions of dollars to not act, I'd laugh woodenly all the way to the bank.
The Scrivener, he's mentioned in interviews before that he has a larger-than-average tongue.
I'll be in mah bunk.
08-26-2008, 02:39 PM
The Scrivener, he's mentioned in interviews before that he has a larger-than-average tongue. Umm..pictures anyone??
Never mind, found one. Large tongue indeed!
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