Nicholas Cage Praises Hayden Christensen’s ‘Star Wars’ Performances, Calls Them ‘Soulful’

Nicholas Cage has praised Hayden Christensen’s much maligned performances in the Star Wars prequels, insisting that he found them “soulful.”

Cage and Christensen recently worked together on the film Outcast, and while out promoting Nick Powell’s movie, the Oscar-winning thespian took the time to praise his co-star’s previous work in the George Lucas franchise.

While speaking to IGN, via Comic Book, Nic Cage explained why he was so enamored with Christensen’s work in the films.

“And so, I watched George’s movies, and the work Hayden did with George, and I was very impressed with Hayden’s sort of edgy, dangerous, dark and still soulful performance. I thought it was superb. And so I really connected with him.”

Nic Cage’s comments are likely to surprise most moviegoers. That’s because Christensen’s work in Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has been lambasted by both fans of the franchise and critics.

In fact, the Canadian actor was awarded the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor for his performances in the movies. However, it should also be noted that he was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actor and he even earned the Cannes Film Festival Revelation Award for the same portrayals, too.

Christensen was cast as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in 2002’s Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Revenge of the Sith after the casting director and Lucas looked through around 1,500 other actors.

The character of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is regarded as one of the most iconic villains in movie history. Physically portrayed by David Prowse in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but dubbed by James Earl Jones, his imposing villainy has now become synonymous with evil.

Ever since replacing Jake Lloyd, who played the younger version of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Hayden Christensen has struggled to emerge from the huge shadow that portraying the character has cast over his career.

Since 2006, he has appeared in the likes of Factory Girl, Awake, and Jumper, each of which have only been greeted with mild fanfare and critical praise. However, at least he now knows that he has one fan in the shape of Nicholas Cage.