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Hayden Christensen Gained ’25 or 30’ Lbs to Play Darth Vader Again in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: ‘Needed to Become That Character’

Hayden Christensen Gained 25 Lbs to Play Darth Vader Again in ‘Obi-Wan
Hayden Christensen. George Pimentel/Disney/Shutterstock

Back in business! Hayden Christensen put his former Darth Vader suit on in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but it took some serious work to get there.

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“I think that process was very important for me,” the Shattered Glass star, 41, told Fatherly in an interview published earlier this month. “I needed to become that character again, physically. I just consumed as many calories as possible. I put on 25 or 30 pounds to fill out that suit.”

Hayden Christensen Gained 25 Lbs to Play Darth Vader Again in ‘Obi-Wan
Darth Vader and Hayden Christensen. George Pimentel/Disney/Shutterstock

Christensen reprised his Star Wars franchise role as Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader in the Disney+ miniseries opposite Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan. Before filming the series, which began airing in May, the Canada native had about nine months to work on his Darth Vader body.

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“I try to avoid the dad bod thing,” Christensen jokingly told the magazine, noting he has not retained his Star Wars physique since filming wrapped. “And I was trying to maintain that Vader body after we finished. But, honestly, I pretty much just went back to my old diet. I kind of deflated after that.”

The Little Italy actor got his big break playing Anakin Skywalker in the franchise’s prequel trilogy, which included 2002’s Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. In the films, Anakin is revealed to be the notorious intergalactic villain Darth Vader.

“I was in high school, like, a year before [I got cast as Anakin] doing school plays. I was living in Vancouver at the time, and it was a long audition process,” Christensen recalled during a June appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “I got the call [that I booked the role and] I was shocked and in disbelief. … It’s an honor to get to wear [the costume] but definitely the best part is seeing people’s reactions when they see Vader.”

After wrapping his trilogy appearance, the Jumper actor eventually returned to his Star Wars roots when he joined the Disney+ miniseries. Obi-Wan Kenobi, which aired its season finale earlier this month, follows McGregor’s character as he oversees a young Luke while living on the planet Tatooine. Christensen, for his part, has embraced the full evil nature of Vader in the new series.

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“It’s a good four to five hours getting all of the prosthetics put on, and I got to work with a great team of makeup artists, led by a fellow called Shaun Smith, and they did some incredible work,” he told Collider of getting back into character during a June interview. “It was a lot of time sitting, staying very still while they glue layers of prosthetics all over your body. But I really enjoy just the visual creation that took place every time. It so much affects the way that you feel and you behave when you see yourself like that. So I enjoyed it.”

Before filming began, the American Heist actor also needed to relearn how to excel with a lightsaber — and his 7-year-old daughter, Briar Rose, was an integral part.

“We have a couple lightsabers kicking around the house. She was my first lightsaber training partner when I came back to the Obi-Wan show,” Christensen told Jimmy Fallon during his June 24 appearance of his little girl, whom he shares with ex Rachel Bilson. “She knows Daddy’s Darth Vader, [but] she’s never seen Daddy as Darth Vader. … I might show her the prequels soon, but still, there’s some scenes we might have to fast forward through.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi is currently streaming on Disney+.

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