Why Leonardo DiCaprio Turned Down Role of Anakin Skywalker
Given that Star Wars: The Force Awakens quickly became the Adele of the movie industry—breaking numerous records at the box office in its first few days before full international release—it's difficult to imagine that any actor or actress would pass up the opportunity to be part of the franchise.Yet Leonardo DiCaprio did.
During a recent interview with Short List, the actor explained how and why he turned down the chance to play Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. Similar to his refusal to play the role of Robin in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever, DiCaprio explains how he had an initial meeting with George Lucas but wasn't exactly feeling it. His reasoning? He "just didn't feel ready to take that dive. At that point."
DiCaprio's reluctance to join the Star Wars franchise seems less to do with the franchise itself and more to do with science fiction and superhero films more generally. After justifying his refusal to play Peter Parker in Spider-Man, claiming he "didn't feel ready to put on that suit yet," he explains how he does not rule out the possibility of playing a superhero in the future now that the characters have gotten more developed in recent films.
"They're getting better and better as far as complex characters in these movies," DiCaprio states. "I haven't yet [played a superhero]. But no, I don't rule out anything."
News of DiCaprio's disinterest in playing Anakin Skywalker comes along with some other revealing news from the actual Anakin Skywalker, Hayden Christensen, who played the role in 2002's Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones and again in 2005's Revenge of the Sith. Despite the massive success of both films, Christensen decided to retreat from Hollywood life afterward. "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 handed to me, the actor recently told the LA Times. "I didn't want to go through life feeling like I was just riding a wave," he added.
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