Following news that “Obi-Wan Kenobi” star Moses Ingram was the target of racist attacks on social media, Hayden Christensen is standing up for his co-star. “I’ve heard a little bit about that and, obviously, it really saddens me,” the actor tells ET’s Matt Cohen. “I think the world of Moses. She’s not only a lovely person and human being, but an incredibly talented actress.”
On the limited “Star Wars” series, which debuted to record ratings on Disney+, Ewan McGregor reprises his role as the aging Jedi Master as he attempts to evade capture by an Inquisitor named Reva (Ingram), who works for the increasingly menacing and murderous Darth Varder (Christensen).
While fans have been excited about seeing Christensen and McGregor reunite, Ingram has proven to be a breakout star, thanks to her performance as the ruthlessly ambitious force-sensitive warrior. And considering the way things are unfolding in the series, Reva will likely prove to be one of the most iconic additions to the franchise.
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“The first time I saw the first couple of episodes, I was blown away by her performance and just thought that the subtleties and nuances that she brought to this character were there and really impressive,” Christensen says. “So, I mean, I hope by the end of the series, people are coming around. I think she’s done a great job and I think [Reva] is an important character and people will come to realize that.”
Christensen’s comments come after McGregor took to social media to slam the “horrendous” messages sent to Ingram. “As the leading actor in the series, as executive producer on the series, [know] that we stand with Moses. We love Moses. And if you’re sending her bullying messages, you’re no ‘Star Wars’ fan in my mind,” he said. “There’s no place for racism in this world.”
READ MORE: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’: Moses Ingram Shares What Hayden Christensen Said About Joining ‘Star Wars’ (Exclusive)
Christensen, meanwhile, has been on his own journey with fans ever since he first joined the franchise as Anakin Skywalker in the prequel films. In the 20 years since “Attack of the Clones” first debuted in theatres, there’s been renewed appreciation for his and McGregor’s contributions to the ever-expanding universe.
“It’s just been an incredible opportunity to get to continue with this character and come back to ‘Star Wars’ after all of these years,” he says, noting that “this is a role that has had a huge impact on my life, you know, professionally and personally. So, to get to continue my journey with them is hugely meaningful.”
Not only that, getting back on set and into character “was a huge deal” for the actor, who gets to explore “a very strong character arc” as Vader in the series. But given that it’s been 20 years since he last wielded a lightsaber, there was some physical training and dieting needed to get into proper shape. “It’s a ‘Star Wars’ requirement,” Christensen says of buffing up for the role. “For this one, even more so because I’m playing Vader now. So, I put on as much weight and size as I could. I think I put on about 25 pounds.”
READ MORE: Ewan McGregor Calls Out Racist Remarks About Moses Ingram: ‘You’re No Star Wars Fan’
And helping him train with a lightsaber early on was his 7-year-old daughter, Briar Rose. “She was my first lightsaber training partner,” the actor reveals. “When I started on this in house, you know, clashing lightsabers.”
While his daughter got to go lightsaber-to-lightsaber with Darth Vader, he says that she still “hasn’t actually seen ‘Star Wars.’” But she does know about it. “And she knows, you know, the character that I play,” he adds, explaining that her involvement has added another level to returning to the franchise. “That’s been really special for me, too, just getting to share this experience with my daughter.”
New episodes of “Obi-Wan Kenobi” debut Wednesdays on Disney+.
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