Star Wars’ Jake Lloyd on how The Phantom Menace ended his acting career

News Simon Brew 5 Mar 2012 - 21:42
Jake Lloyd

The young Anakin Skywalker, Jake Lloyd, has revealed that damage he took as a result of his work in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace...

The current 3D re-release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace has brought in, at current count, nearly $90m worldwide at the box office, which should make the bean counters at LucasFilm really rather happy.

Less happy, though, appears to be Jake Lloyd, who in 1999 was cast onto the world stage as the young Anakin Skywalker in the film. Lloyd had already done a bit of acting, most notable in the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Jingle All The Way. But The Phantom Menace was his major breakthrough role. As it happened, though, it turned him off acting for good.

He was eight years old when he played Anakin in the film, but in an interview with Blackbook, he revealed that the role pretty much ruined his childhood. “Other children were really mean to me," he said. "They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad." Furthermore, the article reports that Lloyd “was so upset by the filming process and the subsequent blowback that he decided he would never act again”.

And, with the exception of one role over a decade ago, he hasn’t. At most, he attends the odd sci-fi convention, the article reports, but that’s as far as he goes.

He’s rarely talked about his experiences on The Phantom Menace and, now in his 20s, it’s only recently he’s opened up about how tough the aftermath of the film was. “I’ve learned to hate it when the cameras are pointed at me”, he revealed.

It’s hard not to have some sympathy with Lloyd. He was the centrepoint of a massively criticised film, and took a lot of flack as a consequence of that. But can you blame him? Not really. He wasn’t even in his teens, and to hear him talk about how his school life became a “living hell” as a result of the film seems really quite sad.

You can read the interview, here.

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The Phantom Menace was brilliantly written?? Really? Compared to what? It was tedious and infantile. One of the worst written films ever and anyone that's seen any films older than say 10 years old would know that. Jake Lloyd's acting sucked really bad, especially when compared to other child actors. I'll admit that the film looked great, as does all of Lucas' FX laden movies, but if you take away the whiz-bang CGI, you have one boring movie.

What a f*cking drama queen, thats the only actor trait he seems to have.

Shut the f*ck up you dama queen.

There are plenty of good child actors, Christian Bale was one of the greatest child actors of all time and he continues to be a Hollywood actor.

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