Star Wars actor Jake Lloyd has claimed that the attention to the film brought turned his childhood into a “living hell”.
Lloyd was cast as the young Anakin Skywalker in 1999 prequel The Phantom Menace, when he was just eight years old, before the role was picked up in Attack Of The Clones by Hayden Christensen. The character would go on to become the evil Darth Vader.
In a rare interview, he told BlackBook:
Other children were really mean to me. They would make the sound of a light saber every time they saw me. It was totally mad.
He continued: “My entire school life was a living hell – and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day,” adding that he hated the film so much that he destroyed all his Star Wars memorabilia.
Lloyd appeared in the film opposite a young Natalie Portman, as his character’s future love interest. Although he repeated the role in a number of Star Wars games, the years of teasing, he said, made him quit acting, with his last film credit being Madison in 2001. Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace was recently re-released in 3D.