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Jumping In
At the heart of JUMPER’s mythology is David Rice, whose mother left him when he was five, who grew up in an unhappy home life and has all kinds of problems he’d like to escape from – until he discovers he possesses the amazing ability to do just that: escape from it all whenever, and wherever, he chooses. At first, David believes he is completely alone in his powers of teleportation, but as he comes of age and tests the limits of his skills, he makes a chilling discovery that he is part of a long line of people just like him – and is about to be relentlessly hunted down because of it.

To play David Rice, the filmmakers turned to one of today’s fastest rising leading men: Hayden Christensen. Christensen came to international fame when he was cast by George Lucas as in the sought-after role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episodes II & III. He has garnered equal acclaim in dramatic roles, including Life as a House and Shattered Glass. Christensen’s mix of charisma and emotional veracity made him the entire team’s standout choice.

“As soon as Hayden expressed an interest in playing the role, we didn’t really look any further,” recalls Foster. “He’s perfect for the character of David Rice. Besides being a very intuitive actor he’s just such a compelling and earnest guy, and I think those qualities come across on screen.”

Doug Liman concurs: “I’ve become a huge fan of Hayden Christensen. He’s incredibly talented and hard-working, and I’ve made him do some crazy things. He been physically and emotionally pushed in this role, yet he’s given us one thousand percent. I think people are going to say, ‘wow, we haven’t seen that guy do anything like that before.’ He’s a great David Rice.”

Christensen knew the role would be unlike anything else he’s done on screen so far, and that was a huge draw for an actor who thrives on taking risks. “The character of David Rice isn’t like anyone I’ve played before and it was exciting to get the chance to explore something entirely new,” says Christensen. “He has a really interesting journey, and the whole concept of teleportation is just so cool. I loved that the story presents a whole sort of Pandora’s Box of fantasy ‘what-ifs?’ It’s the kind of movie I’d like to see as an audience member.”

In addition to taking boxing and deep-sea diving lessons, Hayden began his preparation by contemplating many of the wild “what-ifs” of teleportation himself. “There are so many things I would do if I could teleport. The thought of never getting on a plane again and spending all your downtime traveling the world is really appealing,” he says. “I also fantasized a lot about what it would feel like to do things like jump off a building, then teleport back to the top before you hit the ground, and stay in a perpetual freefall. Basically, the whole idea opens up infinite possibilities for your imagination.”

But Christensen was also acutely aware that David Rice’s life of endless opportunities is masking a lot of internal turmoil. “Although David has become very acclimated to life as a Jumper it’s a very solitary life because he has this secret he can’t share with anyone,” he explains. “He has every toy any man could want but he’s still insecure and lonely. He really believes that he just wants to be left alone. But I think what’s so interesting about David is that he begins to change. He’s a very reluctant hero who resists his transformation into one the whole way, which makes him so interesting. The events around him force him to mature, to come clean and face his past as well a

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