Star Wars child actor says school was 'a living hell' (+video)

Jake Lloyd stars as a young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace.
Jake Lloyd stars as a young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode One - The Phantom Menace.

Playing the lead role in a Star Wars movie would be a dream come true for most 10-year-olds.

For Jake Lloyd, the child actor who starred as a young Anakin Skywalker in George Lucas' 1999 Star Wars reboot Episode One - The Phantom Menace, it became a "living hell".

In a rare interview, Lloyd admitted his role in the much maligned film made him a target for school bullies, and the taunts continued into university.

"My entire school life was a living hell - and I had to do up to 60 interviews a day," the 23-year-old told website during a visit to Australia for a sci-fi convention.

"Other children were really mean to me. They would make the sound of the lightsaber every time they saw me. It was totally mad.

"College has been similar ... you'll never find more intelligent, charming people than drunk students in the college world."

Lloyd, who was 10 when The Phantom Menace was released and is now 20, admitted he hasn't seen the film since it was released and has given up acting because of the fallout.

He even destroyed all of his Star Wars memorabilia.

"When you have something like that there's a lot of expectations for it to meet the standards of the public and I don't think George did that.

"For me to go back and watch it now would be kind of creepy."

But Lloyd admitted he had fond memories of one particular scene.

"Sitting in the Pod Racer was kind of cool. I just sat there and George would just shout directions and I'd pull on the levers."

Lloyd is studying in Chicago and has only had a bit part in Madison in 2001 since Star Wars. He says he attends the occasional sci-fi convention for the money.

Lucas' The Phantom Menace was a critical flop and has just a 51 per cent approval rating on review aggregate site Metacritic.

But it continues to be a box office hit, with a 3D version currently screening in cinemas.

Watch the interview below:

- Herald online

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