HEROES - "Save the cheerleader, save the world". With that simple phrase, a geek goddess was born. Sure, Hayden had been around as a child actor for years, but it was her role as Claire Bennett that brought her into the public spotlight. And even though her character might have floundered in recent years (the writers don't seem to know what to do with her), she's still the most human character on the show, and the one that the audience relates most to.
KINGDOM HEARTS franchise - Little known fact about Hayden, she's done alot of voicework, especially in the video game world. Her biggest role in games would have to be providing the voice of Kairi in the popular KINGDOM HEARTS series. Her voicework (along with Haley Joel Osment as Sora) propels this series from being just another J-RPG to something actually worth playing and listening to (most J-RPG's have awful, awful voice acting).
REMEMBER THE TITANS - As Coach Yoast's (Will Patton) daughter, Hayden steals almost every single scene she's in. TITANS is a great feel-good sports movie loaded with excellent performances and truly uplifting sentiment.
YOU PROBABLY MISSED HER IN
SHANGHAI KISS - A light, fluffy little rom-com reverse take on LOST IN TRANSLATION, KISS was largely ignored after being dumped DTV last year. Hayden and co-star, Ken Lueng, have some great on-screen chemistry and Hayden has never looked better than she does here.
BRING IT ON: ALL OR NOTHING - Most people don't even realize there has been four BRING IT ON sequels, but there has, and Hayden is the star of the second one (aka part 3). The movie is harmless fluff, but Hayden shows off her comic chops as a rich brainless Buffy forced to downgrade to public school. It's a guilty pleasure.
FIREFLIES IN THE GARDEN - A quiet character piece featuring some outstanding performances from Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts, Willem DaFoe, Emily Watson, and Hayden. Even though she's miscast as Watson's characters younger self, Hayden does some fine work here. FIREFLIES is a bit hard to come by, however, not having quite gotten an official release yet.
THE GOOD STUDENT (aka MR GIBB) - Released to capitalize on her HEROES success, THE GOOD STUDENT is absolute junk. Hayden is okay here, but the overall script and actual look of the movie makes you think that you're watching some demented home movie. A pitiful attempt to mesh AMERICAN BEAUTY with a kidnap drama, THE GOOD STUDENT fails on almost every conceivable level.
THE ARCHITECT - Prepare to be confused. Hayden is actually really good in this movie, probably delievering one of her better performances. Problem is, the rest of the movie sucks. HARD. I don't understand what happened here. There's a ton of great actors on display, the plot seems solid, but the execution and complete feel of the movie is just crap. It doesn't work. The only thing that actually transcends the movie is Hayden.
ALLY MCBEAL - I actually like this show (strangely not available on Region 1 DVD yet), so its inclusion here is a bit of an odd choice. Catch is, the final season of MCBEAL was pretty bad. In this show's final breaths, it coughed up Hayden, playing Ally's long-lost daughter. Yes, as a last ditch attempt to bring some gravitas to a show that was not meant to have any, MCBEAL trotted out the "daughter I didn't know I ever had" card. Hayden does some okay acting here, but is the literal, living representation of the concept of "jumping the shark".
HEROES season 4, premiering in September.
Rumored to be attached to star in the remake of FOOTLOOSE, with Chace Crawford.