Lloyd began his acting career in 1996, playing Jimmy Sweet in 4 episodes of ER. He was then cast as Jake Warren in Unhook the Stars. He got his big break playing Jamie Langston in Jingle All the Way. He also played Mark Armstrong in Apollo 11. Lloyd gained worldwide fame when he was chosen by George Lucas to play the young Anakin Skywalker in the 1999 film Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, the first film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Despite the film's box office success, reception of Lloyd's performance was mixed, and he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actor, though he lost to co-star Ahmed Best.