Today, April 10th marks Charlie’s 35th birthday. In light of that fact I would like to wish Charlie a fantastic birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHARLIE!!! Xo
Today, April 10th marks Charlie’s 35th birthday. In light of that fact I would like to wish Charlie a fantastic birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHARLIE!!! Xo
Though he’s more than 6,000 kilometres away, when Charlie Hunnam calls from his hotel room in Milan after Calvin Klein’s fall/winter 2015 men’s show, it feels like we’re slinging beers at a bar around the corner. Already boasting an impressive resumé and praise-worthy performances on the big and small screens (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim and Queer as Folk), the Newcastle, U.K., native chats with ELLE Man about throwing scissors, character deaths and getting in fighting shape.
What’s it like to go from playing Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller to your latest role as King Arthur? That’s a pretty intense character transformation.
“It was important for me to have a little bit of time to try to find some sort of centre before I jumped into a different character. It was actually really painful to say goodbye to Jax. I immediately stopped riding my motorbike. I know I’ll start riding again at some point, but I needed to get away from it all, just so I could find myself again.”
So you had to create some space between you and Jax in order to grieve?
“Having to say goodbye to that character was really heartbreaking for me. I have lost friends and family members before, and that feeling of bereavement—although this wasn’t as intense—it was that same feeling. I held it in my heart for about a month after filming ended. I said a lot of silent goodbyes to Jax, but ultimately there was no room left for him in my life, so I had to let him go.”
Masculinity is a significant theme in Sons of Anarchy. What do you think it means to be a man today?
“It means standing on your own two feet, living by your code of honour and being a rock for the people around you. But in the modern context, it also means being in touch with your feminine side. Men have to be strong enough not to repress their emotions; real strength allows for vulnerability.”
What’s the most rebellious thing you have ever done in your life? (Or at least what you’ll admit to publicly.)
“When I was 15, I was banned from going to Florence on an art-history trip by a teacher who generally thought I was a ‘menace to society.’ While he was away, I broke into his stash of acrylic paints and painted this giant crushed-up Coke can. It was maybe the best painting I’d ever done, but he ripped it up in front of the whole class. I was so angry and humiliated and sad that this thing that I loved and that I’d created was destroyed. I felt myself starting to cry, which was totally unacceptable to me at that time. We used to twist old art scissors into throwing stars, and I could hit a fucking bull’s eye, no problem. So I threw some of these scissors at him, and they landed in the doorframe parallel to his head. And that was it—they expelled me from school.”
Some people might say that doing onscreen nudity takes a certain rebellious attitude. And judging from your CV, you’ve certainly become comfortable with showing some skin onscreen—your current shirtless CK Reveal campaign included.
“The level of nudity that I do now, which is taking my shirt off, doesn’t bother me at all. But I have done full frontal before. I did full frontal when I was 18 on the TV show Queer as Folk. But because I was playing a 15-year-old character, the censorship people wouldn’t allow us to put it on TV.”
Would you be willing to do that now, almost 20 years later?
“I think when I was young, I was a little bit more fearless with that stuff. I don’t know…I’m sure I would; I have nothing to hide.”
Do you switch up your training routine when you’re getting physically ready for a role?
“I tend to do whatever I think is appropriate for the character. You’re playing the character, so go do what that character does—it’s going to bring you closer to him. For Arthur, he’s a great fighter, so I’m going to be fighting in the gym. And when I’m between jobs, I need to work out a lot for my sanity. If I weren’t an actor, I’d be the fittest motherfucker on the block.”
Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures’ announced production has begun on the epic King Arthur fantasy adventure with Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam as Arthur. The cast also includes Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as Guinevere, Djimon Hounsou as Resistance leader Bedivere, Aidan Gillen as Goosefat Bill, Jude Law as Vortigern, and Eric Bana as Arthur’s father, King Uther Pendragon.
Guy Ritchie is directing from a script by Joby Harold (Awake). Ritchie is also a producer on the action adventure film along with Harold, Lionel Wigram, Steve Clark-Hall, Akiva Goldsman, and Tory Tunnell.
Warner Bros Pictures is planning a July 22, 2016 theatrical release for the King Arthur film (previously known as Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur), with filming taking place in Wales, Scotland, and at Warner Bros Studios Leavesden.
“The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur—and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.”
Eric Bana is set to play Uther, the father of King Arthur, in Guy Ritchie’s “Knights of the Round Table” for Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow.
Charlie Hunnam will play Arthur, with Astrid Berges-Frisbey playing Guinevere. Jude Law is also in talks for the role of the villain.
Ritchie will direct with a script from Joby Harold. Ritchie and Harold are also producing along with Lionel Wigram, Akiva Goldsman and Tory Tunnell.
Plot details are being kept under wraps, though the pic is set to open on July 22, 2016. Niija Kuykendall and Cate Adams are overseeing for the studio.
The studio hopes the film can kick-start another franchise for Warner Bros., with the story to be told over six installments.
For Bana, the role isn’t the biggest, but the studio and Ritchie were always looking for a big name for the part to make a splash for the time he is onscreen, originally going to Liam Neeson before circling back with Bana.
Congratulations to Charlie! It’s very exciting to see so many new projects lined up for him. As a fan I could not be happier for his continued success.
Charlie Hunnam will star in James Gray’s “Lost City of Z” alongside Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson. The project has just locked down financing from MICA Entertainment.
Sierra/Affinity will continue international sales at the Berlin Film Festival this week. CAA represents domestic rights.
Production is expected to start this summer. The project is based on David Grann’s 2009 book of the same name.
Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner are producing through their Plan B Entertainment along with Dale Johnson and Anthony Katagas. Marc Butan is exec producing with MICA Entertainment’s Julie B. May and Glenn Murray.
Hunnam will portray Percy Fawcett, a British surveyor who disappeared in the 1920s while searching for a mythical city in the Amazon jungles of Brazil that he believed he discovered on a prior expedition.
Benedict Cumberbatch had been attached to play the Fawcett part in “The Lost City of Z” in 2013 but opted last year to join Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”
Hunnam is currently in production as the lead on Warner Bros.’ “Knights of the Round Table: King Arthur” from director Guy Ritchie. He will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak” and recently wrapped his starring role in FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”
First of all congratulations on the amazing run for Sons Of Anarchy. Did you have any idea it would go this far?
I had no idea. I remember when I got the first script sent to me by my team. I thought immediately, “Has it got this bad? Why are they sending me TV scripts?” They were like, “You really got to read this.” I did and my jaw dropped. They were some of the most daring, original and interesting pages I had ever read. Kurt [Sullor] knew exactly what he was doing.
Did you always know that Jax was going to die in the end?
Kurt and I had a conversation in the beginning of the final season. He was thinking that Jax would probably live through it and I was sort of with him. I was operating under that assumption for the whole season. Then I read the script for episode 7.12, and I read the words “a calm had come over Jax.” I knew immediately that Kurt was planning on killing him after that. I think I said, “Oh my God,” out loud. I knew he was going to kill himself. I was reading those pages and Jax was different. I called Kurt and we had a long conversation. At the end of it we both realized that it would have been more tragic to let him live after what he had gone through. In my heart Jax has found peace.
There’s another benefit to having Jax die, you don’t have to get hounded about reunions for the rest of your career now. Well not exactly, he’s trying to do a prequel, which I would love to see. Kurt is trying to get it going. Did you read that about Brad Pitt maybe playing my dad? Brad Pitt as John Teller. How awesome would that be?
So you’d be down for that as well?
I’m not sure when it would happen though, he’s got another TV show he’s working on. I don’t know if he needs me as a lead actor on that too. I love that guy but it was hard for us to work together sometimes because we’re both crazy fucks. Kurt and I never blasted each other in the face but I’ll say it got close. There has been security rushing onto set and pulling us apart before.
You’re about to work with Guy Ritchie on the new King Arthur movie. How excited are you about that?
I’m thrilled man. I’ve been watching Guy’s movies since he first came on the scene and I think you could say that the King Arthur story is why I got into acting in the first place. I fell in love with the story and would watch any of the movies about that story that played when I was a kid. It’s a real honor to be able to play this role.
Have you already begun sword training?
We’re getting right into it. I’m training hard. Luckily I already have a little experience with sword training for Pacific Rim, we had some intense stick fighting scenes that I had to prepare in that one.
Besides sword fighting are they’re any other great skills that you’ve picked up during your various acting projects?
You know I think one of the most abilities I’ve gained doing what I do is the ability to connect with emotions. After all the work I’ve done I feel like I’m something of an emotion-smith. We have to tap into places on a daily basis that usually people only go in a rare occasion. I’ve gained much in the currency of emotion and maybe the ability to have more control of them.
What did it feel like to be the face of Reveal? Is that the kind of scent you wear on a daily bases?
I wear Reveal. I really like a masculine base. I love scents with Earth notes, something grounded. This all came completely out of the blue; it was the first thing that came to me like this. I’d actually really grown up loving [Calvin Klein] and when I was a kid I had two posters from their campaigns hanging in my room. CK1 and Eternity. It feels perfect to be a part of something that I was staring at on my wall for 10 years.
Now that Sons Of Anarchy is wrapped up do you still get to ride?
I’ll be riding forever. I like riding alone. You don’t have to worry about anyone else keeping up and I like to ride pretty aggressive.
What is your bike?
I ride the same bike that I rode on Sons, a Harley Dyna Super Glide. You know I wish I wasn’t the guy who rode the same bike he rode on his show, but the problem is there’s no better bike out there.
Last year, Charlie Hunnam was known for two reasons: playing sensitive bad boy Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy, and being cast as America’s Sexiest Sadist, Christian Grey, before bowing out and ceding the role to our February cover boy Jamie Dornan. Today? Hunnam’s in a lull before a handful of high-profile film projects, and found the time to smolder alongside Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes in the campaign for Calvin Klein’s newest fragrance, Reveal.
Just after the brand’s fall 2015 menswear show in Milan, Hunnam hopped on the phone to talk Fashion Week, modeling pitfalls, and stealing from his dad’s cologne collection.
DETAILS: Someone recently posted a photo of the back of your head, front row at the Calvin Klein show. Is this your first time in Milan for Fashion Week?
Charlie Hunnam: No I’ve been over here once before, probably ten years ago, when I did a little campaign for Emporio Armani. I barely remembered how the whole thing works, you know? I forgot how quick the fashion shows were. It was four or five minutes. That’s a tremendous amount of work for such a brief period of time.
DETAILS: Are you seeing anything else over there?
Charlie Hunnam: No, just Calvin. I don’t have any interest in anything else [laughs].
DETAILS: You mentioned a stint with Armani—do you have a history modeling?
Charlie Hunnam: When I was a kid, probably 16 or 17, I got spotted by a model scout that wanted to represent me, and they sent me one modeling job, for Wall’s ice cream. I did one job for them, and then a catwalk shoot for Kangol caps, and decided modeling was not for me. They had an acting division as part of this agency as well, and I said, “Well, I don’t want to model, but if you want to send me on some auditions, I’m in film school, I want to be an actor, so if you want to represent me, that would be great.” And they, eh, weren’t really interested, and I just badgered and badgered and badgered them and they finally sent me out. I ended up getting the first job that they sent me out on.
DETAILS: And now you’re back at it with the Calvin Klein Reveal campaign.
Charlie Hunnam: I was super flattered and excited about the prospect of working with Calvin Klein, and doing a Calvin Klein fragrance specifically, because I always really liked what they did. Back when I was a kid I used to tear pages out of magazines and stick them on my bedroom wall—I had the Eternity ads on my wall and the CK One ads. My whole childhood, those were on my wall, and cut to 20 years later, being asked to be the face of one of Calvin Klein’s new fragrance is kind of surreal.
DETAILS: Did you retain any of your modeling chops?
Charlie Hunnam: It was humbling. You have all these tools at your disposal as an actor, you know? Movement and dialogue and all this stuff, and tools to invoke the thing you’re trying put across. When we did the TV spot I found it easy and really fun, but actual stills I found difficult. Working with Doutzen particularly, who’s an absolute master of the still, it was very queer to me that I was the rookie of the equation. I just watched her a lot and tried to replicate what she was doing. I was sort of panicked that day. I felt like I was maybe in over my head a little bit.
DETAILS: Did Doutzen offer you any tips?
Charlie Hunnam: She’s so sweet I don’t think she would presume to do that, you know? But I think probably without even knowing, she was immensely helpful, just in doing her thing, I feel like I learned a great deal. She’s a badass for sure, she’s awesome. Everyone had told me how great she was, and I was like ‘Ah well, we’ll see,’ sort of took it at face value, but then when I met her I was like ‘Whoa, she really is great, I see what everyone was talking about,’ like really, really smart and funny, kind of sassy, just a really cool chick.
DETAILS: Did you get to hang out during down time between shots?
Charlie Hunnam: No, there really wasn’t any. Marcus [Piggott, who forms a photographic duo with Mert Alas] shoots so fast, it was crazy. That’s what I learned—the fashion industry is way better, you don’t have to work nearly as hard as you do in the film industry if you’re the talent. I work 16, 17, 18 hours a day on set, and I think we were working like six hour days on this, so it’s a pretty cushy gig. Show up, look pretty for six hours, go home.