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Charlie Reveals the Last Surprise He Gave His Girlfriend: ‘I Try to Keep Romance on the Reg’

Charlie Reveals the Last Surprise He Gave His Girlfriend: ‘I Try to Keep Romance on the Reg’

For Charlie Hunnam, it’s the little things that make for a happy relationship.

At the Toronto International Film Festival, where his new film Papillon is having its world premiere, the Sons of Anarchy star, 37, opened up about how he and his longterm girlfriend Morgana McNelis, 34, have kept their love strong for over a decade.

“I try to keep the romance on the reg,’” he told PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle at the festival on Friday. “I’ve been with my girlfriend 11 years, and as anyone knows, it’s been a long-term, fully monogamous relationship that requires work, a lot of work.”

And that work doesn’t always need to come in grand gestures. “Before I came away to TIFF I ended up staying until 5 in the morning because I decided I was going to clean the entire house.”

He also took care of “all the grocery shopping” and “all of the laundry,” chores Hunnam says are usually “stuff that we just share and both do all the time.”

“I thought it’d be nice for her to come home to everything immaculate and done,” Hunnam says.”I put flowers in the bedroom and in the kitchen, so she came home and was happy.”

For his new movie, Hunnam teams up with Mr. Robot’s Rami Malek to tackle roles originally played by Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman in the 1973 film of the same name. The film is an adaption of Henri Charrière’s memoir, which tells the story of his imprisonment and repeated escapes from the infamous prison colony of Devil’s Island.

Source: People.com

Charlie Tells USA Today he knows ‘King Arthur’ went “horribly wrong”

Charlie Tells USA Today he knows ‘King Arthur’ went “horribly wrong”

You can dance around it, or you can be Charlie Hunnam and just come out and say it: His King Arthur movie this spring was not a win.

Hunnam doesn’t read reviews, but “I couldn’t be in the center of that thing and not be aware it was going horribly wrong,” the star says Friday, a day after debuting his new film, Papillon, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Today he’s tucked into a corner of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, cap on, black bomber jacket zipped up to the neck. The candid 37-year-old says when it came to selling the Guy Ritchie film, “I was going to be a pro, and I was grateful for it and liked everyone that was involved. But I had some pretty big reservations about the end result. It didn’t reflect the movie that I thought we were making.”

The $175 million King Arthur carried hopes of becoming a franchise-starter, but stopped cold after earning a tepid $39 million at the box office.

After the dust settled, “I had a week when I wasn’t feeling very happy,” he admits. “I had allowed myself to get seduced by the scope of it and the potential upside of that financial scope for what I could then parlay into creatively (producing and writing). That was the bummer for me.”

Now Hunnam is back on his feet in Toronto with Papillon, a remake of the 1973 film which starred Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Hunnam lost over 40 pounds to take on McQueen’s role of a thief shipped off from France for a life sentence in a primitive prison camp in colonial French Guiana.

At the festival, Variety noted Papillon’s “somewhat self-conscious gravity has aged well.” Though less enthused, The Hollywood Reporter said Hunnam and co-star Rami Malek “prove to be an entertaining duo” playing begrudging inmates who begrudgingly bond behind bars.

The Brit, who ate next to nothing for Lost City of Z prior to shooting Papillon, put himself into solitary confinement for eight days during the shooting without food or water. (The real Henri Charriere, the real-life subject of the tale, was in solitary confinement in the South American camp for two years.)

Hunnam hopes the historical tale of inhumane treatment opens dialogue about the state of the current American prison system.

Inside the modern prison system, “it is exactly the same, really, in conditions and everything,” he says. “I’ve spent a lot of time visiting prisons in the U.S. and it is shocking.”

What will Hunnam do next? Three weeks ago, his Netflix film Triple Frontier fell apart after Ben Affleck pulled out to focus on his wellness and family, followed by other contenders including Mark Wahlberg, Mahershala Ali and Chadwick Boseman. So he’s taking six months off.

“I’m going to hang with my girl, I’m going to write the two screenplays I want to write,” says Hunnam. “I’m going to do some therapy, think a lot about the future and just recalibrate.”

Right now, he’s writing madly, “six days a week, usually 15 hours a day,” he says. “I write like it’s my obsession and I’m so happy.”

The former Sons of Anarchy star might even forgo acting in the future.

“I don’t know if I feel like I’ve got the chops to get to the destination of putting in Daniel Day-Lewis-caliber performances. Maybe. Maybe not,” says Hunnam. “But I’m certainly a long way from it. And I don’t enjoy the process. I (expletive) love writing. Maybe I’ll just become a writer-producer. I’m really, really seriously considering that.”

Source: usatoday.com

Charlie Says He Lived in a Jail Cell, Alone, Without Food or Water For 8 Days While Filming His Prison Break Movie

Charlie Says He Lived in a Jail Cell, Alone, Without Food or Water For 8 Days While Filming His Prison Break Movie

It seems Charlie Hunnam is angling to join Christian Bale and (the newly retired?) Daniel Day Lewis in the ranks of handsome British leading men who are known for suffering through absurdly unpleasant conditions for their craft. Shortly after the horror that was filming Lost City of Z (in which a beetle burrowed into his ear in the Amazon) the actor started shooting Papillon, which tells the true story of Henri Charrière, who suffered in and repeatedly escaped from a French Guiana prison dubbed “Devil’s Island” in the 1930s. Sounds pleasant.

While the prison break story has already been brought to the big screen in 1973 starring Steve McQueen as Charrière and Dustin Hoffman as a fellow convict who aids in his escape, this rendition (which costars Rami Malek in Hoffman’s role) presents a more brutally honest depiction of the horrid conditions these inmates faced. Never one to phone it in via green screen, Hunnam went to extremes for the role.

As Hunnam explained to W today, while promoting Papillon at the Toronto International Film Festival:

“The last sequence in the film is a 20-minute sequence in solitary [confinement] and by the point I was shooting that at the end of the film, my mind and body and f—ing will to live had all really shut down. I just stayed in that cell for eight days and I never ate and I didn’t drink any water… I just chain-smoked cigarettes for eight days. By the time I got out of there, I really felt like I’d lost connection to reality a little bit. I couldn’t go home to see my girlfriend, I had to go to England for a week to get my shit together. I thought, if I show up now after not seeing my girlfriend for four months, she’s going to be like, ‘Dude.’”

To make matters worse, the actor’s recent roles have him on a yo-yo diet from hell. “It’s been really unpleasant, these last two films,” he said. “I’m naturally 180 and I got down to 145 for both films. I lost the weight easy for Lost City of Z, but then I had to do it for Papillon, like, eight months later and my body went into total f—ing crisis.”

Unsurprisingly, Hunnam, while sipping a green juice, swore he’s not going to “do that again to myself for a while.” Although, his next film Triple Frontier, directed by J.C. Chandor for Netflix, is described as “a thriller set in the notorious border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where the Iguazu and Parana rivers converge.” Hmm.

Meanwhile, if you need to get out of prison, Hunnam is your man. Just don’t expect him to stage an elaborate breakout. “I had to get my pal out of jail this week, so I am actually pretty nifty when people get arrested,” he said. “I’ve bailed many of my friends out of prison.”

Source: wmagazine.com

First Look at Charlie Hunnam & Rami Malek In ‘Papillon’

First Look at Charlie Hunnam & Rami Malek In ‘Papillon’

Remaking a classic like “Papillon” certainly doesn’t sound like the wisest idea on paper. The iconic 1973 film starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman is all-timer, which makes you wonder at the hubris of trying to create lightning in a bottle twice. But we’ll find out at the Toronto International Film Festival is this redo is folly or not.

Charlie Hunnam and “Mr. Robot” star Rami Malek take the lead roles in this version, which has a script from “Prisoners” writer Aaron Guzikowski, and Danish director Michael Noer (“R“) behind the camera. Apparently, this will be a contemporary take on the based-on-a-true-story thriller about a man unjustly convicted of murder who enlists the help of a counterfeiter to break him out of a South American jail. Hunnam will be taking the McQueen role, with Malek in Hoffman’s shoes.

TIFF runs from September 7-17.

Source: theplaylist.com

NY Times: Charlie Hunnam: Pushy When It Counts (Picky, Too)

NY Times: Charlie Hunnam: Pushy When It Counts (Picky, Too)

Neither director wanted him, but then they took a look at him, and then he opened his mouth.

He was hungry, and pushy, and the director Guy Ritchie liked that. He was gorgeous, and charmed women and children, and the director James Gray liked that, too.

Charlie Hunnam is not exactly a household name in the United States, at least not just yet.

He is known in some quarters as the guy who backed out of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” He is known in others as the conflicted capo of a California motorcycle gang in the FX series “Sons of Anarchy.” Four years ago, he starred in Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim,” and a decade before that played a menacing albino Confederate in Anthony Minghella’s “Cold Mountain.” Across the pond, in his native England, he rose to fame as a teen, playing a coltish gay youngster in the breakout series “Queer as Folk.”

But all those parts did not make a breakout star of Mr. Hunnam, 37, not least because he has been enormously picky about roles. He once spent a few lean years living off an organic marijuana crop he cultivated in his Los Angeles home, he said, rather than taking jobs that left him cold.

“I can’t even believe I’m being this candid,” Mr. Hunnam said as he revealed his pot-growing days — they’re behind him now, he swears — over a lunch of seared halibut and spring peas at the Four Seasons in Lower Manhattan a few weeks ago.

Tall and V-shaped, blond and chiseled, Mr. Hunnam has been likened to Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum. Yet he didn’t carry the “here we go again” ennui or whiff of wariness that often permeates the air around celebrities. This despite the fact that he was in the thick of the press tour for “King Arthur,” the $102 million film Mr. Ritchie directed and helped write, in theaters Friday, May 12, with Mr. Hunnam as its star.

Scant weeks before, he had been out promoting Mr. Gray’s “The Lost City of Z,” which he starred in, too. By every appearance, the lean years are no more. Yet both films nearly eluded him.

Mr. Ritchie flatly refused to consider Mr. Hunnam for Arthur at first, not least because he envisioned a king with an action-figure physique. “There’s more fat in a chip than there is on Charlie,” Mr. Ritchie said in an interview. “I just didn’t think he was robust enough.”

Infuriated, Mr. Hunnam flew to London from Los Angeles to force a meeting that Mr. Ritchie couldn’t say no to because Mr. Hunnam’s manager is his close friend. Looking back, Mr. Hunnam said he was not sure how much he wanted the role; he just wanted to be seen. Yet within five minutes, Mr. Ritchie said, “I knew I loved him.”

The director continued, “When someone’s hungry and pushy and they can back it up with something, then it’s a wonderful conspiracy.” Mr. Hunnam was smart, meticulous and dived deep. He also hit the gym like a madman and, soon enough, looked like He-Man.

This in turn dismayed Mr. Gray, when, eight days after wrapping “King Arthur,” Mr. Hunnam showed up for a costume fitting for “Z.” The film is about Percy Fawcett, a real-life British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon in 1925 while searching for signs of an ancient civilization.

Mr. Hunnam recalled that the “Z” director “looked in abject horror at my body and said, ‘This is a disaster, this is nowhere close to the physicality that we need for Fawcett.’” Mr. Hunnam added: “I just looked like a superhero, you know? Stupid.”

All of which he managed to blame on Mr. Pitt. When he took his shirt off in “Fight Club” and “Snatch,” Mr. Hunnam said, he created “a new expectation of what a man should be.”

That said, Mr. Pitt was the one who got Mr. Hunnam the part of Fawcett. Mr. Pitt’s production company, Plan B, had tapped Mr. Gray, whose previous films include “The Yards” and “We Own the Night,” to write and direct the picture.

Mr. Pitt was to star but dropped out because of scheduling conflicts; then the lead was to be Benedict Cumberbatch, but his wife was about to give birth. Plan B suggested Mr. Hunnam, at which point Mr. Gray balked.

“I thought he was a Hells Angels kind of guy, which makes me feel like an absolute fool beyond comprehension,” Mr. Gray said, in a phone chat.

After learning Mr. Hunnam was British, Mr. Gray invited him over for dinner, making spaghetti and meatballs, which Mr. Hunnam dutifully ate even though, as Mr. Gray later learned, he avoids carbs.

“He was so warm and funny. My wife thought he was handsomest man in the world, and my son was obsessed with him,” Mr. Gray said. “‘Lost City of Z’ is all about feelings of inadequacy about class. He understood all that stuff, and spoke to it directly.”

For Mr. Gray, that was key. Like his character in the film, Mr. Hunnam burned with the need to prove himself. Continue reading

‘Lost City of Z’ actor Charlie Hunnam, reluctant star and existential Hollywood soul

‘Lost City of Z’ actor Charlie Hunnam, reluctant star and existential Hollywood soul

Most actors who dine in West Hollywood delis don’t talk to beret-clad strangers.?

And they’re especially not likely to be listening to one of those strangers deliver disquisitions about wine. ?

Yet, improbably, there is Charlie Hunnam — snappily dressed Brit, gritty-as-dirt Jax from “Sons of Anarchy” — at Greenblatt’s, Westside promised land of whitefish and latkes and his regular haunt. He is turned to the table behind him, eagerly receiving oenophilic wisdom from an older man in colorful headgear.??

“I came back from being outside doing this,” the British actor said a moment later, pointing to a vaping implement, “and he was drinking wine right in the middle of the day. So I asked him some questions,” Hunnam added with a wouldn’t-you-do-the-same? shrug. “He knew a lot — it was really interesting.”

Then again, Hunnam has long headed his own way. Since he started getting leading film roles in the early 2000s — in “Nicholas Nickleby,” or as the snarling ringleader in the soccer-fan drama “Green Street Hooligans” — the actor, 37, has shown a maverick streak. A working-class Brit who as a kid devoured American films and literature. A heartthrob-in-waiting who eschews heartthrob roles. A Hollywood creature who openly criticizes the Hollywood machine.

Hunnam is perhaps best known for the role he didn’t play, backing out of the Christian Grey part in the erotic drama “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It was the type of 11th-hour exit one rarely sees — a genuinely unexpected bucking of the Hollywood handbook that encapsulates his quirky independence.

But starting Friday, Hunnam’s fame could take on a new dimension: He’ll be seen on the big screen (really big, given the film’s 35 mm format) as the doomed British explorer Percy Fawcett in James Gray’s low-fi jungle-adventure “The Lost City of Z.” And next month, he’ll appear as the lead in Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” a stylish big-budget take on the 5th- and 6th-century English legend.

The two will show more of the under-the-radar-actor to the world, or at least the same aspects to more of the world. At a time of glib soundbites and Twitter fronting, Hunnam offers a refreshingly different kind of personality, a candid and considered soul seemingly trapped in a Hollywood-actor body.

In “Lost City,” he plays the real-life Fawcett with a thoughtful, at times sullen, seriousness. The former artillery soldier made repeated trips to the Amazon in search of a community he believed was the remnants of El Dorado, eventually disappearing there with his son in 1925. As Hunnam conjures him from David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, Fawcett was not the swashbuckling adventurer at the start of his quest, nor the stark-raving mad Kurtzian figure as it went on — instead, he was beset by the kind of quiet preoccupation that destroys and nourishes in equal measure.

“For me, Fawcett represents the search for meaning we all have — that terrible and wonderful and ordained quest,” Hunnam said. “He wasn’t finding any answers in society; he found life wholly unsatisfying. So it was this voice asking questions: ‘What are we doing, and what is this desperate dark hole and how do I fill it?’ Most of us fill it with total nonsense — with consumerism. And he thought this quest would help quiet that voice.”

Hunnam tends to answer questions with a pause, followed by a rush of words, an attempt to get across a truth unbothered by spin, as though by simply speaking quickly and eloquently he could ward off the dreaded curse of the talking point.

He also evinces a dark view glinted — slightly — with humor.

“I don’t pay much attention to what’s going on in the world. I really don’t. I suppose where it comes from is a deep sense of pessimism,” he said. “All the challenges we’re facing — the lack of water, overpopulation, climate change, social media.”

He waited the quickest poker-faced second to let the quip land, then continued, more gloomily: “I feel like we’re rapidly galloping toward an apocalypse — we’ve passed critical mass. I know it’s a morbid viewpoint. But I’m not melancholy. It’s just Trump or Brexit or whatever it is — what difference does it make? It’s hard to get invested in any of it.” Several times in the interview, he described feeling “existential and lost” at various life points. Continue reading

Charlie Hunnam Captivates on Screen, but He’s Even Better in Real Life

Charlie Hunnam is dancing within seconds of our introduction. “I just invented a POPSUGAR dance,” he says. “Do you want to see it?” I tell him that I absolutely do, of course, and soon he’s half bent over while punching the air with both arms, doing what can best be described as a victory dance.

When I admit that I’d kill to have his moves on video, he just laughs, taking a seat at our small table and sitting back in his chair, ready for what must feel like the millionth interview of the week.

If anybody deserves a victory dance right now, it’s Hunnam. The 37-year-old actor is in the midst of a jam-packed press circuit as the star of two of Spring’s most buzzed-about movies, King Arthur and The Lost City of Z. We meet during a press junket for the latter, a sweeping film about British explorer Percy Fawcett, and when he tells me that it’s been a busy two months, I know that’s quite the understatement.

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The Lost City of Z is based on a book by the same name from author David Grann. Set in the early 1900s, the movie follows the true story of Lieutenant Colonel Fawcett and Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson), who trek to the Amazon and find evidence of a previously unknown civilization. Fawcett’s adventures, while thrilling, come at a cost, as he and his wife (Sienna Miller) both grapple with the sacrifices they’re forced to make in the pursuit of Fawcett’s dreams.

To prepare for the role, Hunnam chose to make a few sacrifices of his own. “I decided I needed to sort of suffer,” he tells me. “I was a bit worried about everything that was going to be required for me in this film, so I wanted to do everything I could to cut down on the amount of acting required so I could just feel the experience.”

That translated to cutting himself off completely. He didn’t speak to his girlfriend of 12 years, Morgana McNelis, for four months. He also didn’t send any emails, make any phone calls, or go on the internet.

“It had the desired effect. I found myself feeling intensely isolated and lonely,” he says. “On the days where I was happy with the work I was doing, it felt like a valid sacrifice, and on the days where I was really unhappy with the work I was doing, I was just struck by the folly of it all, and the tragedy of it all, you know?”
He starts to laugh a bit. “In those moments, I would just fantasize about being home, cuddled up in bed with my girlfriend and my cat.”

I ask the important question: “What’s your cat’s name?”

“George,” he says, breaking into a half-grin that’s almost shy.

That’s how our conversation continues to see-saw, shifting from heavy to light in an instant, then back again. With quiet confidence and a loud laugh, Hunnam is charming. He’s a thoughtful, comfortable conversationalist, and a great storyteller.

He gets animated when I bring up a particular moment in the movie that captured my attention, one that happens to be a shot that he suggested himself. In the first half of the film, Fawcett and his crew are traveling along the river when a tribe starts to attack them with arrows. Fawcett holds up his journal to block one of the arrows, and in a dreamlike moment, the scene briefly flashes to his family. Continue reading

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