Category: Blurbs & Mentions
Charlie Hunnam has been introduced to the world of bjj earlier in 2016 when reports surfaced he actor was practicing along with Machado and inspired by black belt and director of the latest “King Arthur” movie. Being fairly discrete and not active on social media Hunnam was outed by his 22 push up challenge which he did in the Jean Jacques Machado rashguard.
But for the latest bout of his promotional duties related to King Arthur he had the Men’s Health reporter follow him straight to class.
According to the report to be published in the April edition of the magazine the two some started with some light talk. According to Hunnam part of the attraction to martial arts and fitness is related to vanity but there’s more than that as well:
“I’m interested in having a high fitness level across the board,” he says. “Running, swimming, jumping rope, hiking, jiu-jitsu—I try to do it all. I also try to make love as often as I can. That’s an important part of fitness. There’s no reason you can’t be active at 70. I want to run up mountains at that age.”
The writer then followed Hunnam into a jiu jitsu class. According to the report the learning curve in the class was steep. First segment was related to armbars but then moved onto chokes. The writer describes in detail being choked by Hunnam:
The pressure on my neck is firm, but I feel strangely safe with him. He’s strong but displays precise control and even a lightness of touch. Although brutal, there is an art to cutting off someone’s air supply. I double-tap his arm to signal submission. The sensei, Rigan Machado, an eighth-degree black belt member of Brazilian jiu-jitsu’s founding Gracie family, says Hunnam is a perfectionist—something I experience firsthand as we practice again and again and Hunnam fine-tunes his chokes. Nothing grounds you in the present more than being unable to breathe. Jiu-jitsu training demands focus and discipline.
It’s no surprise Hunnam had opted to practice in the company and under the guidance of Rigan Machado as Rigan is known for having invented a bjj system without sparring for his celebrity clientele:
“I created a new jiu jitsu system for people who can’t get hurt. It’s technical training. They learn jiu-jitsu and technically train, but it’s all safe. I created a type of jiu-jitsu for the Beverly Hills clientele. Competition, sparring… these guys can’t do that. I can’t even take a 1% chance of them getting hurt. I have 18 celebrities doing this program. Some guys have to sign disclosure agreements; others like Ashton Kutcher and Mickey Rourke come in regularly, while Usher comes in once and a while and Vin Diesel when he’s in town.”
Hunnam, packed on some pounds for the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword movie. According to his own statement he usually walks around at a 165 but he put on 20 pounds of muscle.
Rigan calls this style for celebrities “flow jiu jitsu”. It took him 9 years to put it together, and it has more than 700 techniques, which can be drilled and trained without risking injury.
As far as combative preparation for King Arthur goes Hunnam himself says:
“It’s not even as much the physical benefit of training; it’s the mental,” he says. “When you’re training every day in a combat discipline, it just gives you that eye of the tiger. Then if someone acts aggressively toward you, I can run all the scenarios through my head—you know, like I’m going to step to the side and put an elbow through your face.”
Hunnam sought to reimagine the noble action hero with Ritchie, himself a black belt in BJJ. “We wanted to do something a little rougher around the edges while still dealing with the rich Arthurian mythology,”
When Hunnam’s girlfriend of 11 years was cyberbullied last year, he released a video telling the perpetrators to knock it off. “The way I grew up, if you want to talk s*it, talk s*it to someone’s face and be prepared to fight.”
There’s no room for cowardliness in his approach adding in the end:
“We are supposed to be very active animals. It’s our DNA.” Hunnam derives emotional stability and clarity from his fitness. “Sweating is how I change my oil every day. I just feel happier, more positive, energized, and disciplined if I work out.” Ultimately, he says, “I train a lot every day because I’m f*cking crazy.”
Ewan McGregor has just been set to star with Léa Seydoux in Zoe, the next film that Drake Doremus will direct. He will replace Charlie Hunnam, who has dropped out for scheduling issues. This has just happened, and it occurred while Doremus is getting ready for the Sunday Sundance premiere of the acquisition title Newness, the film that stars Nicholas Hoult, Laia Costa and Danny Huston.
Zoe, which is being financed by Stuart Ford’s IM Global, is scheduled to shoot in Montreal in April with Scott Free’s Michael Pruss producing with Doremus and Robert George. McGregor is about to open in T2 Trainspotting, the Danny Boyle-directed sequel to the cult favorite movie.
Written by The Beauty Inside’s Rich Greenberg, Zoe follows two colleagues at a revolutionary research lab who design technology to improve and perfect romantic relationships. As their work progresses, their discoveries become more profound than they could ever have imagined. UTA and United Agents rep McGregor.
Back in the days of yore — specifically July 2015 — EW brought you the first look at Charlie Hunnam as a gritty, wisecracking sovereign in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. A year and a half later, fans are still waiting to see the former Sons of Anarchy star pull the sword from that stone.
EW caught up with director Guy Ritchie, who’s putting the finishing touches on the special effects for the film (set for release on May 12), to talk about the delay and how he planned to make King Arthur a hero audiences in 2017 will care about.
We last spoke about a year and a half ago. Where are you in the process right now?
As of five minutes ago, it was the last visual effects meeting I had, so I am at the end of it, as of five minutes ago. It has gone on for some time.
The release date shifted three different times. What was the main reason for the date changing?
The date kept shifting, I think, simply because of competition. We could have wrapped up a year, but since we didn’t have to wrap up a year ago, you keep this visual effects things going on so that you can get the best out of them. But it’s such a crowded market out there, trying to find a weekend that you stand half a chance in is tough. That’s the only reason.
Did the shift allow you to do anything other than take more time with the special effects?
I quite like taking some more time because I can see the trouble people find themselves in by forcing a visual effect, which really does need more time. We’ve had the luxury of sitting back. If we did not have that luxury, your visual effects aren’t going to be there. We’ve had a year, haven’t we? We’ve have a year to improve them, and today is the last visual effects meeting. It’s a year’s extra work.
This King Arthur started as three different projects, including one you were developing. What was different about your initial project?
This is the one, essentially, except in this one we’ve got 300-foot elephants. Though really, that’s the only difference. It’s the same story, but this one has more of an element of fantasy in it, which is consistent within the tone, but other than that, it’s pretty much the same story.
Your big idea was to bring this guy down to the street level, right?
Yeah. I quite like John Boorman’s Excalibur, and I think Boorman touched on things that I thought, “Oh, I’d like to have a go at that.” He did a pretty good job at some aspects of it. It’s a genre that’s hard to tackle, and I wanted to tackle it.
What makes it a hard genre to crack?
All genres are hard to crack if you’re familiar with a particular genre. It’s easy for a filmmaker to stay within the genre he’s familiar with. It’s more challenging when you get outside of that. You have to use reference points that you’re sympathetic to. What is a reference point to King Arthur that you’re sympathetic to. The only thing I could think of is elements of Excalibur. There wasn’t anything to copy, right? I have opinions about what they got right, what they didn’t get right. So now you’re going, “Well, you have to run that gauntlet. Are you funny? Are you unfunny? Are you funny and serious?” All of that takes a while to find your tone and your voice, and it’s challenging, like in Sherlock Holmes. That was a genre I hadn’t tackled before, so you have to find a voice within that. So it’s challenging, and you doubt yourself. Then you’re confident and you doubt yourself and you’re confident again. For me, I’m trying to think of a film in the genre that I really like…. And I’m quite quiet on that. There isn’t too many. There are elements within different films that I really like, but as a whole film, there’s not one I can think of.
Do you think audience expectations have changed in the last 10 or 15 years?
Yes. Film, like everything else, is subject to fashion. If you watch how films were made 15 years ago and watch how they’re being made now, the tonality is totally different. We’ve moved toward technically exponentially, so you can get away with visual effects from 15 years ago. But you have a broader tapestry, which means you can be more ambitious about the visual effects. In turn, it affects everything else. Once you change the tone and rhythm of one thing, it affects the tone and rhythm of everything else.
What did having Charlie Hunnam mean for that task, of updating Arthur?
To be fair to Charlie, Charlie won the role because he paid for his own flight. I wasn’t even thinking about Charlie. He wanted to be screen tested, and he won it, as did Astrid [Berges-Frisby]. They won it through the good, old-fashioned route.
What did you need from the guy who was going to be your Arthur?
I need someone who was going to understand my vision and have a similar disposition. I needed to realize that we were going to be on the same page, so that anything I said was going to mean something to him. I needed him to trust me. Those things were conspicuous in Charlie.
You can read the full interview with Guy Ritchie over at EW.com
You can read Kurt’s entire interview over at HollywoodReporter.com
He’s been quietly prepping the Sons spinoff, for which he’s mum on details since it’s still early in the development process. At press time, he was still looking to secure a writer to spearhead it. Sutter says he really wants to do more movies, too, though not simply as a screenwriter. “I can’t write feature scripts for someone else to direct anymore,” he says, a nod to the “at times painful” experience on Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw, which went through multiple writers’ keyboards, though Sutter ultimately earned sole screenwriting credit in arbitration. If he has his way, he’ll dust off one of his early scripts, Delivering Gen, a love story between a junkie and a hit man. Charlie Hunnam has read the script, and it’s Sutter’s dream for him to star. “He’d f—ing kill it,” he says of his former Sons lead.
And … looks like you were right!
Sutter, who was also the mastermind behind SOA, tells EW exclusively that he’s been chatting with none other than Charlie Hunnam (Jax) and Tommy Flanagan (Chibs) about making the trip to TBX set.
But there’s a catch. Or two.
“Charlie really wants to come and do, like, a little arc but, he’s sort of booked solid for the next three years, so I don’t know if that’ll happen,” says Sutter, sounding disappointed. “But we still have Timothy V. Murphy and I’m sure we’ll get some of our Irish dudes that we cast at some point on Sons. It’s hard to schlep over American actors. It’s been primarily British actors, other than all the people that are related to me that are in the show.
“But it’s so funny. I was actually thinking, ‘I wonder if we could have a medieval Venus Van Dam?’” continues Sutter. For the uninitiated, Sutter is referring to the transgender character on SOA played by the brilliant Goggins. “What did transgender look like in the 1300s?”
The Bastard Executioner premieres Sept. 15 at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
You can check out Tom’s entire interview over at Collider.com
Was it based on him, or was it based on the script, or was it based on – What was it that made you say, ‘This is definitely a part worth taking’?
HIDDLESTON: Well, it happened very quickly. He called me, my agents called and said, ‘Guillermo Del Toro is going to call you in the next hour’ and he called me and told me the story and he said, ‘Don’t say yes, or no. But I’m gonna rewrite the script this weekend or tonight or tomorrow, and I’m gonna send you a new draft’ and like an hour later Jessica [Chastain] called me and said, ‘You have to do it’ [Laughs] ‘I want you to do it, and Guillermo wants you to do it’ and I was really excited I couldn’t wait to read the script. Then, it must have been like a day later, I got it and I read it immediately in one sitting and he had rewritten the role, so I got sort of my own draft, he had rewritten the part for me in a way. It’s just brilliant, it just is a brilliant screenplay, and I wanted to work with him, I knew that Jessica, and Mia [Wasikowska], and Charlie [Hunnam] were locked in and on board; and I love Mia and I know Jessica from before and I wanted to work with Charlie so there was just no possible way I was going to say ‘no’. Working with Guillermo who I’ve admired for so long, and the script itself was just brilliant, the screenplay was captivating and rich and sophisticated and terrifying; and the role was amazing, and different than anything else I’d done, It was a very, very quick ‘yes’ after that.
Guillermo showed us some stills from the film and we saw the color scheme that Mario Bava, Hammer Films, bright Technicolor color scheme. Does that sort of aesthetic play into the performance as well, is there some level of bigness to it or are you guys playing smaller in that brighter, colorful space?
HIDDLESTON: Yeah, I didn’t think about the color too much in my approach, even though Kate Hawley’s sort of mood boards, the costume designer, she put together these extraordinary mood boards which covered her entire office with different headlines so it would be these massive posters of imitism, for Sharpe it might be Caspar David Friedrich’s painting Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, or depictions of Byron, or old kind of early, early prints of these long-haired Victorian engineers standing on hill tops, which seem like a cliché but it’s true. And then stuff about the mines, so all these pictures of boys who’d just crawled out the mines or people being washed after they’ve been down the mines for weeks; all those mood boards are plastered around the side of my trailer because the images themselves are so inspiring. Just the way people look, the way people dress, the way people carry themselves, the way people sat and stood, faces and haircuts. I did a lot of that just thinking about the visual sort of thing, but not necessarily color even though I knew that there’s this very dark midnight blue or something that we always have for the Sharpes, that Lucille and Thomas should have black hair.
We wanted Thomas to look like this Byronic hero, to be the tall, dark stranger in the new world, Charlie Hunnam is blonde and Mia is blonde and these two dark strangers from the north of England come along and they’re sophisticated and old and European and they should bring with them the era of gothic romance. I read some stuff, Guillermo pointed me towards The Mysteries of Udolpho which is this sort of early gothic romantic classic by Ann Radcliff, and The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, we talked about Rochester in Jane Eyre, even Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice; these figures, these wealthy gentlemen with big houses who possibly become emblems of English privilege that everyone’s talking about. Who is that man in the corner with the dark hair and the intense stare? The interest of that mystery, that there are gentlemen with dark secrets was something that was very compelling at the time.