Category: Frankie Go Boom
Name: Charlie Hunnam
Provenance: Newcastle, England
Relationship status: In a Relationship (with Morgana McNelis)
On the “Brad Pitt” curse: “I was playing pretty boys and these angelic roles like Nicholas Nickleby and all that stuff. And I was like, ‘What am I doing? This isn’t who I am, as a man or an artist.’ I had to overcome people’s belief that I was too pretty to be a badass.”
On initially resisting the role of Frankie: “It seemed too much of a stretch. I’ve been playing Jax Teller for so long and these other aggressive roles. I thought it would take me awhile to get out of that and into a place where I could play this meek, put-upon, dorky guy.”
On Vespa versus Harley: “I don’t think I’ve been on a Vespa? Oh, that’s right…for this movie! I have two motorcycles. This is my pride and joy [reveals a picture of his Harley Davidson]. No comparison. I would rather be the guy steering the big Harley. It’s empowering and makes you feel like a badass. [The Vespa] is really humiliating and makes you feel like an idiot.”
On similarities to Jax Teller: “A lot of my friends are gangsters. Not like gangsters–well, yeah, all sorts of levels of criminality—but not the types that are preying on innocent people. I have no interest in the type of criminality that has no respect for collateral damage. But I don’t condemn the guys who say, ‘This society we’ve created is kind of [messed up], and I’m willing to take it down—for selfish gain—but also to make a point.'”.
On receiving jewelry from his girlfriend: “She told me she was making me a diamond encrusted ring—she’s a jewelry designer, not an actor—and I was like ‘Uh-oh. This is not going to go well for me.’ But I love it. It’s so discrete and beautiful. Her company is Maison de Morgana.
Be sure to check out the entire interview over at Backstage.com!
How did you go about landing your roles?
Charlie Hunnam: I wasn’t really looking to do comedy, because I’m not really very funny. But Jordan approached me, and for some reason he came to the conclusion I was the guy he wanted and pursued me relentlessly. And it just seemed like there was no risk, really. We made this film for $400,000 in 19 days, and I thought, Why not? It’s either going to be a piece of shit and no one will see it, or it will be great and a fun experience.
Ron Perlman: Little did we know it was going to fall somewhere in the middle, which is our worst nightmare. It’s just good enough that we have to promote it!
Lizzy Caplan: I read the script and thought it was really funny. I think this was around the time I wasn’t super pumped about doing a tiny, tiny movie, but I heard Charlie was attached, and it was an interesting choice because they weren’t going for…
Hunnam: A funny guy?
Caplan: Well, I thought it was a great choice. And I thought it would be a challenge to do some of the weird shit Lassie has to do.
Perlman: I was brought in by Charlie, actually. We had just finished a season of “Sons,” and he said, “This is my summer vacation project, my arts and crafts thing, and the director would like me to pass it on to you.” I was supposed to look at the role Chris Noth ended up playing, but I then get to Phyllis. And there’s this gesture when he meets Frankie—I ask for my hand to be kissed. And I was just thinking of all those “Sons of Anarchy” fans. And I realized that even if I blow this performance, that shot alone will be worth the price of admission.
Caplan: I feel like we all got to play against type, and it was fun to take a swing at something with very low stakes.
Perlman: That’s why one does these little films; you get a chance to do things you wouldn’t normally get to do if the film was more mainstream.
So is Charlie really not funny?
Caplan: No. Not on purpose.
Hunnam: I’m not. Not in the least.
Perlman: I think he can be, but you can never predict it. And actually, comedy only works if you don’t play it for the laughs. You have to immerse yourself in the seriousness of it; therein lies the incongruity.
You can read a few extracted questions from the interview, but also make sure you check out the interview in full over at About.com, definitely worth it! Great interview!
Thanks for tackling a film that’s way more original than what we usually get to see.
“It’s absolutely my pleasure. It was a really fun, big departure for me from the type of material I usually work on and it felt like just a really fun challenge to do in a kind of safe environment. You know, if you go and sign on to do a comedy for a studio with a $20 million price tag, if you’re not known as being a comedian it’s a very big risk. But to go and do a $400,000 film, it just felt like a really safe, easy, fun way to challenge myself and try to do something a little bit different.”
Was it the fact it was different that first caught your eye? Were you looking for something in the comedy genre?
“I certainly wasn’t looking for something and I don’t think of myself as a comedian. I’m notthat interested in comedy. The way it came about was Jordan Roberts, the director/writer/producer/financier of the film, somewhere along the line decided that I was the guy he wanted for that role. I got sent the script and just didn’t really see how I could play the role, because it felt to me like it read like a really kind of dorky, passive, put-upon guy whose brother’s always messing with his life and he’s not strong enough to challenge his brother. Jordan said, ‘Yes, I think that’s the way a lot of people read it. I think that’s the very obvious way. I think the much more interesting version of this film – or this story – is that he’s just a really regular dude, like the type of guy that anyone in the audience can relate to. He’s not super macho but he’s also kind of tough. He has his own stuff. The problem is his brother’s this extraordinary larger-than-life character who’s also kind of a psycho, and any normal guy would have trouble standing up to that.’
He just felt like that version of this story was much more interesting. And so the more we talked about it and the more he pitched his version of how we would tell the story, the more it intrigued me and the more I felt comfortable trying to take on the challenge of playing this guy. To me, that’s how it came about. It’s really just Jordan. I’ve done a little bit of comedy in the past that he looked at. I did a show, Undeclared, years ago with Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel and all those guys. He saw that and he said, ‘Listen, go back and watch the show if you don’t think you’re funny, because you definitely have the ability to be funny. And I’m a really funny guy’ – Jordan said – ‘and I’m going to look after you and make sure the jokes land.’ That’s first how it came about.”
Is it refreshing to play someone who is so different from Jax? These characters couldn’t be further apart in personality.
“Yeah, it definitely was refreshing. It’s like a real palate-cleanser to come in to this. And it wasn’t just Jax… I mean, just all of the work that I’ve been doing over the last five or six years are kind of more tough guy, rough-and-ready type of characters. More so than just a palate-cleanser for Sons, it was a real palate-cleanser for everything I’ve been doing over the last few years. And then as a kind of side effect of that, it made me excited to go back into that world again because that’s the world I feel comfortable in. I’ve never played a character as close to who I am as the character I play with Jax. I mean, he and I…he’s a little bit more violent than me, but only marginally. [laughing] But in the way he processes information and the relationships he has with his friends, and the way he conducts himself in the world, if I were in that world, I would be exactly like that.”
That would be you.
“That would be me. So, it’s nice to play a character so far away from one’s self and then it’s also nice to come back to playing a character that feels very close to me.”
Is it true that you suggested Ron Perlman for this role?
“Yeah. I suggested Ron for one of the two roles. Initially, Jordan and I…Chris O’Dowd had already been cast and then he cast me, and then we got Lizzy Caplanon board. And then we were looking for the two other main roles: Phyllis and the out-of-work actor, Lizzy’s father. We initially sent Ron the script to look at both roles, but really focus on the movie star role. I said, ‘Listen, we’re going really quickly. This is an offer – it’s not a financial offer because they don’t literally have the time to do the paperwork to make you an offer, but if you want the role it’s yours. Read the script.’
He called me the next morning and said, ‘You’re going to think I’m crazy,’ and I said, ‘Why?’ And he said, ‘I want to play Phyllis.’ [laughing] I said, ‘Why?!’ And he said, ‘I’ve always wanted to play a woman.’ And that’s kind of where it went from there.
We shot Ron’s entire role in one day and it was by far and away the most fun I’ve ever had in a day’s filming. We just had such a great time together because it was such a departure from our usual dynamic. It was just a really fun, fun day of filming for both of us.”
The San Diego Film Festival is upon us once again and 3,2,1…Frankie Go Boom is one of the many feature films scheduled to be shown at the popular festival.
3,2,1…Frankie Go Boom is scheduled to be shown on Thursday, September 27th at 8PM in the Reading Theater in the Gaslamp Quarter and on Saturday, September 29th at 8PM in the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, Sherwood Auditorium.
You can purchase tickets to the see Frankie Go Boom at the San Diego Film Festival at the official website for the festival HERE.
For those who aren’t familiar with Frankie Go Boom, you can check out the trailer below.
Frank Bartlett has been tortured, embarrassed, and humiliated by his brother Bruce — usually on film — his entire life. Now that Bruce is finally off drugs and has turned his life around, things should be different. They are not. When Frank’s one-night-stand with a peculiar young woman goes not quite as planned, Bruce’s camera is there, as usual, to share the embarrassing video of the event with the world. But when the two brothers discover the girl’s father is a crazed lunatic, fond of guns, they need to get the non-sex tape back.