Category: King Arthur
After being fused as Jax Teller for eight years on Sons of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam has seen his mainstream popularity — as well as geek-friendly popularity — grow in the three years since the show ended.
Having starred in Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, he will now cross back in history with King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword. ComicBook was able to speak with the star on the red carpet of CinemaCon to see how the new translation will be different that that of old and how Jax seeped into the filming.
“We just wanted to make sure that it was fresh and felt modern and had something to say that hadn’t been said before,” Hunnam said. “We’ve seen the version of Arthur that’s the noble man who goes on the journey to be the noble king.
“We said we wanted to do something the opposite of that; we wanted to make him a little bit of a motherfuXXer. So he starts off he’s tough; he’s streetwise; he a little bit selfish but at center of it he has a good heart.”
Acclaimed filmmaker Guy Ritchie brings his dynamic style to the epic fantasy action adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Starring Hunnam in the title role, the film is an iconoclastic take on the classic Excalibur myth, tracing Arthur’s journey from the streets to the throne. When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy… whether he likes it or not.
The actor revealed just how profound of an effect Jax has had on the rest of his career, and how the character continues to influence his work.
“I’ve never had an experience of getting so close and so deeply meshed with a character before,” he said. “I felt when I finished sons that it was a real process to get back to center, and try to exorcise him out of my psyche for as much as possible. Because I’d been living with him for eight years you know, trying to bring him to life.
“I started this movie maybe three months after I finished Sons so I’m sure there’s flavors of him in there. It certainly wasn’t intentional though.”
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is directed by Guy Ritchie, from a screenplay by Joby Harold and Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, based on a story by David Dobkin and Joby Harold. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is produced by Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold, Tory Tunnell, Steve Clark-Hall, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram and executive produced by David Dobkin and Bruce Berman.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opens in theaters May 12, 2017.
Charlie was in Las Vegas on March 29th as he attended the Warner Bros. Pictures ‘The Big Picture’ Presentation at 2017 CinemaCon where he introduced a new clip and spoke of his upcoming film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which is due out this May.
You can check out all the photos from the event below:
Check out some new production stills of Charlie from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which hits theaters May 12th. You can view them in the gallery now.
ELLE: A few stories I read described your dad as a “gangster.” True?
Charlie Hunnam: No, he was a scrap-metal man. If, say, a coal mine or a shipyard goes down, there’s an enormous opportunity to go and strip scrap metal and melt it down. It’s incredibly valuable, completely untraceable, and very desirable to steal. Everybody understands that if you fuck around, there will be serious consequences. That’s where his reputation came into play. He was very well known. Some might say even feared. But he wasn’t into making money illegally, which is my definition of a gangster.
How did the town react when you became the face of a Calvin Klein cologne?
I don’t know, because I left there when I was 12. I go back occasionally to see my dad. I think everybody is seduced by the film business, whether they’re tough, salty, Newcastle dudes or young dudes or whatever.
You’re often shirtless in movies. Has that given you some understanding of what it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood?
I never really thought about it in that context.
Okay, do you ever feel objectified?
Not at all. I don’t view myself that way. I obviously am cognizant of the fact that being handsome gives me greater breadth of opportunity. I’d hope that what I bring to the table far surpasses just being handsome.
Actors often describe sex scenes as awkward. What’s the truth?
I try to be sensitive to the fact that we’re doing something intimate, but also keep a clear boundary. Because I’m in a very committed relationship, and I’m also cognizant that it’s not my girlfriend’s favorite part of my job. It’s a delicate balance to strike—to be emotionally open enough to have an experience that feels honest between two people but also maintain that it’s just for the film. It’s not my favorite thing to do. I’m also a germaphobe.
Yeah. I’ve been profoundly germophobic since I was a young child. I don’t want to kiss anyone but my girlfriend for my whole life.
Do you remember how it started?
When I was maybe eight or nine, there was a parasite from dogs in the north of England that, if you ingested it, could turn you blind. We had a thing in schools to educate the kids about the importance of hygiene, specifically around dogs, because we had a few kids who went blind. That horrified me. The point is, everyone thinks it’s great to be an actor and get to kiss a bunch of beautiful actresses in films, but I actually hate it.
Have you ever used your fame to get out of trouble?
There’s definitely a huge number of L.A. police who seem to like Sons of Anarchy. When the show was on, I’d ride my bike to work a little faster than California law would allow. And I got pulled over my fair share. It didn’t always work, but maybe two or three times I didn’t get a ticket. It was very handy.
You were cast in Fifty Shades of Grey but backed out because of scheduling conflicts. Have you seen the film?
I haven’t. I developed a friendship with [director Sam Taylor-Johnson], but that was a somewhat traumatic experience for me. I didn’t want to open that wound.
King Arthur is a story about destiny. Do you believe in fate?
Yes. I think we can affect our own fates, but there’s also a powerful energy that’s the universe or God or whatever your unconscious recognizes that helps along your way.
Is there a story from your own life that informed that view?
No, but I’ll tell you what Henry David Thoreau said: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” I think when you live your destiny, you allow yourself to get in touch with your inner essence. What’s difficult in life is the economic and social requirements that distract us from bringing forth our true passion.
Economic requirements! Don’t you have, like, 80 pairs of sneakers?
I did at a period in my life. Not anymore.
I grew up. I spent an enormous amount of time sourcing the good shit. I needed really limited edition, blah blah blah. Then I thought, What the fuck am I doing? I took out six or seven pairs that I cared about, and I gave the rest to charity.
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.”