Category: Projects

Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek’s ‘Papillon’ Is “Somewhat of a Love Story”

Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek’s ‘Papillon’ Is “Somewhat of a Love Story”

Variety.com — When the autobiographical novel “Papillon” was published in France in 1969, it was hailed as “the greatest adventure story of all time” — and that description set the tone of the 1973 film adaptation starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman as two prisoners trying to escape a penal colony in Guiana.

But Michael Noer, the Danish director of a new remake starring Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek taking on the parts played by McQueen and Hoffman, respectively, says he had more than an action/buddy movie in mind while shooting the real-life drama about Parisian safecracker Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Hunnam), who was framed for murder and formed an unlikely friendship with counterfeiter Louis Dega (Malek) while planning his escape from the penal colony in the 1940s.

Noer envisioned an unlikely love story of inmates-turned-soulmates.

“That was the first thing I wrote on the side of the pages as I was skimming through the script: The chance to make not only a film about friendship but also a film about love,” Noer told Variety on Sunday night before a screening at the London West Hollywood hotel. “Because in friendship you can say that you’re bound only to a certain extent, but in love, you’re bound good and bad. You can hurt each other much more than you can just in a friendship. It starts off with they detest each other, [then] try to build a friendship and at the end, I’d say that they’re molded together into one. This is told through the lead, Charlie, and Rami, as supporting, but they’re both extremely important in creating this bond. Because I truly believe that they are one.”

Granted, heads do roll in “Papillon” (French for butterfly) due to the guillotine, but more importantly, hearts flutter between the co-stars.

“One thing Charlie and I looked at [was] ‘You know, we could do a prison escape movie, which is entertaining, and that’s the deal here — we have to entertain — but at the same time to have something going on where two human beings are searching for themselves and [it’s] somewhat of a love story,” Malek said. “The desire and need to be with one another, to overcome certain aspects of themselves, and to discover what it is to have hope and joy.”

While Noer doesn’t shy away from sex, as well as affection, between male convicts, it’s not quite a tropical “Brokeback Mountain” either. Hunnam, however, appreciates his director’s description as a love story between two men.

“I think that’s really accurate,” he said. “For me, what I’ve always been very interested in is the human condition and how we overcome adversity in our lives. Because as all of the religious teachers have taught us: We’ll have to encounter enormous hardship and tragedy and injustice and disappointment and, you know, broken hearts in our lives. That can become overwhelming — I feel that very acutely in society now as much as, if not more than, ever.”

“The question is: How do you weigh the balance?” Hunnam added. “And so I thought this was a really interesting and grand backdrop to explore that fundamental question: How do you make life make sense in the face of the inevitable, axiomatic rule that life is suffering? And so it’s about friendship and belief and faith and love. Those things — like community and friendship and within that, the love that comes — is of paramount importance. And ultimately that’s the message of this film.”

As it turns out, the male bonding blossomed into bromance off the red carpet, too: Before taking his seat in the front row of the theater, Malek couldn’t resist spanking his co-star on the bum.

Video: Inside Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek’s ‘Brutal’ Experience Filming Nude Shower Fight in ‘Papillon’

Video: Inside Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek’s ‘Brutal’ Experience Filming Nude Shower Fight in ‘Papillon’

‘Papillon’s’ Charlie Hunnam admits to butterflies over Steve McQueen role

‘Papillon’s’ Charlie Hunnam admits to butterflies over Steve McQueen role

BostonHerald.com — “Papillon” — French for “butterfly” — is adapted from the memoirs of Devil’s Island prisoner turned escapee Henri Charriere and stars Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot” and up next as Queen’s Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”).

The 1973 “Papillon” had Steve McQueen, Golden Globe nominated as Charriere, and Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega, his meek, intellectual prison pal.

Hunnam, 38, called the physically demanding “Papillon” “a lot of fun” and praised his “great” Danish director Michael Noer.

He also acknowledged contending with a film version that was critically praised and beloved.

“Obviously, we’re going to have to endure the inevitable, relentless comparison,” he said.

“But through the creative process, we never really felt beholden or as though we were making a remake. We always approached it as though it was an independent adaptation.”

Was he worried about stepping into Steve McQueen’s formidable shoes?

“No, there wasn’t that at all,” he began before correcting himself.

“That’s not true. Initially, I thought that it was maybe a lofty aspiration to be remaking such a beloved classic film with such an incredibly talented guy in the lead role. But ultimately it’s a true story. Henri Charriere was a real man. It’s a great amount of source material — but the more I started looking into that world, the greater the distance from that original film.

“Then through conversations with Michael Noer, who has a very different dramatic sensibility, it just started to feel as though the two films weren’t going to be connected at all.

“Other than sharing the source material — and the same name.”

Charlie Hunnam Reveals the Shocking Weight He Got Down to to Play Escaped Prisoner in ‘Papillon’

ETOnline.com — Charlie Hunnam underwent a pretty dramatic transformation for his latest film.

ET caught up with the 38-year-old actor and his co-star, Rami Malek, at the Los Angeles premiere of Papillon on Sunday, where they discussed Hunnam’s shocking weight loss in order to play a prisoner detained on a remote island who is attempting to escape. The transformation was made all the more mind-blowing because Hunnam had just dropped a significant amount of weight for a previous movie role.

“I did this two times in a row. I did a film called The Lost City of Zedd and I lost 40 pounds for that exactly. I went from 185 to 145 exactly,” Hunnam told ET’s Lauren Zima. “I was down to 145 again for this [role], but I think I probably started at 180 so maybe [I lost] like 35 pounds.”

While the dedication to his craft is certainly appreciated, Malek confessed that he was actually a bit worried about his co-star while they were acting out such “brutal circumstances.”

“Yeah, how can I not be? I mean it’s a very intense experience as it is. Filmmaking, and this one especially, it’s not the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. We weren’t out there going back to our trailers every two seconds,” Malek said. “It’s just out there sitting in the mud and hanging out and watching Charlie starve. So, I was a bit concerned, but he’s alright.”

Known for always being in shape, Hunnam often finds himself shirtless in his roles, but that’s not something he wants to continue in future projects.

“It’s certainly not intentional and not something that I want to keep doing, but it seems to be a running theme,” the former Sons of Anarchy star admitted. “I don’t know what that’s about.”

Hunnam hasn’t just cut weight for roles, he’s worked hard to put on weight too! Last year, he packed on 20 pounds of muscle to play King Arthur in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Video: ‘Papillon’ Official Clips – Watch Now

Video: ‘Papillon’ Official Clips – Watch Now

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Official ‘Papillon’ Trailer, Production Stills and Promotional Artwork

Official ‘Papillon’ Trailer, Production Stills and Promotional Artwork

I’ve added high quality production stills of Charlie as Henri “Papillon” Charrière in addition to the films promotional artwork and official trailer screen captures into the gallery. In case you haven’t seen it, check out the official trailer below.

Papillon hits theaters on August 24th

Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books “Papillon” and “Banco”, PAPILLON follows the epic story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape, ultimately resulting in a bond of lasting friendship.


Photos: On the Set of ‘Triple Frontier’ in Hawaii (April-May)

Photos: On the Set of ‘Triple Frontier’ in Hawaii (April-May)

I’ve added high quality photos of Charlie seen on the set of his latest film Triple Frontier which was filming in Hawaii as of last month. You can check those out in the gallery now.

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