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
On this day in nineteen-eighty the world was blessed with one of the most humble and talented men I’ve ever had the honor of being a fan of. So with that said, I would like to wish Charlie the very best today as he celebrates thirty-seventh birthday. Here’s to another memorable year. Happy Birthday, Charlie!! Xo
Check out the latest round of press interviews of Charlie as he discussed Lost City of Z.
Looks like Charlie will be live on Good Morning America with his Lost City of Z co-star Robert Pattinson on April 11th! Be sure to tune in!
Tuesday, April 11 – Actors Robert Pattinson and Charlie Hunnam (“The Lost City of Z”); actor Tristan Wilds (“The Breaks”); author and licensed psychoanalyst Erica Komisar discusses her book “Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters”; “Dancing with the Stars” eliminated couple
Wow, okay guys I have even more production stills and some new unseen behind the scenes photos of Charlie from his film Lost City of Z, which you can now check out in the gallery now. Some of the older stills which weren’t quite high quality have been replaced as well. Have a look: