Press: Charlie Hunnam speaks to GQ about his swashbuckling new role in Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’

Press: Charlie Hunnam speaks to GQ about his swashbuckling new role in Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’ Moon is one-time D.C. maestro Zack Snyder’s Star Wars-sized gambit to launch a new, original Snyderverse, freed from the superhero genre’s unbeatable weight of expectation. And in its first part, releasing in cinemas on Friday, Tyneside-born Charlie Hunnam — best known to legions of straight men for his grease-smeared turn as Jax Teller in biker drama Sons of Anarchy, and to the gays and girlies for teaching us what rimming is in ‘90s sitcom Queer as Folk — steps in as essentially the series’ Han Solo.

This is Kai, a swashbuckling, swoony smuggler with a devilish grin and an Irish tongue, who plays a pivotal role in the heroes’ fight against a militant band of Space Nazis. (I mentioned Star Wars, right?) When Snyder offered Hunnam the role, he was just off the back of the gruelling shoot for his Apple TV+ thriller Shantaram. More work was the last thing on his mind. “It was nine months, and I hadn’t been home at all. I was really, really committed to taking some time off,” Hunnam says. “But then I just fell madly in love with this character.”

GQ: I know you met Zack in 2005, around the time he was making 300. When did he come to you with the Rebel Moon offer?

Charlie Hunnam: It was in November, maybe December 2021. I was in Australia finishing up [Shantaram], and got an inquiry from my people that Zack was interested in me being in Rebel Moon. They asked if I would have time to quickly read the first two scripts, and if I could find time to have a Zoom with him.

I said “Yeah, of course. Listen, let’s set up the Zoom, because I know Zack a little bit, I’d love to see him again. And I’m certain I’m gonna like it.” He had identified one character that he wanted me to read for and look at. But I responded more to the character that I ended up playing. So I asked if they’d consider me for Kai.

So he didn’t eye you for Kai at first.


Who was he thinking of you for?

I’d rather not say, just out of respect to the actor who played him. You know, we both could have played each other’s roles. I’d just rather, for both of our sakes, not to have to endure comparisons.

But I just loved Kai. It felt like an opportunity to do something [exciting]. You know, an actor’s job is to be an instrument in another artist’s vision [like Zack’s], and I think to explore the areas of the human condition that trouble us or compel us to further exploration. And I really loved the thematics of [Rebel Moon].

Then, on a much more superficial level, I thought it was a chance to have fun on very little responsibility — because it’s not my film, I’m not the lead. Which gives you a lot more latitude generally to be able to play, and have fun, and go a bit off-page at times.

You turned down a role in 300. Why?

It was one of those terrible moments where I had been thoroughly unemployed for 18 to 24 months, and I was only looking to work with serious filmmakers, and trying to establish myself, but not getting any work. And then I got offered two films at the same time. 300 was the second, but Children of Men was the first. I was an enormous fan of Alfonso [Cuarón’s], I think he’d just made Y tu mamá también, which I’d seen and thought was brilliant.

So I’d taken [that] role, but everybody was already talking about Zack as though he was very, very serious filmmaker. He knew that I probably wasn’t available, but still took the hour-and-a-half meeting with me, in which he did the same thing that he did on Rebel Moon: already, in a room slightly bigger than this, he had from floor-to-ceiling the entire [plan for the] film of 300. And that meeting consisted of Zack telling me the film, walking me through scene-by-scene, shot-by-shot, what 300 was going to be.

When did you settle on Kai’s Irish accent in Rebel Moon?

I read the script, and heard a rhythm that, as I explored it more, felt right. I’ve spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland. It’s one of my favourite dialects. There were just a few different elements of Kai that I wanted to ground in cultural references that I really understood and was excited about, and that accent just seemed to suit him.

I will say, I’m aware that it’s not perfect. I have done better — and worse — dialect work over my career. I’m not in the upper echelon of actors who have the capacity to do perfect accents, though I try hard. But I like this accent so much that I will confidently say, for the first time in my career, that I absolutely nailed it, and it was perfect. But then [in test screenings] the American audience, and global audience, was struggling to understand it.

So unfortunately we had to take a real compromise, which was painful for both of us: I ADR’d every single line of the film in a more globally-friendly sound that took away a fairly high degree of the specificity of the accent that I’d worked on. I was really proud, though. I worked insanely hard on it.

I wasn’t asking you because I thought it was bad.

No, I’m clearly illustrating my own apprehension of where it landed, compared to where it was. But it’s interesting to talk about, because the artistic process is often dictated by a series of compromises. And that was my big compromise for Rebel Moon. For the rest of it, I got to do exactly what I wanted.

Continue reading Press: Charlie Hunnam speaks to GQ about his swashbuckling new role in Zack Snyder’s ‘Rebel Moon’

Press: Charlie Hunnam ‘begged’ to switch roles on ‘Rebel Moon’ after audition

Press: Charlie Hunnam ‘begged’ to switch roles on ‘Rebel Moon’ after audition — British actor Charlie Hunnam said he “begged” the director to let him switch roles after reading for a different character in his Rebel Moon Part One: A Child Of Fire audition.

The Gentleman star, 43, plays pilot and gun for hire Kai, one of the warriors Kora (Sofia Boutella) assembles who share a common need for redemption and risk their lives to defend the people of Veldt – in the film launching on December 15.

However, at the London premiere at the BFI IMAX, Hunnam said he had originally auditioned for a different role.

“I wasn’t reading the script for Kai,” he told the PA news agency.

“I was reading the script for another character and immediately when Kai showed up I was like ‘forget that other geezer, I’m playing Kai’.

“And so I wasn’t sure if it was already cast or if Zack (Snyder) would be up for it.”

He later said “I begged for it actually” referencing the role.

“You know he’s a very interesting character Kai, you never really know what he’s about, my sense is he’s very sincere about everything,” Hunnam said.

“He’s got a lot of different faces and actually all of them are true, he’s kind of conflicted, he’s definitely a naughty boy and he knows it, he’s trying to do well in the world.”

Video: Charlie Hunnam Visits Chris Evans on the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show

Video: Charlie Hunnam Visits Chris Evans on the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show

Charlie was a guest on the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show where he spoke with host Chris Evans on December 7th, 2023. In this captivating conversation, Charlie unveils his upcoming projects, including his latest Netflix film and a new Sons of Anarchy series set to premiere in 2024.

As Sons of Anarchy fans eagerly await the return of the biker drama, Charlie teases what’s to come in the new series, hinting at the evolution of the characters and the exploration of new themes. He also reflects on the legacy of the original show and the enduring impact it has had on television and pop culture.

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Talks ‘Shantaram’ Finale, Leaning Into Writing, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Talks ‘Shantaram’ Finale, Leaning Into Writing, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller — During this 1-on-1 interview with Collider, which was conducted prior to the official cancellation of the series, Hunnam talked about only telling one third of the story of Lin Ford, having the ability to be completely objective about his own performance, why he feels like a filmmaker trapped in an actor’s career, wanting to be challenged with his work, what he most enjoyed about working with this cast, and his desire to focus more of his time on writing. He also talked about how the music of Tom Waits has made it onto a few of his writing playlists, and what the deal is with that project he previously alluded to, in connection with Jax Teller.

Collider: I recently read that you’re a fan of Tom Waits and you said that he excites your imagination more than most other artists do. Being an enormous fan of Tom Waits myself, and his ability to get me to visualize whatever story he’s telling in any song of his, I’m curious whether you’ve ever used his music to inspire you for a role, or for any of the writing you do. Do you ever use his art as inspiration for your own art, in any way?

CHARLIE HUNNAM: Oh, Tom Waits has definitely appeared on a few writing playlists that I have. In particular, I’ve been working on something recently, and I was listening a lot to “Cold Water” from Mule Variations. It’s definitely in the top 20 of my favorite songs. Maybe not necessarily top five. But it was just a vibe that I was looking for. I would say that my introduction to great music was through Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits. They’ve both always been very, very important to me.

Ending the season of Shantaram with “To Be Continued” is certainly a bold move, especially when there are no guarantees in television. What led to that decision?

HUNNAM: Yeah. I can’t take any credit or blame for that. It was not my choice, nor my conviction, to do that. That was probably (showrunner) Steve Lightfoot. I’m not sure. I would think that was more Steve Lightfoot than our colleagues at Apple.

Listen, by virtue of the fact that this is an adaptation of a novel, and we’ve only told, at a maximum, one third of the story, our hope that this would be continued is somewhat self-evident, for those who actually know the novel and know that this isn’t where the story ends. When we get to the end of the season, I also don’t think it feels like the story’s over. I’m not so sure if we needed to put it in black and white, “to be continued,” but I think that the idea was that we would leave with a sense of unfinished business. Sometimes people worry that the devil might not actually be in the details, and that you need to put things in black and white to really punctuate the point.

As a producer on this, and just generally when you’re a producer on a project that you’re hoping will continue on, are you able to be objective in watching your own performance and figuring out what you might want to shift or change, from season to season? How do you handle that? Are you someone who can get out of your own head enough to think about it, and see what’s best for the show and for your own performance?

HUNNAM: Yes, I am. I definitely have the ability to be completely objective. I have a very clear view, or at least my own perspective and opinion, of what we did well and what we could do significantly better, as a show, at large, and that’s also true with my work. It’s a funny thing, within the hierarchy of television production, the people who are paying for it, get to make a lot of the decisions. And then, of course, the creator gets to make a lot of the decisions. By the time it gets to my position, even being a producing asset, most of the decisions have already been made. My experience is that I can have some latitude to be able to affect the small decisions, but the big stuff is way above my pay grade, unfortunately. I would love to be right in the kitchen, designing the menu, but I’m much more of a sous-chef, being told what to do.

I appreciate that metaphor, so thank you for that.

HUNNAM: There you go. I was wondering if it was a bit too rich. Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Talks ‘Shantaram’ Finale, Leaning Into Writing, and ‘Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam breaks down that tragic ‘Shantaram’ finale

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam breaks down that tragic ‘Shantaram’ finale — Charlie Hunnam wants to know what happens to his character Lin Ford after Shantaram’s brutal season 1 finale cliffhanger just as much as you do. But it might be a while until we find out what happens next, because the star/producer of Apple TV+’s drama doesn’t have any news to share on whether or not the adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ 2003 international best-selling novel will return for a second season (Shantaram was canceled after this interview was conducted).

“It’s unlike working for a traditional network which I’d been used to doing, where there was some sort of indication of if anyone was watching the show or not — it’s not how streaming platforms work — so it’s a little bit bittersweet in that season 1 is coming to an end,” Hunnam tells EW. “Out on the streets, I get a sense that people are enjoying it and watching it, and creatively for me, it feels satisfying that we actually managed to get to the finish line and now all of the episodes have aired and I just hope people actually enjoyed it.”

The season 1 finale almost ended with Lin getting his happy ending with Karla (Antonia Desplat) after surviving the bloody gang war and evading Nightingale (David Field). They planned to leave the city together after finally confessing their love for each other, but when Lin arrived at the train station to meet up with Karla, he was caught and taken to a dark cell. The finale closes on a shot of Lin being violently beaten while tied up in the cell as Karla cries on the train, thinking Lin changed his mind and didn’t want to leave with her.

Below, Hunnam breaks down that tragic finale ending and more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What have you thought about the response to the show now that all the episodes are out?

CHARLIE HUNNAM: People seem to have really appreciated that it felt grounded and quite authentic. The hope was, for those people who’ve not been lucky enough to experience Asia and India in particular, that they felt like they were transported and had an opportunity to feel that environment and the beauty of that part of the world. That’s been really, really satisfying. And as the season has gone along and built up the question of what will happen between Lin and Karla, that’s been really satisfying — it seems as though people got quite excited and invested in that relationship.

And then, of course, what I already knew would happen is that Shubham [Saraf], who plays Prabhu, just has been getting an unbelievably positive response. He’s my really good pal and I felt so grateful and excited to have him in the show and be such a partner in crime with him. I have just been delighted that he’s been getting such a positive response. We really, really loved each other. We got on so well and deeply connected.

The finale ends with Lin captured as Karla leaves without him, unaware he was caught at the station just a few feet away from her. Why end the season there?

I had a really wonderful, deep collaboration with Steve Lightfoot, our showrunner. That was really his decision, but thankfully he was very eager to get my insights in how I felt about some of the decisions he was making. We both knew the novel so well and we talked a lot about allowing the novel to dictate the moves that we were making. The point that we reached by the end of the first season, it just felt, the more we read it and discussed it, like the obvious point to end this chapter of the story. Lin going from incarceration to, presumably, back into incarceration felt like a very elegant arc for the first season and hopefully a fairly dynamic point to start the second season, if I’m lucky enough to go back for a second season.

How does coming so close to getting a happy ending with Karla before it gets ripped away affect Lin going into a second season?

This is no indication of decisions that have been made, but my sense is that, through the course of the first season, Lin goes from being a fairly normal, average person who’s at the mercy of the forces around him. Though he has a sense of who he is, it’s not like a classic hero on a hero’s journey where he’s full of agency and a sense of conviction of what he wants with his life. He’s more leaf in the wind being blown this way and that. My sense is, by the end of season 1, he is no longer willing to be just completely vulnerable to the forces around him, that instead he is going to march to the beat of his own drum and decide that the chips fall where they may.

There’s a moment at the very, very end where the camera’s pretty close to Lin and you get the sense that, although he’s tied up and being beaten, he is still owning his space and refusing to bow down to the circumstances that he finds himself in. Moving forward, hopefully we allow Lin to have a much greater sense of conviction and agency over the trajectory of his life.

I think it’d be very exciting to explore Lin coming to the dark side, that idea that you’ve got to go through the dark to get to the light. That’s my hope for this, that he will go to hell so, ultimately, he can go to heaven. Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam breaks down that tragic ‘Shantaram’ finale