He plays Jax Teller, the golden-boy heir apparent to a violent, arms-dealing, drug-smuggling California biker gang.
The tattooed Jax has killed for the club and served time in prison, but the outlaws are a tight brotherhood who will do anything to protect each other, their families and their lovely small town, Charming. He’s haunted by letters from his late father — who wanted the club to go legit. But now, with a girlfriend and two young sons, the loyal Jax wants out of the club, even though it’s the only family he has ever known.
Charlie Hunnam’s portrayal of this complex character — loving father, caring boyfriend and unapologetic murderer — has helped make “Sons of Anarchy” FX’s biggest show, even topping the popularity of the network’s mega-hit, “The Shield.” Show runner Kurt Sutter explains that it’s an extremely demanding role that requires a broad range.
“You have your action stars that can do bad-ass things, then you have your more rounded, sensitive actors,” said Sutter. “And it’s a rare combination to find people who can do both convincingly, like Charlie.”
The inherent conflict between the family man and gangster roles is what makes the character so enjoyable to play, said Hunnam during a phone interview from Toronto.
“On any given day, we’ll shoot scenes that will span from a very loving scene with [his character’s romantic interest] Tara, to having fun with the boys, to having some giant heartbreaking epiphany,” said the 31-year-old, British-born actor. “And it requires a giant amount of focus and energy, but it’s good to be pushed as an actor.”
Hunnam’s upbringing helped prepare him for his conflicted character. He grew up in the hardscrabble working-class section of Newcastle, England, with a tough-guy father. Hunnam said his father’s career choices were extremely limited. Continue reading