Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam on Shantaram Illness, “Destroying” Back for Rebel Moon

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam on Shantaram Illness, “Destroying” Back for Rebel Moon — “I feel good,” Charlie Hunnam said with a smile (and an asterisk) upon hitting the red carpet Monday night outside Westwood’s Bruin Theater, host of the world premiere of his new Apple TV+ series Shantaram.

The asterisk is necessary because Hunnam’s emotional state is understandably layered, especially on the eve of this long-gestating series based on Gregory David Robert’s 2003 blockbuster novel finally being seen by the world. Shantaram casts Hunnam as the lead, Lin Ford, an on-the-run fugitive who escapes to Bombay, India, where he gets lost among the city’s vibrant characters in the often mysterious and seedy underbelly.

“When I wrap and the job’s over, I’ve already gone through the highs and the lows,” Hunnam explained to The Hollywood Reporter about the series, produced for the streamer by Paramount Television Studios and Anonymous Content’s AC Studios. “I’ve already judged it on what we did well and what we didn’t do well so it’s sort of surreal to finally be here because I’ve been so deep in this for so long that I don’t know how to feel. I actually feel numb tonight, maybe somewhat unemotional.”

He was quick to clarify: “I am excited for the world to see it but after seven years, I suppose I’m saying that it’s more personal to me than sharing it with the outside world and I suppose it all hasn’t really sunk in yet.”

He has a few more days to process. Shantaram will make its global debut on Apple TV+ with the drop of the first three episodes of its 12-episode first season on Oct. 14. A new episode will then roll out weekly through Dec. 16. Steve Lightfoot leads the charge as co-creator, writer and executive producer alongside executive producers Nicole Clemens, Andrea Barron, Justin Kurzel and the late Steve Golin. Eric Warren Singer, who was previously attached as creator and showrunner before Lightfoot took over, also receives an executive producer credit.

A novel-length text would be required to detail the backstory of bringing Shantaram to the screen. Over the years, everyone from Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton to filmmakers Peter Weir and Mira Nair were attached for a feature film version. Then, in 2018, Paramount and Anonymous snapped up adaptation rights once they became available, setting Singer and director Justin Kurzel to spearhead the series starring Hunnam. However, after two episodes were shot, the show went on hiatus and Singer was replaced by Lightfoot in a complete creative overhaul.

Hunnam says the richness of Roberts’ storytelling has made it such a hot commodity. “It’s an extraordinary journey of a man who goes through darkness to find light, and there’s action, adventure, romance and the exciting foreign nature of the environments,” says the actor, who hasn’t starred in a TV series since Sons of Anarchy. “All of the things [Shantaram] surfaced are the same things that I found compelling to investigate in my own life. When I first read this book, I was thinking a huge amount about God, about philosophy and psychology and about my experience in the world. These are all subjects that Greg writes about and he really swings for the fences. He not only tasked himself with telling an extraordinary story and delivering compelling drama as the story goes along, but he also tasked himself with figuring out the meaning of life through this text, you know? What is the nature of God? If God does exist, what is God?”
Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam on Shantaram Illness, “Destroying” Back for Rebel Moon

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Teases Possible ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Revival as Jax Teller

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Teases Possible ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Revival as Jax Teller — Charlie Hunnam’s toying with the idea of life after death when it comes to the dangerously smart character he played in all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy.

During the Los Angeles premiere for his new AppleTV+ series Shantaram, the ridiculously handsome 42-year-old actor opened up to ET’s Will Marfugi a bit — keyword, a bit — about the possible revival of Jackson “Jax” Teller in some way, shape or form. He recently said as much, and he acknowledged that speaking about it caused quite the commotion.

“Oh, did that get a little bit of traction,” quipped Hunnam. But when pressed on whether there’s a concrete idea or if reprising his role as Jax will come in a series or film, Hunnam played coy.

“I can’t, I can’t tell you. No, no,” said Hunnam with a bit of a grin on his face. “There’s nothing I can say at all, other than if it happens, it’ll happen.”

For what it’s worth, Hunnam says he still has one of the motorcycles he rode all those years on the hit FX show, which aired 92 episodes from 2008 to 2014.

“I have one of the Sons of Anarchy bikes,” Hunnam said. “I rode so hard for so long over that 10, 12-year period that I was riding all the time. I had a couple of close calls, and I just got a niggling voice in the back of my head saying, ‘Just take it easy for a minute,’ ya know? So, I put about five years where I’ve been riding so much but I’m starting to feel the urge to get back on the bike.” Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam Teases Possible ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Revival as Jax Teller

Press/Interview: “The show itself said no” – Inside Shantaram’s long and troubled road to TV

Press/Interview: “The show itself said no” – Inside Shantaram’s long and troubled road to TV — One thing that has become very clear to me is that Shantaram itself has a spirit,” says Charlie Hunnam. “It is an entity unto itself and it demands to be listened to.”

He’s talking about the much-loved book-turned-Apple TV+ series, in which he plays Lin, a former junkie and bank robber who hides out in Bombay after escaping from Melbourne’s Pentridge Prison. And if he’s right, this Shantaram is a very strong-willed entity indeed.

Since 2004, when Warner Bros paid $2 million for the screen rights, there have been multiple failed attempts to film Gregory David Roberts’ fictionalised account of his remarkable life story. Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton and Johnny Depp were all lined up at one time or another to play Lin. Peter Weir was attached to direct before leaving the project in 2006 because, Warners said, “his interpretation of it differed greatly than that of the studio and producers”.

This 12-part version for Apple – the streamer’s first Australian commission – has had some pretty big issues of its own.

“We have tried to do things, we had such conviction, and the show itself said no, and put up every obstacle,” says Sons of Anarchy star Hunnam, who is also a producer on the project. “Even in the first iteration [we shot], it was Shantaram that said ‘not sure if this is fitting correctly’.”

Announced amid much fanfare with a projected $55 million budget in August 2019 with Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Nitram) as set-up director and Oscar-nominated screenwriter Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle) as showrunner, the production was two episodes in when it was shut down in February 2020 over concerns that the scripts for the remainder of what was supposed to be a 10-part series were “not ready”.

In May 2021, when production finally resumed, it had a new showrunner, new directors and an entirely new direction.

“We basically started again,” says showrunner Steve Lightfoot, who was brought on to reshape the project into something more palatable for Apple. “The book’s already there, so we certainly built on the foundations of work that team had done, but essentially, you know, we started again.”

According to Hunnam, the Singer-Kurzel version was a much darker rendering of the material than the one that debuts next week.
Continue reading Press/Interview: “The show itself said no” – Inside Shantaram’s long and troubled road to TV

Video/Photos: Charlie Stops by Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!

Video/Photos: Charlie Stops by Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!

As we previously announced Charlie was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! yesterday to promote his new series ‘Shantaram’ which will stream exclusively on AppleTV+ and premieres October 14th.

In case you missed it you can check out his interview below:

I’ve added high quality photos of Charlie seen arriving at the studio before the show in addition to official stills and screen captures from his interview. You can view all those below and in our gallery now.

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam And Shubham Saraf Discuss How The Spirit Of Chaos (And One Drunken Night) Fueled ‘Shantaram’

Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam And Shubham Saraf Discuss How The Spirit Of Chaos (And One Drunken Night) Fueled ‘Shantaram’

UPROXX recently spoke with Charlie and his Shantaram co-star Shubham Saraf:

I couldn’t help going there because Apple’s first promo image for Shantaram showed you on a bike, and you’re on a bike (for about a second) in the trailer. You’ve talked about that a little bit, but how do you think the SOA audience will receive this show?

Charlie: [Smiles] I don’t even know who the Sons of Anarchy audience is. I get the sense that it’s actually more diverse than one might think initially from looking at the show. I occasionally go to Comic-Con events to see people, and the fanbase still seems very rabid for that show, but it is incredibly diverse. There’s a lot of young people coming to the show who didn’t see it the first time around, which is great. I hope that the audience shows up. I hope that they don’t show up with too much of an expectation that this is some sort of sequel to Sons of Anarchy. Because although one of the lead characters in both shows looks very similar, I think the comparisons really end for me. And listen, I understand. I’ve been sort-of poking fun at Apple a little bit. Apple’s the biggest, most powerful corporation in the world, so they can handle little old me poking fun at them a little. But I don’t know if that was the smartest idea to release that image because it did create a little bit of an expectation that I’m not quite sure we’re going to be able to deliver on, but I’m not the boss.

Both are dramatic and stressful shows, but it looks like you guys had fun, too.

Charlie: We did.

From the moment your character, Lin, hopped off that bus, and Shubham’s character, Prabhu, walked up to him, there was instant chemistry between you two. Had you guys familiarized beforehand, or did you go in cold?

Shubham: Oh, I hadn’t met Charlie! I hadn’t seen Sons of Anarchy. I still haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy! I hadn’t watched one minute of Charlie Hunnam’s work. I had no idea… [Laughs]… who he was until day one of shooting when we were shooting a kind-of key scene about our relationship, and there was a lot riding on it. Everyone was thinking, “Is this going to work?” It’s one of the main relationships of the heart of the show, and I entered. I had no idea what the hell I was going to do. And then I looked across, and there was another man who had no idea what the hell he was going to do. And I went, “Ahhh, we’re together in this. We both don’t know what to do.” And in that was just love, joy. Yeah, I had the time of my life with Charlie, and I think that’s what translated into the characters. And that’s kind-of the spirit with which we led the entire show. Or at least, I hope it translates because I had the time of my life with that man.

Speaking of life, there’s a quote that comes up near the season’s end. Lin says something to the effect of Shakespeare’s works answering all questions in life. Charlie, I’m bringing up SOA again because that was based upon Hamlet. How accurate do you find the notion that Shakespeare can explain everything?

Charlie: I think the quote is “All of the questions and most of the answers in life can be found in Shakespeare,” right? I don’t know… I like that notion. I have not read Shakespeare as much as I would like at this point. I’ve read, you know, the big titles and seen adaptations, so I’m not unfamiliar with Shakespeare, and obviously, he or they were master writers. So I would subscribe to that.

I like how you say, “They,” but I’m listening.

Charlie: I have friends that are true students of Shakespeare and incredibly well versed in Shakespeare and able to quote at will, and there’s seldom a situation that we’re in that they won’t find an appropriate quote to hammer me over the head with, so my experience with those people does lend me to believe that there’s some truth in that statement.

Shubham: Or that they’re just pretentious wankers.

Charlie: Right. I wouldn’t call you that, Shubham.

Shubham: Oh, you’ve revealed me! No, I absolutely love Shakespeare. I find, as an actor, that he gets my blood pumping when sometimes, it lies as still as a lake. Even when I don’t realize it, he sort-of brings me to life. And I think the questions and answers that Shakespeare deals with are the ones of limitless humanity. And I think when you’re looking at life on that kind of scale and humanity on that scale… that’s kind-of why I’m an actor. That’s why we do what we do, so yeah, I definitely subscribe to that.

Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie Hunnam And Shubham Saraf Discuss How The Spirit Of Chaos (And One Drunken Night) Fueled ‘Shantaram’