Press/Interview: Charlie reflects on his most iconic role and the long road to Apple TV+ epic Shantaram

Press/Interview: Charlie reflects on his most iconic role and the long road to Apple TV+ epic Shantaram

RadioTimes.com — Nearly 25 years after his groundbreaking debut in Queer as Folk, Charlie Hunnam’s zeal for stories that seek to understand the human condition hasn’t wavered. He’s here to talk about his new series Shantaram, an Apple TV+ crime epic set in India, which the Sons of Anarchy star has long had his eyes on.

Based on a partly-fictional 936 page novel by Gregory David Roberts that spans continents, heroin addiction and arms smuggling for mujahideen freedom fighters, Shantaram has been a hot Hollywood property since its publication in 2003. Warner Bros splashed out $2m for the film rights, with Johnny Depp set to star as Lin, an Australian bank robber who breaks out of prison and flees to India. But that didn’t materialise, with Hunnam watching from the sidelines as others attempted to bring his dream project to life for two decades.

“It was always clear why this was an impossible task to adapt for film,” he says of the attempts to squeeze the expansive narrative into just two hours. But then streaming disrupted the film and TV industry as we once knew it, with enormous corporations such as Apple (who has funded the first season to the tune of $100m) wanting in on the entertainment boom.

Reflecting on the shifting industry economics that eventually made it possible to make Shantaram, Hunnam says: “It’s such an odyssey and in a film-centric world, I don’t think it was possible. By the time we nabbed the rights, we were in the golden age of television.”

Hunnam describes himself as an actor willing to give himself over entirely to his director and loves nothing more than immersing himself in the inner lives of his characters. “I was possessed by this material,” he says of Lin, who has seen hell but remains hopeful. Due to a COVID-enforced shutdown and a change in showrunner as a result of creative differences between Eric Singer and Apple, Hunnam was given the time and space to interrogate how he wanted to approach the character.

“I had this very powerful conviction that he needed to be a regular guy who had made a mistake that was going to dictate the next decade of his life,” he says. “In the beginning, I wanted him to be stripped down and naked. There were others who wanted to bring elements from later in the novel to earlier in the show, but I rejected that violently because it felt right to me to go on a journey.”

Hunnam remains committed to his vision for Lin but isn’t so sure it will work for everyone: “Whether or not my conviction was right, I don’t know. But it was right for me.” Continue reading Press/Interview: Charlie reflects on his most iconic role and the long road to Apple TV+ epic Shantaram

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

ETOnline.com — 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: Charlie Hunnam Reflects on the Impact of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ 12 Years Later: “It Gave Me a Career”

Press: Charlie Hunnam Reflects on the Impact of ‘Sons of Anarchy’ 12 Years Later: “It Gave Me a Career”

People.com — Charlie Hunnam is reflecting on Sons of Anarchy’s impact over a decade after the series premiered.

Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the release of his new film Jungleland, the 40-year-old actor opened up about how the hit FX drama launched his career.

“Well, frankly, it gave me a career,” Hunnam says. “And it gave me the ability to have confidence that I was going to be able to make [acting] work as a lifelong career.”

Hunnam starred as Jax Teller in the motorcycle gang show, which chronicled the lives of a close-knit motorcycle club that operated in a fictional Californian town. The series also starred Katey Sagal, Tommy Flanagan and Ron Perlman.

Looking back at his time on the show that made him a household name, the Newcastle, England native says it was almost like a college experience for him.

“I think I went into Sons of Anarchy being a pretty unaccomplished actor in terms of my skill set,” he says. “I wasn’t one of these people that were born enormously and innately talented. I had to really cultivate a skill set.”

“And where I cultivated a lot of that skill set was going to work and shooting 10 pages a day on Sons of Anarchy for seven years,” he continues. “I feel like that was my college days.”

Hunnam adds: “I went in knowing very little about the process of acting and came out knowing a little bit more.”

Now, six years after the series concluded, Hunnam says he’s often asked whether or not he would ever reprise his most famous role. But “I would never, ever put that cut back on,” he says. “I would never put his rings back on. Not even for Halloween.”

“It was a very deep experience,” he explains. “I lived with that character inside me for years, like, in a very real way. In a way that manifested in ways that I could never even [have] imagined.”

“He’s dead now,” he adds. “So there would be no ever bringing him back … When he died, he died.”

These days, Hunnam is now enjoying life and taking things day by day amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with a renewed focus on creativity.

“I’ve been writing a great deal, which has been something that I’ve been sort of doing tangentially to my acting career for quite a while,” he says. “I’ve been writing 85 hours a week for the last seven months.”

Next up, in addition to Jungleland, Hunnam will head back to television screens with the previously announced series, Shantaram. And despite his many movie undertakings since the end of Sons of Anarchy, the actor notes that he does prefer TV roles over film ones.

“I really like long-form storytelling,” he says. “The experience of working with a group of actors for a long period of time is really, really exciting and rewarding.”

Jungleland opens in select theaters on Friday and hits video on demand platforms on Tuesday.