From his role as Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy to his upcoming part in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, Charlie Hunnam has certainly endeared himself to fans during his rise to stardom. With his career only continuing to blossom, how did this British actor rise through the ranks to become one of Hollywood’s hottest stars?
For starters, Hunnam was born in 1980 and grew up in Melmerby, Cumbria. Despite getting into a fair share of school troubles, Hunnam graduated from the Cumbria College of Art and Design and majoring in Theory and Film History.
Hunnam got his first big break starring in the children’s series Byker Grove. Hunnam landed the role after running into the production manager during a trip to a shoe store on Christmas Eve. Despite being drunk and looking to buy his brother a pair of shoes, the manager liked him so much he cast him for the role of Jason, who was included in three episodes of the show.
After his work on Byker Grove, Hunnam was cast for a large role in Queer as Folk, where he played a schoolboy named Nathan Maloney. From here on out, Hunnam moved to L.A., where his career truly blossomed.
In fact, the actor appeared in numerous projects, including Young Americans, Undeclared, Abandon, Nicholas Nickleby, Cold Mountain, Green Street Hooligans, and Children of Men before reaching new heights after landing the lead in Kurt Sutter’s hit biker drama Sons of Anarchy.
For his role in Undeclared, Charlie Hunnam worked alongside Judd Apatow and soon joined the big screen in Abandon, which starred Katie Holmes and Zooey Deschanel. Ironically, Hunnam had lived so long in America at this point that he had issues talking in a British accent in his part for the movie Nicholas Nickleby. In order to overcome this, Hunnam had to meet with a dialect tutor to get his accent back in shape.
As far as his role in Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy is concerned, Hunnam got the job after his work in Green Street Hooligans. Apparently, Sutter was so impressed by his performance that he decided to cast Hunnam for the lead role as Jax Teller.
At the same time, another element that Hunnam attributes to his rise to fame includes his romantic life. In fact, according to Contact Music, Hunnam married Katherine Towne, the daughter of an award-winning screenwriter (Chinatown and Mission: Impossible), back in 1999 and believes her father helped him get noticed.
“We met at an audition for Dawson’s Creek and bonded over our mutual distress at being there in the first place,” Hunnam stated. “We were mortified to find ourselves chasing that sort of job. Neither of us got the part, so we needn’t have worried. But we fell in love and married in 1999. Her father is like Hollywood royalty, so I have to admit that it did get me noticed.”
Meanwhile, now that Sons of Anarchy is over, Hunnam has busied himself with a number of film projects, including a role in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming movie Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, Crimson Peak, and the Brad Pitt produced film The Lost City of Z.
In regards to his transition from TV to film, Hunnam recently stated that he enjoys the TV atmosphere more, but he isn’t sure when he will get back into a television series.
“I actually really prefer the pace and flow of working in TV. The challenges that are present in filmmaking I find much more difficult to navigate,” Hunnam admitted in a recent interview. “But I don’t want to jump into another show right away because I need some freedom.”
Catch Charlie Hunnam in Crimson Peak in theaters now and in Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur on July 22, 2016.
[Lead Image Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty]