Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When Charlie Hunnam offered to fight to get the role of King Arthur

From 2015:
When it came to round two, it became clear to Hunnam that something about his physique was bothering Ritchie. In a clever actor’s shortcut for grief, he had lost 20 pounds for his curtain call playing Jax Teller, the gangland boss who is the anchor of Sons of Anarchy. At the demise of season six, Jax’s wife Tara is bumped off with sensationally bloody, Freudian gore by his mother, Gemma. “I thought one of the interesting ways to tell that story was to come in just looking gaunt, so you know straight away that’s been a brutal fucking month,” says Hunnam. “He hasn’t eaten. He’s been on benders. He’s fucked up. And I sustained it through the season. So I came to meet Guy and I was incredibly skinny.”

This was not the vision for King Arthur in the eyes of a director who has a specially preserved authorial hold on masculinity. “He brought it up about four times. ‘So, how heavy have you been?’ The fourth time he brought it up was in the audition.” Hunnam was getting restless. By now, the role was in his sight. “I said, ‘Look, dude, you keep bringing this thing up, the physicality. It’s obviously your primary concern so if you want to do away with all of this auditioning bollocks, I’ll fucking fight those other two dudes who are out there shooting. I know who they are. You can bring them both in here. I’ll fight them both. The one who walks out the door gets the job.’” Ritchie was temporarily silenced. “Then he said, ‘Look, get back in there and read the scene, you cunt.’”