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Playboy.com's Exclusive Interview with Charlie Hunnam
  • October 07, 2012 : 20:10
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Since storming onto the scene four years ago as the heir apparent of the fictional Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Jax Teller, 32-year-old English actor and screenwriter Charlie Hunnam has quickly risen up the ranks as one of the most desirable young thespians in the business who would rather cast off his own opinions and concentrate on his craft than cut another paycheck in the spotlight.

Despite his heavy SOA schedule, Hunnam is already slated for two major releases in the next nine months: crime drama Deadfall, costarring Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde, and the highly anticipated sci-fi flick Pacific Rim from acclaimed fantasy director Guillermo del Toro.

Sons returned to FX last month for its fifth season, already dominating both cable and broadcast network ratings; Hunnam’s next move is independent comedy 3,2,1…Frankie Go Boom, out on VOD now and in theaters Friday, alongside Lizzy Caplan and Sons costar Ron Perlman. After an attempted drunken night’s hookup leads to a sibling-filmed incompetent sex video being marketed to a porn studio, Hunnam’s hilarious Frankie must deal with the likes of angels, over-eager swine and, naturally, a murderous father-in-law.

Charlie sat down with us to chat about his new film, the origins of Ron Perlman and the legend of the infamous white tennis shoes. It would be unfair to neglect the fact that he also shares a birthday with Mr. Hugh M. Hefner himself.

Playboy.com: What did you enjoy most about visiting the Playboy Mansion: meeting Hugh or the Bunnies?

Hunnam: I was actually more excited to meet the animals. [laughs] I’m an animal lover. He has a huge variety of animals out back.

Playboy.com: 3,2,1…Frankie Go Boom is coming out next month. Tell us about the film.

Hunnam: It’s a really sweet, wacky sex comedy. It’s a pretty hard film to sum up. It’s a love story set amongst the backdrop of total eccentric mania.

Playboy.com: Frankie’s parents would be the type to keep around little blue pills; wouldn’t that have solved the film’s conundrum?

Hunnam: That would work, but what would we do for the other hour? [laughs] I think that after being screwed over so many times by his mom and his brother, he has developed an absolute refusal to go to his family for anything, which is probably what stopped him from going to borrow one of Dad’s Viagra.

Playboy.com: Similar to Frankie in the film, have you ever been given reason to be afraid of your girlfriend’s father?

Hunnam: I’m not very good at most things, but I’m pretty good at relationships. I grew up with a single mother, so she kind of drummed into us being chivalrous and treating our partners well and not being a total asshole. So I’ve gotten along well with the fathers-in-law.

Playboy.com: What was the most bizarre scene to film in FGB?

Hunnam: I think having to wrestle that pig; it was a harrowing experience. They are very aggressive, strong, loud creatures. You can’t even believe the noise and ferociousness of this little beast. He was so placid before I picked him up, and the second I did he pissed all over me. Screaming and crying and wriggling and tried to bite me! I was like, wow; could we not get a prosthetic pig? But then he got used to me and was a little better to work with.

Playboy.com: So no threats of bacon were uttered?

Hunnam: No, man. I haven’t eaten pork in 25 years so I thought I was a shoo-in with this pig! I thought he was going to love me, but I didn’t get any bonus points for that. [laughs] I don’t even get points from cops for not eating pork, which I also kind of regret.

Playboy.com: The fifth season of Sons of Anarchy just started up; what can we look forward to this season?

Hunnam: It has felt to me like a fresh, really new dynamic within the club. Now that I’m president, it went from, overnight, the old-school dictatorship to the new, cool democracy. The young and up-and-coming guys in the club like me and Chibs and Tig and those guys are really starting to run the show a little bit more. Of course Clay (Ron Perlman) still has a dangerous presence hanging over the guys, and you never know what to expect from that guy, but it really feels...and Perlman actually just walked into this room  it’s always going to be a little bit contentious between them.

Playboy.com: You’re costarring alongside Ron Perlman in Frankie where he plays a cross-dresser. He has some pretty crazy storylines with both this and Sons of Anarchy. What species is that man?

Hunnam: [Laughs] Did you just say what species is he? Man, I don’t know, but there’s not too many of them walking around! I’m pretty sure it’s not human, might be some crossbreed like half-human, half Wait…Maybe if a caveman mated with a Neanderthal mated with a contemporary man  with a little bit of rhino thrown in there? That’s Perlman.

Playboy.com: Sons creator Kurt Sutter is known to be very transparent in his opinion of the media, the industry and entertainment as a whole. What is it like working with him and how does it affect his role on the show compared to working on other projects?

Hunnam: I have a great relationship with Kurt and interact with him often. But in terms of the day-to-day making of the show, he’s not that involved with my part of it. He writes every episode and he edits every episode, but he only directs the finale. When’s he not directing he doesn’t come to set.

He’s a very opinionated guy; we have a different strategy in that regard. I only want to be known for my work. I’m an actor and I’m a writer and that’s all I want. I have no interest in being a celebrity or a personality  or even to share my opinions publicly. I want to share my opinion as a character in a film, not my opinion as an actor in the world. But that’s fine if he wants to go out and kind of make his narration on how he sees things. That’s his prerogative; I just have a different approach, personally. That’s because I’m not so sure about my opinions. For an actor, anonymity is the absolute best friend, because then you can reside solely in the world of the characters you play.

After a while, in the period when Tom Cruise was out talking about his stuff, you get the sense  when you’re walking into a Tom Cruise movie, you do that with baggage. I like the Daniel Day-Lewis route, where you go in and you show up every three years, and you never hear anything otherwise. Though there’s absolutely part of an actor’s life where he’s required to go out and publicize his movie. But still, that’s not me talking about myself, that’s me talking about my movie.

Playboy.com: What research did you do to come across as an authentic biker? Was it hard to mask your British accent?

Hunnam: I have the ability to do it perfectly, but I definitely slip up. [laughs] I love research, when you’re welcomed into a world. Hollywood is so seductive; it gives you access into worlds that you’d never normally be given access to. I got access to  and I don’t want to say their name outright  the most famous white bikers' club in the world. I got to go hang out with them for a couple of weeks. Out of that research I learn so much, but the stuff I get absolutely right in the TV show is the stuff I get criticized for the most.

I’ve got “weekend warriors” who aren’t really living the life. They’ve got a Harley, and they ride bikes once or twice a month; I ride my motorcycle every single day, exclusively. I have a car, but I don’t even know where the car keys are anymore. These guys come up to me, “Why do you wear white tennis shoes on the show? Bikers don’t wear tennis shoes!” I’m like, “No, man, you don’t wear tennis shoes 'cause you’re a fucking dentist!” All my friends that are actually patched members of the most famous outlaw motorcycle group in the world all wear tennis shoes, so why don’t you go fuck yourself.

That thing drives me crazy about the white sneaks on the show. Because I wear the same shoes, the same jeans  same make, same cut, same wash  same hoodies and exact same construct as a guy that I met who had grown up in that motorcycle club. He’s 22 years old; he has had every single birthday party of his life in the clubhouse in his hometown where he grew up. His father was a 37-year member of that club. I actually found the guy that I was playing in the show. He was part of that life, and a total outlaw, and he was shot dead two weeks before we started filming.

Playboy.com: You have Pacific Rim coming up next year. What can you tell us about the project?

Hunnam: We’re telling a story in a world where monsters are living among us, coinhabiting this planet with us, and they’re very, very hostile. It’s a beautiful drama about a few people who are embroiled in this fight with these monsters. I feel like I don’t have an appetite for a lot of these comic book movies that come out about monsters and robots and stuff because I feel they are unmistakably cynical enterprises, exclusively designed to make money. That’s not the kind of thing I’m interested in; I’m interested in telling beautiful stories. So when you have that kind of world with Guillermo at the helm? All of that cynicism falls away and you’re actually making an authentic film with integrity and it just happens to be about monsters.

Playboy.com: What was your first Playboy?

Hunnam: I came to Playboy pretty late; I can’t remember what beautiful lady was on the cover, but I was probably about age 16 or 17.

3,2,1...Frankie Go Boom is available now on VOD and in theaters Friday. Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesday at 10/9c on FX.

read more: Celebrities, interview, tv, actor

82 comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I would drink his bathwater!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Love you Charlie.. oxox
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Yes that really didn't sit well with a lot of people about opie
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I don't care what he wears i love him as an actor and especially as Jax damn sexy man
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I LOVE Jax's white sneakers
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jax Is THE SHIT! Great actor ,and very ,very handsome ! He seems to be be a very nice man ! A friend of mine visited LA and brought me back a magazine ,it was all about SOA ! That show rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    love love love Jax in SOA he is a hot piece of eye candy!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    charlie is awesome!!! very sexy and does his role well! kudo's to any lucky lady that has worked with him or has been with him!! jealous
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I want to marry Charlie Hunnam!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Charlie Hunnam is a great actor and I would watch anything he is in..
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    So awesome to read an interview. He's so "elusive". Makes him even sexier, if that is possible??? xo
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    yes, he´s the sexiest man alive, I love him, love him love him
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    My future husband!!! Lol!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    doesn't matter what jaxs wears hes on sexy man,I have a harley fat boy and i wear sneakers.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Wish he would pose in Playboy!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I absolutely am in love, not only is he gorgeous, but his personality is so laid back. Charlie, you are talented, your acting ability is amazing( I have a 5hing about male actors showing emotion, you pass!lol) and you are beautiful. God bless the woman who made you.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    He's freaking hot!! I totally love him!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Love Charlie. Great interview.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Mr. Hunnam, I admire that you keep your personal life seperate! As well as you stand up to the biker sterio type. You are awsome at what you keep it up!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Heck with the article, i want to see him in the buff...MMMmmm!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I've loved Charlie since I saw him in Green Street Hooligans!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    CHARLIE HAS THAT TOUCH WHEN IT COMES TO PLAYING THAT CARING/HARD ASS FELLOW IN S.O.A. AND THEN HE HAS THAT WITTINESS IN HIM WHEN IT COMES TO BEING A FUNNY GUY I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM PLAY IN A SERIES WHERE HE IS A HARD ASS LIKE HE IS IN S.O.A. AFTER IT GOES OFF HERE IN ABOUT 2 YRS FROM NOW!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    you are the sexiest man alive !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    great interview1 LIKED this actor since Day one
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    charile is one HOT acter.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    ugh Love HIM!!! xoxo
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Love him and his white sneakers, oh and he can wear them riding with me on my softtail anytime!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    charlie hunnam is the man
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Charlie is so awesome!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    charile play his role very will and very good looking man
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    holy mother of god,....are all these anonymous comments from the same chick?.......dude you got a stalker!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I have always loved the teenies,jeans & hoodie look, it is sexier than most oulaw biker outfits.I have never missed a episode of SOA. I simply adore him.More so now after reading this article.I have no doubt you will be a very famous actor.I will watch anything you work on>Leona Rene Authier,A true follower!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Insanely sexy and very real
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    What an amazing person and actor you are!! I would be so happy if i ever had a chance to meet you someday
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    LOVED 3,2,1....Frankie Go Boom!! Charlie was awesome!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I would give up a lot of things for that man! Lol
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    My husband got me watching it and at first i didn't want to then i really got into it reminds me alot of me and my old man and everything we go through everyday. The SOA is real life.... Amazing show.......
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I would so love to have him just for one night ;)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Please ask him to pose for your magazine please!!!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    He plays the life,,,,
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    He's cool and HOT. I really enjoy his work on SOA, but he actually sounds Canadian on the show in my opinion...lol I could totally hear him giving those answers in my head.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    This is a beautiful interview Bravo Mr Hunnam... I am so excited and can not wait to see Ron in Drag... I cant believe the way you described him is almost what me and my babe talked about not to long ago... We love him!!! You do amazing work... I loved your character in Green Street Hooligans...- Sharon... New Jerz
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    CHARLIE HUNNAM IS A GREAT ACTOR HE IS HOT ON OR OFF THE BIKE I SAW HIM IN A MOVIE WHEN HE JUMPS OFF A BUILDING TO SAVE A GIRL HE WAS IN LOVE WITH HE SEEMS THE TYPE THAT WOULD BE FAITHFUL I DO NOT KNOW IF HE IS MARRIED HAS CHILDREN BUT NOW THAT I SEE HE IS DOING OTHER THINGS BESIDES SONS I AM DEF. GOING TO FOLLOW HIM MORE CLOSELY. HE IS A GREAT ACTOR
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Sounds like a great and very grounded guy
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jax (Charlie) is the sexiest man alive. Not only in SOA which have watched since beginning because of him. I'd give anything for even 1 night with him.....
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I love that man so much its crazy how one person can change another wiithout meeting them. I hope that one day really soon i can have the chance to meet him. I LOVE SOA ! I Love the story behind it because you get everything love story drama action comdey all in one but mostly you get to see a bond btw men and their families come as one to love and protect rach which we need more of these days.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    he is amazing season two finalle when he lost his son and screamed that scream went right to my toes it would break my heart if that man were in the same room with me crying he is gogeous
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Yes he is amazingly gorgeous, but i highly doubt most if his "fans" have seen his early work. Which is amazing. Its awesome to see your favorite actor grow as you watch his early work vs now. Sutter is amazing and c couldn't have picked a better actor as the king. Crystal yax. Clinton twp,mi
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I would do him in a heart beat and thats no lie..
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jax u are fine in anything u wear ! u rock and are awesome and very nice to the eyes!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    He seems like a lovely man, through and through.....and an animal lover to boot!! What more could you ask for??
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Charlie Hunnam eres INCREIBLE! Lejos el hombre mas hermoso y sexy del mundo! Pero sobretodo inteligente y de una gran mente, gracias x regalarnos el desnudo posterior de tu cuerpo en SOA! ajsoajsoajsoajsoasja
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Sons is the best show on tv right now and I hope its stays on a while. I'm always recommending it to anyone I run into who isnt watching. sad to see opie.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    please marry me charlie!!!!!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    LOVE HIM and everything about him. Lisa
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I feel the same im a lesbian but omg he is the shit ....
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I wish he would pose for your magazine! That is a beautiful man with a to die for body!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Oh Charlie Hunnam/Jax, you are so unbelievably sexy it's ridiculous! What I wouldn't do for one night in the sack with you!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Love Charlie. He is a great actor and by everything I read about him, he is a wonderful person.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I absolutely love Charlie! So fucking sexy! I'd jump him in a second! ;)
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I thought he was Australian! Learned something.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    brilliant man,actor and so damn sexy
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I love this guy more than my husband, huge SOA fan since day 1
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    i think he is sexy for sure but i looovve the show its great .....bummed that opie had to go .....keep it sexy jax
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    I'm Charlies biggest fan by far! Seen every show an d movie he's ever been in.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    This is the man that I would give up my girlfriend for. Even as a lesbian
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Awesom! Good luck charlie...now i know why us fans don't hear from you much publicly...i respect that...but miss you everyday...you are a wonderful actor Thanks Playboy for the interview; lisa from illinois
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    OMG What a HOT ASS MAN!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Jax Tellar, is so sexy,but this guy Charlie Hunnam,my,my,my. He brings back the real man the sweet,sexy,hard heroisim,all woman look for. I adore him,and will follow him further in his career.H brought Sexy back in 5 episode's!!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    He's doing a great job and good luck on ur goal. Can't wait g o see more of what other roles he plays
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