Charles Matthew Hunnam

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Charles Matthew Hunnam

Charles Matthew Hunnam is an English actor.

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He is best known for his role as Jackson “Jax” Teller in the FX drama series Sons of Anarchy (2008–14).

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He can also be seen as Pete Dunham in Green Street (2005)

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Nathan Maloney in the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk (1999–2000)

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Lloyd Haythe in the Fox comedy series Undeclared (2001–02)

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the title role in Nicholas Nickleby (2002)

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Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim (2013)

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Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z (2017)

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and in the title role of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).

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Early life

Hunnam was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on April 10, 1980. His father, William “Billy” Hunnam (1952-2013), was a junk seller who left the house when Charlie was 2 years old. He later married his 2nd wife Sylvia.

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His mother is Jane Bell, a ballet dancer and business owner. At age 12, when his mother remarried, he moved to the village of Melmerby, Cumbria. He has an older brother named William and two younger half brothers named Oliver and Christian.

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He is of Scottish and Irish descent. One of his grandmothers painted portraits. Hunnam is diagnosed with dyslexia, which makes it difficult for him to read and write and suffers from misophobia, fear of germs and dirt in general. During his adolescence, he played rugby and fought with his classmates. He was expelled from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Cumbria, which forced him to study and to take exams from his home. After that, instead of going to University, he decided to go to the Cumbria College of Art and Design in Cumbria, to study Performing Arts, where he learned the Theory and History of Cinema. He attended Cumbria College of Art and Design, now faculty of University of Cumbria, where he graduated with a degree in the theory and history of film with a side in performing arts, with the idea of writing and directing his own films.

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“When I was little, one of the things I most wanted to have, since they were popular at school and among friends, were the legendary Nike Air Max shoes of the 90s.” But given that he came from the bosom of a poor family, he could never have one. So when he turned 25, with the money from his first performances on the small screen, he bought 85 pairs of these shoes. Some time later, he realized that it was a pointless caprice, and he decided to give them to his friends and donate them to charity.

Print Career

He has modeled several times; at the age of 16 he modeled for the ice cream brand Wall’s.

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He was the face of the advertising campaign of Emporio Armani in 2005

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and starred in the advertising spot for the fragrance “Reveal” by Calvin Klein along with the model Doutzen Kroes.

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In 2005 he was number 9 in the top 100 of the most attractive men according to the magazine Elle.

Discovery

Hunnam was discovered at the age of 17 in a shoe shop on Christmas Eve while clowning around buying shoes for his brother. A production manager for the Newcastle-based children’s show Byker Grove approached Hunnam and he was later cast in his first role as Jason in three episodes of the show.

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‘I was discovered in a shoe shop… on Christmas Eve. I had a fool-proof strategy with my Christmas shopping. I would go to the pub on Christmas Eve at 12, and at 4 – one hour before the shops shut – I would start my Christmas shopping. And I had the 60-minute frenzied shop. I was in [a sports store] trying on some trainers for my brother and having a bit of a dance around, drunk obviously.”

Early Career

He also had a brief modeling career where he did a photo shoot for Kangols Caps and then decided modeling was not for him. Hunnam‘s first major role came at age 18 when he was cast by Russell T Davies as 15-year-old schoolboy Nathan Maloney in Davies’ Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk.

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He followed this up with his role as Daz in the film Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999) and then moved to the United States.

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His career expanded to include a recurring role as Gregor Ryder in the WB series Young Americans. He then appeared in the short-lived Fox series Undeclared as an English drama student called Lloyd Haythe. Despite critical acclaim, the series was cancelled after one season. Hunnam then appeared on the large screen in Abandon (2002), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), and Cold Mountain (2003).

Hunnam has stated that he does not wish to simply take any role that is offered, saying, “I have 60 years to make the money, but the choices I make in the next five years are really going to define my career.”  This decision resulted in his return to the UK to take the lead role of Pete Dunham in the film Green Street (2005); however, his attempt at delivering a Cockney accent resulted in his inclusion in many critics’ “worst accents in movie history” lists.

Hunnam said his role as Patric, a member of “The Fishes” in Children of Men (2006), was the final part in his “trilogy of mad men”.

“I played the psycho in Cold Mountain, my character in Green Street hooligan is fairly psychotic and now I’ve got this role.”

2008–2012

From 2008 to 2014, Hunnam starred as Jackson “Jax” Teller in Sons of Anarchy, a show about a prominent motorcycle club in a small fictional California town. Hunnam was cast after Kurt Sutter, the creator of the show, saw him in Green Street. His portrayal as Jax Teller has led Hunnam to receive a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination, three EWwy Award nominations for Best Lead Actor in a Drama series, and a PAAFTJ Award nomination for Best Cast in a Drama Series.

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In 2011, Hunnam played the role of Gavin Nichols in the philosophical drama/thriller The Ledge by Matthew Chapman.

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In 2012, he starred as the title character in the indie comedy 3,2,1… Frankie Go Boom alongside his Sons of Anarchy co-star Ron Perlman. Hunnam said he considered the day he filmed scenes with Perlman the best and funniest day of filming he’s had in his career.

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He also appeared as Jay, an ex-boxer, in Stefan Ruzowitzky’s crime drama Deadfall (2012).

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2013–present

Hunnam starred as Raleigh Becket in Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi film Pacific Rim, which opened in July 2013 and grossed $411 million worldwide. It was announced on 2 September 2013 that Hunnam would play the lead role of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of E. L. James’ novel Fifty Shades of Grey. However, on 12 October 2013, Universal Pictures announced that Hunnam had withdrawn from the film due to conflicts with the schedule of his series Sons of Anarchy.

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On 2 June 2014, Hunnam was awarded a Huading Award for Best Global Emerging Actor, for his role as Raleigh in Pacific Rim due to the film performing well in Asian markets. Hunnam reunited with del Toro in the horror film Crimson Peak, alongside Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain. The film began shooting in February 2014 and was released on 16 October 2015.

Hunnam starred as geographer Percy Fawcett in James Gray’s adventure drama The Lost City of Z, filmed from August–October 2015. It premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2016, and was released in April 2017. Hunnam also starred in Guy Ritchie’s action-adventure film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was filmed between March and July 2015 and was released in May 2017.

Screenplays

Immediately prior to getting cast on Sons of Anarchy, Hunnam sold his screenplay Vlad to Summit Entertainment with Brad Pitt’s Plan B Studios co-producing. The film is being directed by music video director and photographer Anthony Mandler, and will focus on the real-life story of Vlad the Impaler. Hunnam learned the story from locals in Romania while shooting Cold Mountain. He said he had not acted in 18 months and was so broke that if he hadn’t sold the script he would have had to sell his house and move back to England with his mother. Hunnam is working on a screenplay based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article about American drug lord Edgar Valdez Villareal, who ran one of the biggest cartels in Mexico. Another project he has in development is a film about gypsy culture in Britain, which he hopes to direct. He stated that it is “a part of English society that’s really seldom been explored, but is one of the most colourful and interesting parts of British society.”

Personal life

Hunnam met actress Katharine Towne in 1999 when they both auditioned for roles on Dawson’s Creek. After dating for three weeks, they married in Las Vegas and divorced in 2002.

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He has also had relationships with model Sophie Dahl, actress Stella Parker and film producer Georgina Townsly.

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Hunnam has been dating artist Morgana McNelis since 2005. The couple live on a ranch outside of L.A. and live a very un-Hollywood lifestyle. They have 30 chickens and a couple of donkeys, a couple of ducks and a big, organic garden. The couple plans to try to live a bit more sustainably. The chickens have already started to make friends with me and I really want to eat them … Oh man! I am going to be taking them to the vet and giving them mouth to mouth.

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