Charlie Hunnam on Why Acting is Exiting and How He’s Creating His Own Opportunities

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“To a certain degree you have these aspirations to imbue characters with certain traits. But the material dictates it… you have to make a character as well-rounded as possible, so that he feels like a human being, even in a heightened environment…” – Charlie Hunnam

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam appeared in plenty of projects since the popular series ended in 2014, including Crimson Peak and The Gentlemen. Though he continues to receive plenty of offers, in an interview with GQ Hunnam spoke about his desire to take a greater role in the storytelling process and is even writing his own miniseries.

When it comes to choosing roles, Hunnam says that he gravitates toward roles that involve sensitive characters. He says, “I’m a relatively sensitive guy and take storytelling very seriously. I’m always looking for the opportunity in my work to try to find some truth. And that is really where acting gets exciting.” As an example, he points to his role on the popular series Sons of Anarchy, which was created by Kurt Sutter. He continues, “To a certain degree you have these aspirations to imbue characters with certain traits. But the material dictates it. And so sometimes in a show like Sons, you have to fight against the tides to try to get those moments in. That’s not exactly true because Kurt [Sutter] is a sensitive guy too and he was looking for those moments. But, you have to make a character as well-rounded as possible, so that he feels like a human being, even in a heightened environment like Sons.”

However, Hunnam says that he isn’t simply waiting for the right roles to come along. He reveals that he is currently writing a miniseries, and then explains why:

“I’m creating opportunities for myself to act within that, but it’s funny—you get on this trajectory and one gets known for one’s work and it’s very easy for people to just say, ‘okay, we need a tough guy who can also be sensitive. Let’s see if Hunnam is interested.’ And it does take a very concentrated effort to recognize that and try to break out of it. So the joy of writing is that I know what’s in my heart and I also have a sense of what I will be able to do as an actor. I’ve not really been writing myself any tough guys and [instead]writing characters that are, I suppose, reflective of where I am in my life. They’re in that midpoint of life and career and wondering, ‘is this manifesting in exactly the way I hoped? And if not, what steps can be taken to course-correct and to arrive at the promised land?’”

With that said, Hunnam is careful to say that he doesn’t feel like the scripts he are getting are subpar. It’s actually a case of him wanting to have a bigger role in the storytelling process. He says:

“As part of the process of filmmaking as an actor, I realized there’s only so much input that you’re ever going to be able to have. Even at the very, very—not that I am there—top echelon, you really are the facility to somebody else’s vision and story. I’ve had several films in the can that are really radical departures from the type of work that I had been doing before. So I was actually getting a lot of opportunities to spread my wings and explore different avenues creatively through acting. But I was really just hitting a wall of really wanting to tell my own stories.”

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