Whether you know him from Sons of Anarchy, as the man who was almost Christian Grey in 50 Shades, or even from back in the day in Queer as Folk, you will surely by now have heard of Charlie Hunnam. And if you’re not too familiar just yet, despite his 20 years in the spotlight, then 2017 is proving to be quite a year for the actor. Not only has he just wrapped up promoting his movie with Robert Pattinson, The Lost City of Z, but now he’s also got his epic fantasy film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, coming out. And we’re not even halfway through the year yet. Charlie plays the titular character in the Guy Ritchie film and displays exactly what it is that makes him a leading man. With his star rising higher and higher, we wanted to get to know the man behind the movies a little better.
When Charlie was promoting King Arthur in London recently, BuzzFeed UK sat down with him to learn some more and asked him the all important questions.
Puppies or kittens?
Charlie Hunnam: [with no hesitation] Kittens!
What’s your favourite pizza topping?
CH: I generally don’t like pizza, but I suppose if I am going pizza I’m going pure. So just cheese and tomato, margherita-style.
What animal would you say you’re most like?
CH: Ooh, I don’t know. I would like to think a wolf, but, you know, probably a kitten.
If you could be real-life king for a day, what would you do?
CH: You know what? I wouldn’t. I would call up Guy Ritchie and say, “Listen, I’m feeling ill today. Would you fill in?” There’s nothing about being king that I would like. Too much responsibility.
What was the hardest part about filming King Arthur?
CH: Initially it was getting the tone right. I think we’d all set out to do something quite sombre and [a] classic rendition of Arthur, and the film just didn’t want to be that. It was like a horse trying to buck us off a saddle, so once we started introducing more levity and having more fun… Guy and I just decided, listen, if we’re having fun together and making each other laugh then this is going to be the right tone for the film, and hopefully the audience will laugh and it will make them laugh a little bit too. I think it inevitably, because it’s a Guy Ritchie film, was going to end up in that territory. But if we had intentionally from the beginning tried to end up in that territory there may have been the potential to land at Monty Python, which is not what we were going for. So yeah, getting the tone right was the biggest challenge.
Who’s your favourite current British royal?
CH: [pauses to think] I think Prince Philip’s always good for a laugh.
Did you keep any props from King Arthur?
CH: I tried to nick the sword actually. Of course, Excalibur would be the obvious thing to try and keep. But no one ever wants you to take anything home in this culture of filmmaking. They’re all a bunch of tight bastards. So I thought what I normally do is just steal the stuff I want, but I got rumbled trying to steal the sword. But I love the old fella who was keeper of the sword. It was his job to look after Excalibur. He said, “Listen, Charlie, I’d love to let you take the sword and to be honest I would actually let you steal it because you’ve been so nice to everyone, but Guy has ordered a brand new, beautiful sword to be minted for you and he’s going to give you [it] at wrap.” And wrap came and went and my sword never arrived, so I got a bit bamboozled on that one.
BuzzFeed: You should chase him up!
CH: Yeah, I keep asking him about it but he keeps on sort of sidestepping the issue [smirks].
If you had your own Round Table, who would you invite to join it?
CH: Erm, Santa Claus, Elon Musk and Conor McGregor. They would be my three top choices… Good combo, right?
What’s your weirdest possession?
CH: That’s a tough one. Goodness, what is my weirdest possession? It must be something that someone sent me. I get sent weird things from time to time. A lady wrote to me recently from Italy and asked if – it was sort of fine, this letter, but then towards the middle it got a bit weird, and then the last line was she asked if I wouldn’t mind sending her a toenail clipping, or if I couldn’t do that maybe just a pubic hair. And then she said, “You may think this sounds fetishistic, and you would be right… exclamation,” So I called her up and said we should hang out. No I didn’t, I threw the letter away. But I don’t think I have any weird possessions.
What’s the last thing that you cried at?
CH: I’m a big crier. I’m not afraid to have a big cry-up. The last time I can remember really inconsolably crying was when I went and saw Lion, the film. It’s a bit of a weepy one.
What superhero would you be if you could be any?
CH: King Arthur!
What advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
CH: Don’t be scared, homie [smiles].
What is your drink of choice?
CH: Gin and tonic. Or red wine.
Favourite drunk food?
CH: Well, if I’m drinking red wine then I love a bowl of pasta. And if I’m drinking spirits I usually end up in a Mexican restaurant.
Do you have a secret talent and if so, what is it?
CH: I used to be able to do that breakdancing move where you would, like, hold one leg and jump through, you know, without breaking contact. I haven’t tried it for a while. I think it would probably end in disaster if I did it right now. I’ve taken to wearing much tighter pants than I used to, so I’m not even sure if I’d be able to do it in these jeans. But maybe I’ll try later… If it goes well I’ll video it and send you it.
What would you be if you weren’t an actor?
CH: Either a chef, a photographer, or a gangster [smiles cheekily].
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
CH: People who are not equipped to drive and yet feel entitled to be behind the wheel of a car. I used to ride a motorbike all the time and I tell you, you become much more sensitive to peoples’ inability or inadequacy behind the wheel and it gets quite scary when you’re on two wheels.
Favourite dance move?
CH: I was always a big fan of the old Running Man in the ’90s.
BuzzFeed: Can we see it?
CH: [bursts out laughing] No!
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
CH: I don’t know. I don’t really know what anybody thinks about me or what they’d be surprised to know. Probably just how boring I am!
And can we expect to see you in more King Arthur films?
CH: Yeah, I hope so! It’s always up to the audience that decides these things. These films are so expensive to make that the studio want a few quid in return before they all write us a big fat cheque to go and make another one of these. But nothing would make me and Guy happier than to go and tell the next chapter of this story. So I think we’re all hoping there’s an appetite for the film and we can go back. We’ll know this time next week. Fingers crossed.