Charlie Hunnam

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Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Hunnam at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2012
Born Charles Matthew Hunnam
(1980-04-10) 10 April 1980 (age 34)
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Actor, screenwriter
Years active 1998–present
Spouse(s) Katharine Towne (m. 1999–2002)
Partner(s) Morgana McNelis (2007–present)

Charles Matthew "Charlie" Hunnam (born 10 April 1980)[1] is an English actor and screenwriter . He is known for his roles as Jackson "Jax" Teller in the FX series Sons of Anarchy (2008–14), Nathan Maloney in the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk (1999–2000), Lloyd Haythe in the Fox comedy series Undeclared (2001–02), Pete Dunham in the film Green Street (2005), and Raleigh Becket in the film Pacific Rim (2013).

Early life[edit]

Hunnam was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, the son of William "Billy" Hunnam (1952–2013), a gangster and scrap metal merchant, and Jane (Bell) Hunnam, a business owner.[2][3][4][5][6] His maternal grandmother was the premiere portrait artist in Newcastle.[7] Hunnam was the second child born after brother William "Billy"; he later had two younger half-brothers, Oliver and Christian, on his mother's side.[8][9] His parents split up when he was two years old and he moved to the village of Melmerby, Cumbria when he was twelve, as his mother remarried. He went to Heaton Manor School in Newcastle, and after moving he went to Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Cumbria.[10][11][12] Hunnam got expelled from secondary school and did his exams from home.[13] He attended Cumbria College of Art and Design, where he graduated with a degree in the theory and history of film with a side in performing arts.[14][15]


At the age of 17, Hunnam was discovered in a shoe shop on Christmas Eve while drunkenly clowning around buying shoes for his brother. A production manager for the Newcastle-based children's show Byker Grove approached him and Hunnam was later cast in his first role as Jason in three episodes of the show.[7][15][16] Aged 18, his first major role came when he was cast by Russell T Davies as fifteen-year-old schoolboy Nathan Maloney in Davies' Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk.[17]

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

Hunnam at the San Diego Comic Con, 25 July 2010

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 he is offered: "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 attempts at delivering a Cockney accent resulted in his inclusion in many critics' "worst accents in movie history" lists.[18]

Hunnam says his role 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 is fairly psychotic and now I've got this role."[19] Since 2008, Hunnam has 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.[20] 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.[21][22][23][24]

Immediately prior to getting cast on Sons of Anarchy,[13] he sold his screenplay Vlad to Summit Entertainment with Brad Pitt's Plan B Studios co-producing.[25] 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.[26] Hunnam learned the story from locals in Romania, while shooting Cold Mountain. He stated that he had not acted in 18 months and was so broke that if he had not managed to sell the script he would have had to sell his house and move back to Britain to live with his mother.[27] Hunnam is also developing a screenplay based on a 2011 Rolling Stone article that he optioned about Edgar Valdez Villareal, an American drug lord who ran one of the biggest cartels in Mexico.[28] Another project he has in development is a film about gypsy culture in Britain, which he hopes to direct. He stated that it's "a part of English society that's really seldom been explored, but is one of the most colourful and interesting parts of British society."[13][29]

In 2011, Hunnam played the role of Gavin Nichols in the philosophical drama/thriller The Ledge by Matthew Chapman.[30] In 2012, he starred as the title character in the indie comedy 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom alongside, among others, his Sons of Anarchy co-star Ron Perlman.[31] Hunnam said that he considered the day that he filmed scenes with Perlman for that film the best and funniest day of filming he's ever had in his whole career.[32] He also appeared as Jay, an ex-boxer, in Stefan Ruzowitzky's crime drama Deadfall (2012).[33][34]

Hunnam starred as Raleigh Becket in Guillermo del Toro's sci-fi film Pacific Rim,[35] that opened in July 2013 and grossed $411 million worldwide. On 2 June 2014, Hunnam was awarded a Huading Award for Best Global Emerging Actor, for his role as Raleigh, due to the film doing very well in the Asian markets.[36][37] Earlier in the same year, it was announced that Hunnam would reunite with del Toro in the horror film Crimson Peak.[38] He will appear alongside Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. The film was set to start shooting in February 2014 with an 16 October 2015 release date.[39] 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.[40] However, on 12 October 2013, Universal Pictures announced that Hunnam had withdrawn from the film [41] due to conflicts with the schedule of his series Sons of Anarchy.[42]

On 3 October 2014, with an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Hunnam confirmed his involvement in both Guy Ritchie's King Arthur and romantic-survival film, The Mountain Between Us. Hunnam also revealed that he was attached to an independent film A Prayer Before Dawn based off the book with the same name, with filming commencing in summer 2015.[43][44][45][46]

Personal life[edit]

Hunnam met actress Katharine Towne in 1999 when they both auditioned for roles on Dawson's Creek.[47] After dating for four weeks, they married in Las Vegas. The couple divorced in 2002.[17] He has been in a relationship with jewelry designer Morgana McNelis since 2007.[48][49]


Hunnam at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? Daz
2002 Abandon Embry Larkin
2002 Nicholas Nickleby Nicholas Nickleby
2003 Cold Mountain Bosie
2005 Green Street Pete Dunham
2006 Children of Men Patric
2011 Ledge, TheThe Ledge Gavin Nichols
2012 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom Frankie
2012 Deadfall Jay
2013 Pacific Rim Raleigh Becket
2015 Crimson Peak Dr. Alan McMichael
2016 Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur Arthur Pendragon Filming
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Byker Grove Jason Chuckle 3 episodes
1999 My Wonderful Life Wes Unknown episodes
1999–2000 Queer as Folk Nathan Maloney Main cast; 10 episodes
1999 Microsoap Brad Season 2, episode 6
2000 Young Americans Gregor Ryder 3 episodes
2001–02 Undeclared Lloyd Haythe Main cast; 17 episodes
2008–14 Sons of Anarchy Jackson "Jax" Teller Main cast; 92 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2002 National Board of Review Best Acting by an Ensemble Nicholas Nickleby Won
2011 EWwy Award EWwy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2012 EWwy Award EWwy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2013 Pan-American Association of Film & Television Journalists Best Cast in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2013 Huading Awards Huading Award for Best Global Emerging Actor Pacific Rim Won
2014 EWwy Award EWwy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards[50] Favorite Cable TV Actor Sons of Anarchy Nominated
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Sons of Anarchy Pending


  1. ^ "Charlie Hunnam: Biography". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Rivkin, Annabell (2 September 2005). "Hollywood Blonde". The Evening Standard. 
  3. ^ "High Street card shop one of the best in UK". Kent and Sussex Courier. 24 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Dawkins, Walter (24 November 2011). "Charlie Hunnam's biker is riding a tightrope in 'Sons of Anarchy'". LA Times. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Nerdist Podcast: Charlie Hunnam". Nerdist. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
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  7. ^ a b "Charlie Hunnam on Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, and Henry David Thoreau". 2 September 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Charlie Hunnam Facebook fansite". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: Charlie Hunnam Talks 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom, Internet Piracy, More". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Who is Charlie Hunnam?". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Charlie Hunnam coming home for new movie role". ChronicleLive. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Radish, Christina (November 2012). "Charlie Hunnam Talks FRANKIE GO BOOM, the Success of SONS OF ANARCHY, His Desire to Direct, and More". Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Meet the Alumni". Cumbria (UK). Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Appearance". The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC). 17 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Charlie Hunnam Q&A". Female First. 11 July 2013. 
  17. ^ a b Holmes, Barry J (25 April 2010). "Charlie Hunnam: The Queer as Folk star has grown into a burly biker with a top-rated cable show". The Independent. Retrieved 30 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Worst Cockney Accent Film Set". Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Homesick in Hollywood". IC Newcastle. 25 June 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2012. [dead link]
  20. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (8 May 2009). "Sons of Anarchy – Wheels on fire". The Independent. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
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  25. ^ "Sons of Anarchy Star Talks About His Vlad Script". DreadCentral. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Story of 'Vlad' the Impaler Won't Touch on Vampirism". BloodyDisgusting. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  27. ^ Reynolds, Simon (2 September 2013). "Charlie Hunnam confirmed as Christian Grey in '50 Shades of Grey' movie". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "GQ&A: Charlie Hunnam". British GQ. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "Hunnam ready for battle in Pacific Rim". St Albert Leader. Retrieved 27 November 2013. 
  30. ^ Gans, Andrew (8 April 2011). ""The Ledge," Featuring Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard, Due in July". Playbill. 
  31. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (3 May 2012). "'Frankie Go Boom' Poster Features a Transgender Ron Perlman (Photo)". Hollywood Reporter. 
  32. ^ Lesnick, Silas (11 October 2012). "Interviews: 3, 2, 1... Frankie Go Boom". Comingsoon. 
  33. ^ Stewart, Andrew (5 December 2012). "'Deadfall' preems at Arclight". Variety. 
  34. ^ Nelson, Rob (25 April 2012). "Review: ‘Deadfall’". Variety. 
  35. ^ "Casting Call: Charlie Hunnam to Star in Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM; Amber Heard and Shiloh Fernandez Like SYRUP". Collider. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
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  38. ^ Kit, Borys (18 January 2013). "Charlie Hunnam in Early Talks to Join Guillermo Del Toro's 'Crimson Peak'". Hollywood Reporter. 
  39. ^ Kroll, Justin (30 January 2014). "Legendary, Universal Date Guillermo del Toro's 'Crimson Peak' for October 2015". Variety. 
  40. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (2 September 2013). "Charlie Hunnam to Play Christian Grey in 'Fifty Shades of Grey'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  41. ^ "Charlie Hunnam Still Heart Broken after Exiting Fifty Shades of Grey". [[]]. Lia. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  42. ^ Kroll, Justin (12 October 2013). "Charlie Hunnam Falls Out of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'". Variety. PMC. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
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  47. ^ "Hunnam Credits Failed Marriage For Helping Him Find Fame". Contact Music. 7 November 2003. Retrieved 8 July 2012. 
  48. ^ "Interview – Charlie Hunnam". Elle. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  49. ^ "Profile – Charlie Hunnam". Maison de Morgana. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
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