Charlie Hunnam

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Charlie Hunnam
MJK34322 Charlie Hunnam (The Lost City Of Z, Berlinale 2017).jpg
Charles Matthew Hunnam

(1980-04-10) 10 April 1980 (age 42)
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
Years active1998–present
Katharine Towne
(m. 1999; div. 2002)
Partner(s)Morgana McNelis

Charles Matthew Hunnam (/ˈhʌnəm/; born 10 April 1980) is an English actor and screenwriter. He is best known for his role as Jackson "Jax" Teller on the FX series Sons of Anarchy (2008–2014), for which he was twice nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor.

He is known for playing the title role in Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Pete Dunham in Green Street (2005), Raleigh Becket in Pacific Rim (2013), Alan McMichael in Crimson Peak (2015), Percy Fawcett in The Lost City of Z (2016), the title role in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), William "Ironhead" Miller in Triple Frontier, Raymond Smith in The Gentlemen (both in 2019), and Detective Charlie Waldo in Last Looks (2022).

His other notable television roles include Nathan Maloney in the Channel 4 drama Queer as Folk (1999–2000) and Lloyd Haythe on the Fox series Undeclared (2001–2002).

Early life[edit]

Charles Matthew Hunnam was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 10 April 1980,[1] the son of Jane Bell, a ballet dancer and business owner, and William Hunnam. One of his grandmothers was a portrait artist.[2] He has said that his mother "did a very good job" of being a single parent.[3][4][5][6] He has an older brother named William and two younger half brothers on his mother's side named Oliver and Christian.[7][8]

At age 12, when his mother remarried, the family moved to Melmerby, Cumbria.[9] During his adolescence, he played rugby and fought with his classmates, so he was expelled from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, Cumbria, which forced him to study and to take exams from home.[10][11][12] After that, instead of going to university, he decided to go to the Cumbria College of Art and Design in Carlisle (now part of the University of Cumbria) to study performing arts; he graduated with a degree in film theory and film history with a side in performing arts, aiming to write and direct his own films.[13][14]


Early work[edit]

Hunnam was discovered at the age of 17 in a branch of JD Sports on Christmas Eve, while playing around with his brother during a trip to buy shoes. A production manager for the Newcastle-based teen drama Byker Grove approached Hunnam and he was later cast in his first role as Jason in three episodes of the show. He also had a brief modeling career where he did a photo shoot for Kangol Caps and then decided modeling was not for him.[15][2][14][16] 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.[17] 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.

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.[18] 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."[19]


Hunnam in July 2010

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.[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]

In 2011, Hunnam played the role of Gavin Nichols in the philosophical drama/thriller The Ledge by Matthew Chapman.[22]

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.[23] Hunnam said he considered the day he filmed scenes with Perlman the best and funniest day of filming he's had in his career.[24] He also appeared as Jay, an ex-boxer, in Stefan Ruzowitzky's crime drama Deadfall (2012).[25][26]


Hunnam in 2016

Hunnam starred as Raleigh Becket in Guillermo del Toro's sci-fi film Pacific Rim,[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

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.[30] Hunnam reunited with del Toro in the horror film Crimson Peak,[31] alongside Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, and Jessica Chastain. The film began shooting in February 2014 and was released on 16 October 2015.[32]

Hunnam starred as geographer Percy Fawcett in James Gray's adventure drama The Lost City of Z, filmed from August–October 2015, premiered at the New York Film Festival in 2016, and was released in April 2017.[33][34][35][36] 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.[37] In 2019, he starred in Guy Ritchie's film The Gentlemen alongside Matthew McConaughey.


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.[38] 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.[39] 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 England to live with his mother.[40]

In 2013, Hunnam mentioned he was 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.[41] 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."[42]

Personal life[edit]

Hunnam met actress Katharine Towne, daughter of actress Julie Payne and filmmaker Robert Towne, in 1999 when they both auditioned for roles on Dawson's Creek.[43][44] After dating for three weeks, they married in Las Vegas; they divorced in 2002.[17] He subsequently dated model Sophie Dahl, actress Stella Parker, and film producer Georgina Townsley.[45]

He has been in a relationship with artist Morgana McNelis since 2005.[46][47][48][49]

Hunnam has dyslexia, as well as a fear of germs and dirt in general. In 2016, he began training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rigan Machado,[50] and went on to receive his blue belt in October 2018.[51]



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 The Ledge Gavin Nichols
2012 3,2,1... Frankie Go Boom Frankie
2012 Deadfall Jay
2013 Pacific Rim Raleigh Becket
2015 Crimson Peak Alan McMichael
2016 The Lost City of Z Percy Fawcett
2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword King Arthur
2018 Papillon Henri Charrière
2019 A Million Little Pieces Bob Frey Jr.
2019 Triple Frontier William 'Ironhead' Miller
2019 True History of the Kelly Gang Sergeant O'Neill
2019 Jungleland Stanley Kaminski
2019 The Gentlemen Raymond Smith
2022 Last Looks Charlie Waldo
TBA Rebel Moon Filming[52]


Year Title Role Notes
1998 Byker Grove Jason Chuckle 3 episodes
1999 My Wonderful Life Wes Episode: "Moving On"
1999–2000 Queer as Folk Nathan Maloney 10 episodes
1999 Microsoap Brad Episode: "2.6"
2000 Young Americans Gregor Ryder 3 episodes
2001–2002 Undeclared Lloyd Haythe 18 episodes
2008–2014 Sons of Anarchy Jackson 'Jax' Teller Main Role; 92 episodes
TBA Shantaram Lin Filming

Awards and nominations[edit]


Year Award Category Work Result
2002 National Board of Review Best Acting by an Ensemble Nicholas Nickleby Won
2013 Huading Awards Huading Award for Best Global Emerging Actor Pacific Rim Won
2017 International Online Cinema Awards Best Actor The Lost City of Z Nominated
CinemaCon Award Male Star of the Year King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Won


Year Award Category Work Result
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 Nominated
EWwy Award EWwy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2013 Pan-American Association of Film & Television Journalists Best Cast in a Drama Series Nominated
2014 EWwy Award EWwy Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards[53] Favorite Cable TV Actor Nominated
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Drama Series Nominated


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