How Char­lie Hun­nam talked his way into be­ing King Arthur

Cape Breton Post - - Arts/ Entertainment - BY JILL DOB­SON

Char­lie Hun­nam says he con­vinced direc­tor Guy Ritchie to cast him as King Arthur af­ter the two bonded over mar­i­juana — talk­ing about it, not in­dulging in it.

“I heard Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur’ and I thought, ‘That’s a bril­liant idea,’ and I just sort of saw it right away and wanted to be a part of it,’’ said Hun­nam while pro­mot­ing the film Wed­nes­day. “And so, we pre­sented that to Guy, my agent, and he just re­ally wasn’t in­ter­ested. And I said, ‘That is just un­ac­cept­able, my friend.’’’

So Hun­nam booked a trip to Lon­don on a week off from film­ing “Sons of Anar­chy’’ and landed a meet­ing with Ritchie. He had a stan­dard pitch rar­ing to go but quickly learned Ritchie didn’t want to even talk about the movie.

“He ac­tu­ally cre­atively was in­ter­ested in the med­i­cal mar­i­juana busi­ness in Cal­i­for­nia of which I knew a lit­tle bit about. So we ended up bizarrely talk­ing about med­i­cal mar­i­juana for two hours. But, what I re­al­ized in hind­sight was, he just wanted to get to know me as a chap. He didn’t re­ally care about what my the­o­ries about Arthur was or what my opin­ions of the script were be­cause, he al­ready knew what he wanted to do. What he wanted to see was what I was about and whether we saw life in the same way.’’

Hun­nam seems to be hav­ing a mo­ment in Hol­ly­wood right now be­cause “The Lost City of Z’’ — in which he stars as a Bri­tish ex­plorer — and “King Arthur’’ are com­ing out backto-back. But he says that’s just co­in­ci­den­tal.

“‘Arthur’ is like a gi­ant jug­ger­naut of a movie and my fear was that ‘Lost City of Z’ would sort of get swal­lowed in the whole mix and so we fought to keep them re­ally apart but we lost the fight,’’ he said.

“I’m dis­con­nected from that be­cause the huge mo­ment, for me, was when I shot the films and when I got the films. I mean, for an ac­tor, the great­est mo­ments of our lives is when we get the call telling us that we got a role that we re­ally wanted.’’

“King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword’’ opens in the UK on May 19 and in the United States on May 12.


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