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Charlie Hunnam has successfully transitioned from TV to the big screen following his lead gig on FX’s Sons of Anarchy, but while appearing ahead of the release of his new Guy Ritchie collaboration The Gentlemen, the actor revealed that it was only thanks to a Sons of Anarchy hiatus that he had the opportunity to work with the longtime director.
I worked with Guy on King Arthur and he absolutely did not want to hire me for that. So, I was shooting a TV show that I was doing at the time, Sons of Anarchy. He was casting this right at the time and he was taking a week of meetings right at the time that I coincidentally had my hiatus.
Speaking at an STX panel at CinemaCon 2019, Charlie Hunnam and fellow The Gentlemen star Henry Golding both revealed how their respective first meetings with longtime director Guy Ritchie went. While Golding was taking meetings for The Gentlemen just ahead of the premiere for his massive global hit Crazy Rich Asians, Hunnam previously worked with Guy Ritchie on King Arthur: Legend of The Sword.
Charlie Hunnam then revealed that although Guy Ritchie wasn’t actually interested in him for the King Arthur role, he talked his way into a 3 ½ hour meeting that ended up working out for both parties involved.
So, although he said he wasn’t really interested in meeting me, I said, ‘Fuck that, I’ll fly myself over and can we just have a cup of tea together,’ because I felt if I got into a room with him I could sort of ‘wow him’ with my insight and passion for the script.
Sons of Anarchy finished out its epic run on FX back in 2014, so Charlie Hunnam was certainly looking around for a new gig around the time that project was ending. It’s just lucky the show happened to be on hiatus the week Guy Ritchie was meeting potential actors for the role.
It took a few more years for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword to actually premiere in theaters in 2017, but even though that movie only went on to make a little over $148 million worldwide (on a reportedly $175 million budget), it led the actor and director to consider working together again, this time on the STX production The Gentlemen. (Previously this project was known as Toff Guys or Bush.)
As for Henry Golding, the whole process of both meeting and filming with Guy Ritchie ended up being very different, as that actor shot The Gentlemen simultaneously while filming a holiday movie. He said of the experience:
It was sort of waking up in this [sic] gangster role. There were some days I would do [The Gentlemen] in the morning and then report to set for a Christmas movie with Emilia Clarke, so it was a very sort of strong contrast.
The Gentlemen doesn’t have a release date yet, but if you missed or weren’t fond of King Arthur, the footage looks to be a very different type of movie, yet still with Ritchie’s signature pacing and style. We’ll bring you the trailer as soon as it drops, but for now the very least you can do is throw on episode of Sons of Anarchy or throw on your own "cup of tea" to toast Jax.