Charlie Hunnam’s film with Jonathan Majors and Jack O’Connell was extremely buzzy when it premiered during TIFF last year. However, given the wild fluctuations of the movie schedule in 2020, it was only recently that most of us gotten to see Charlie Hunnam in the new role, and we have to say he’s way less jacked -- or should I say "Jaxed" -- than he was for gigs like Sons of Anarchy, and with good reason.
Jungleland director has spoken out a lot about the physicality needed for the new boxing movie to work. In particular, Charlie Hunnam changed his physique for the movie in a way you may not expect, losing weight and simply trying to look more down-and-out than we’d seen the actor in other gigs to give the character an edge. Max Winkler said that Hunnam is a lead actor in Sons of Anarchy and other roles, but in his heart he’s more of a character actor, telling Variety he really felt confident in Hunnam jumping into the role wholeheartedly.
He lost about 30 pounds and we cut his hairline way back. He went around with the wardrobe designer to raid the racks at clothing stores and flea markets. He was so committed to this part. There was never one moment where I worried about him finding the character.
In general, Charlie Hunnam has made a career out of staying fit, but there have been times in the past he’s lost weight for roles. The most notable other time I can remember this happening was in The Lost City of Z, the movie Hunnam starred in opposite Robert Pattinson in which they were both basically hungry the entire time. The “surviving in the jungle” tale meant neither were “much fun” to be around and even argued over who had eaten fewer eggs before filming each day, per Hunnam.
Still, in the majority of Charlie Hunnam’s roles he’s been impressively fit, including but not limited to Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. For Jungleland, things may have been different, but director Max Winkler still says Hunnam is not as far removed from playing Jax as you’d expect. This is mostly because Sons of Anarchy fans pop up everywhere -- including filming -- to show their love for the FX character.
The people in the towns where we shot reacted to him so passionately. They love Sons of Anarchy, so when he’d appear, you’d think he was BTS. Everywhere we went there were hundreds of people. We needed extra security and decoys to get him out of places where we were shooting.
It’s amazing to think this is still going on six years after Sons of Anarchy ended on FX, though Hunnam has been clear he doesn’t have the ability to ever play Jax Teller again. Meanwhile, Charlie Hunnam has taken on plenty of varied roles from Pappilon to The Gentlemen and now Jungleland. Catch him next in Last Looks opposite Mel Gibson and Morena Baccarin.