A few years ago, word got around that Guy Ritchie was looking for a leading man for his forthcoming King Arthur blockbuster, and Charlie Hunnam felt Excalibur’s pull. The Newcastle-born actor had built his profile over seven seasons of the motorcycle outlaw drama Sons of Anarchy, and his latest film – Guillermo del Toro’s giant monster mazurka Pacific Rim – felt like the prelude to a starry new phase of his career.
So he threw his hat in the ring – and was shocked by the speed and ferocity with which it was thrown back. Not only had Ritchie already decided he wanted either Henry Cavill or Michael Fassbender. He specifically said he had no interest in even meeting Hunnam, and thought him entirely wrong for the role.
“I can’t remember the exact verbiage of his reasoning,” Hunnam recalls, stretching back in his armchair in a coffee-coloured hotel room. “But it really f___ing hurt my feelings....
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