The Version Interview... Charlie Hunnam on King Arthur
Robbed of his birthright, Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy - whether he likes it or not. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is the latest blockbuster movie from Guy Ritchie and it's out now...
Charlie Hunnam tells us more...
The film is visually awesome. What was it like for you to shoot?
It was really interesting. There weren’t always clear ideas about what we were going to do. Sometimes there was a little bit of handheld camera work and we would just swipe our hands in different directions with a sword. Guy wanted to play around with speed which made things interesting, so in order for me to move at a different time to the people I was fighting, we had to shoot everybody separately. We had to learn all the choreography and then we would have to each do our bit alone. That was really challenging to film, you know to make it look like you are physically hitting something else when you’re not, that’s not easy. I think we took sword fighting to a new level, I was doing it for 14 hours a day and then we’d do it again and again!
What’s the story with King Arthur?
We discussed the origin of the man behind the legend King Arthur and this film has that at the heart of it. He’s orphaned, a street urchin living on the streets and having to fend for himself and it just creates a more dramatic starting place for the story and it gives great scope. By the end, he’s in a different place. There is a greater journey to be had and we looked at the theme of being the best possible version of oneself.
How did you find working with Guy?
I love Guy Ritchie, this is the best experience I have ever had making a film and I attribute that to Guy. It’s wonderful to work with a guy who you trust completely and it has been a really special experience working with him, he’s so much fun to engage with. Guy is a very important film maker to me and the story is one I have loved for years and I have read it over and over throughout the years and so I was very excited for this role.
How was it getting in shape for King Arthur?
When I first met Guy he was concerned about the physicality because I had lost a lot of weight for my previous film. He brought it up many times but I think it was through having that conversation that I got the role. He asked about my weight many times and then I had to do a screen test which a number of some other very famous actors attended and so I knew the competition for the part was fierce. Guy was worried I wasn’t going to put the weight on. It became a joke though and I was like, get those other guys in here and I’ll fight them physically for the role! He later said that was the moment he knew I was King Arthur!
What’s the message people will take away?
Well as I said, this is a man who has to conquer his fears, his deepestfears, in order to conquer this huge challenge he is presented with. I think that in itself is something people can relate to. How to make the best use of your brief amount of time on this earth and as I said before, how to be the best version of yourself. You only have one life, you have to live it as fully as you can. That’s the positive message and it is fulfilling to watch that narrative.
King Arthur is out now.