Charlie Hunnam

He makes being bad look pretty good

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BY: Liz MacDonald

Charlie Hunnam has major swoon factor, no doubt. Mention his name and at least one woman in the room flags him as their favorite Hollywood crush. But his appeal has a lot to do with the depth he brings to his roles. He’s played a lot of bad boys, but they’re always….complicated. Easy on the eyes, yes—but also irresistibly soulful. This May, Hunnam will bring his bad boy charisma to Guy Ritchie’s Medieval masterpiece, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Ritchie’s take on this classic is more revenge epic than fantasy, with Hunnam playing the royal role as a back alley gangster totally unaware of his lineage until he gets hold of Excalibur.

Hunnam’s is a natural for King Arthur. He was born in Northern England (maybe you didn’t realize that Jax was actually a British actor while you were glued to Sons of Anarchy?) and was discovered by an agent at seventeen while drunk-shopping for shoes with his brother on Christmas Eve. He almost immediately landed a breakout part in England’s Queer as Folk (1999-2000), and then moved to Los Angeles for his role as the dreamy English drama student in Judd Apatow’s Undeclared (2000-2001). Hunnam also created some memorable moments on the big screen back then, with great roles in Cold Mountain (2003) and Children of Men (2006). And he’s also noteworthy for the famous movie roles he’s turned down: Jason Segal (his co-star in Undeclared) wrote the part of the British heartthrob in his hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) with Hunnam in mind, but cast Russell Brand after Hunnam said no. And Hunnam was initially cast as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), but then pulled out of the project just before filming.

Maybe Hunnam was saving his energy for Sons of Anarchy. His portrayal of Jax Teller is pivotal to the huge success of the show, which gained a huge cult following during its long run (2008-2014). An intense saga set in a motorcycle gang hangout, this series needed an actor with Hunnam’s depth—and good looks—to bring some balance to all the gun-running and violence. Guaranteed, Hunnam will bring the same magic to his role in King Arthur. He’s sure to show audiences an unexpected side of this legendary figure. And we can’t wait to see him with a sword. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword opens in theaters on May 12. You can watch the trailer, above.