Charlie Hunnam celebrates his birthday today and it’s a good enough reason as any to reflect on his top ten performances here at AwardsCircuit. Hunnam is best known for his role as Jax Teller in “Sons of Anarchy,” but there’s quite a tone to dissect in the span of his career. He hasn’t been nominated for an Academy Award (nor do we really predict that scenario anytime soon) but he can be somewhat endearing of an actor.
Nevermind the plethora of accents he’s attempted to hone. The Newcastle-born actor shows us consistent brawniness and charm in almost every role. Here are the top ten Charlie Hunnam defining performances.
1010. Patric in “Children of Men” (2006)
Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian drama “Children of Men” landed Hunnam with a supporting credit. His role was that of Patric, a slightly unnerved member of the militant immigrant’s rights group, The Fishes. This role marks his first outside of the normal fictional scripts. This also wouldn’t be the last time Hunnam dabbles in the science fiction genre.
99. Pete Dunham in “Green Street Hooligans” (2005)
In 2005, Charlie Hunnam starred in Lexi Alexander’s crime and sport drama “Green Street Hooligans.” His character Pete Dunham is involved in elite street football is a little reluctant to welcome the new guy on the block. Alongside Elijah Wood’s Matt, Pete hesitates to introduce and integrate him into their shenanigans, but a comradery soon forms. This is said to be peak Hunnam Cockney accent, but alas, there are folks who say the contrary.
88. Lloyd Haythe in “Undeclared” (2001-2003)
It’s a surprise to recall Hunnam starring in the Judd Apatow-created comedy “Undeclared.” The show was about a group of college roommates and their personal life misfortunes; a run-of-the-mill young adult sitcom. This was a charming point in Hunnam’s career. He had just finished a British series before hopping onto this project and he shows some of that awkward hidden comedic potential. He starred in the series alongside comedy buds Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Jason Segel.
77. Dr. Alan McMichael in “Crimson Peak” (2015)
Charlie Hunnam makes a case for himself in Guillermo del Toro’s dark romance “Crimson Peak.” In a more toned down role contrasted by his leading co-stars, Hunnam still speaks with constancy and can even hold his own against other characters onscreen. As Dr. Alan McMichael, he becomes entrapped into a gothic love triangle where his childhood friend (Mia Wasikowska) adores the company of a mysterious other (Tom Hiddleston).
66. Arthur in “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” (2017)
It seems as though Guy Ritchie has an affinity for Charlie Hunnam. He directs Hunnam in the upcoming “The Gentlemen.” But for “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” Hunnam is casted to quick wit and tact as the British leader. Hunnam is willing to deliver as his working class hero of an Arthur is. With inspired set designs and action sequences, the film is still a bit ambitious for its own good. Ritchie cranks up the speed and Hunnam enthusiastically follows suit.
55. Henri Charrière in “Papillon” (2017)
“Papillon” serves as one of Hunnam’s physically demanding films. Along with “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” this film envelopes set pieces into a cool escape for the titular star. As the pickpocket framed for murder, Henri scratches the itch to escape from prison and take Louis Dega’s (Rami Malek) money in exchange for his protection. Hunnam is attentive and charismatic in a role involving many brawls. Physicality suits him.
44. Raleigh Becket in “Pacific Rim” (2013)
Charlie Hunnam worked with Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro on “Crimson Peak” and “Pacific Rim.” The story of gigantic creatures emerging from the sea rallied up an energetic, decent performance from Hunnam. His character Raleigh is called out of retirement to help ward off the colossal Kaiju creatures along with rookie Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). “Pacific Rim” would conjure up positive critic reviews, a plus for any Hunnam film.
33. Nathan Maloney in “Queer as Folk” (1999-2000)
Fans of Hunnam’s big alpha-masculine roles would be dutifully enlightened to know he starred in a little British series called “Queer as Folk.” As the young Nathan Maloney, his character navigates school life with love as he’s finds himself in the circles of the London LGBTQ scene. The series was chemistry and drama galore as Hunnam and co-stars Aidan Gillen and Craig Kelly led the show. For Hunnam, this was one of his earliest acting credits after several daytime soaps. It also goes down as one of his most memorable gigs as he gives Nathan a near naïve confidence and charm to take on the world (and the guy).
22. Jax Teller in “Sons of Anarchy” (2008-2014)
Of course this role was going to make an appearance on the list. What could fairly be deemed his career defining role, Charlie Hunnam’s rugged biker role in “Sons of Anarchy” felt more complex and conflicted as the seasons railed on. The FX show helped him establish a character at his most vulnerable and troubled. With seven seasons under his belt, Hunnam gave so much to this character. Jax Teller fights for his blood and will even go against it if it means his vindication. Hunnam devoted a total of six years of his career to the show. His Jax Teller is hard to come by and hard to forget.
11. Percy Fawcett in “The Lost City of Z” (2016)
A countdown like Charlie Hunnam’s would almost immediately relay back to the career-defining “Sons of Anarchy,” but it’s within Percy Fawcett where Hunnam truly feels inhabited. Unlike the beats of a ruthless biker persona, Hunnam’s Percy is a determined and curious, although flawed, explorer. “The Lost City of Z” gives Hunnam’s subdued acting chops room to breathe. Under James Gray’s direction and mighty patience to detail, Hunnam explores a character much more thoughtful than Jax Teller. “The Lost City of Z” sets voyage into Hunnam’s more endearing and humanistic impressions. Extra points for being a good film.