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Charlie Hunnam Said Working With 1 Director Was the ‘Most Demanding Experience I’ve Had in My Life’



Throughout his acting career, Charlie Hunnam has collaborated with numerous directors, yet there is one who stands out as the most challenging.

During the peak of his Sons of Anarchy days, Hunnam candidly disclosed that Guillermo del Toro is the toughest director he has ever met. Despite having collaborated on several projects, Hunnam openly admitted that working alongside the renowned director was the most demanding experience of his entire career.

Charlie Hunnam opens up about working with Guillermo del Toro

Over the years, Hunnam and del Toro have joined forces on several projects, including the 2013 sci-fi blockbuster Pacific Rim and the 2015 gothic romance Crimson Peak. Despite their evident camaraderie, Hunnam once disclosed that del Toro is an exceptionally exacting director.

During a 2012 interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Hunnam revealed that none of his previous film endeavors could quite compare to the experience of collaborating with del Toro. While Hunnam greatly admires del Toro’s unwavering passion for filmmaking, he candidly admitted that the director doesn’t shy away from pushing his team to the limit.

“Guillermo likes practical effects. So do I, but the reality is that it’s incredibly difficult. It was the most demanding experience I’ve had in my life — partly because the nature of what I was doing was very difficult, and partly because Guillermo’s completely a slave driver,” Hunnam joked.


The star of Sons of Anarchy expressed his deep affection for del Toro and his keen directing abilities. However, working under the acclaimed director often left him feeling as if he were teetering on the brink of exhaustion.

Hunnam and del Toro have not teamed up since Crimson Peak, a role that stirred up quite a bit of drama with another blockbuster franchise.

The ‘Sons of Anarchy’ star walked away from ‘Fifty Shades’ for Guillermo del Toro

Like many actors, Hunnam also has that one project he regrets missing out on, despite having a vibrant career. While he has graced the screens in numerous movies, he was once cast as the lead in the iconic franchise, Fifty Shades.

Initially, Hunnam was slated to portray Christian Grey, but he had to relinquish the role due to previous commitments. Although the actor has provided various reasons for turning down Fifty Shades of Grey, one prominent factor was his promise to del Toro. 

According to Fandom Wire, Hunnam revealed that he had given his word to del Toro to appear in Crimson Peak. The Sons of Anarchy star was unwilling to break his word, despite not being a main character in the film.

“I’d given Guillermo my word, over a year before, that I was going to do this film. People were saying, ‘Are you crazy? Guillermo still has got four months to recast, it’s the fourth lead, you can go and do this [instead].’ I said, ‘I can’t. He’s my friend,’” Hunnam explained.


Hunnam has gone on to appear in a variety of roles, but his decision to step away from Fifty Shades of Grey cost him a major payday.

Charlie Hunnam lost a lot of money over his commitment to the ‘Crimson Peak’ director 

Hunnam’s unwavering loyalty to del Toro ended up costing him a significant sum of money. The combined earnings of the Fifty Shades trilogy reached a staggering $1.325 billion. In stark contrast, Crimson Peak only managed to rake in a modest $74 million at the box office.

Reflecting on the numbers, Hunnam later confessed that the entire experience was the “worst professional experience” he had ever encountered. He described it as emotionally draining and immensely challenging, labeling it a “heartbreaking” affair. 

However, it’s important to note that there were additional factors that influenced Hunnam’s decision to walk away from Fifty Shades. The actor also mentioned the intense level of intimacy required for the role being another factor in his decision.

“Because I’m in a very committed relationship and I’m also cognizant that it’s not my girlfriend’s favorite part of my job. It’s a delicate balance to strike—to be emotionally open enough to have an experience that feels honest between two people but also maintain that it’s just for the film,” he stated.

In the end, at least Hunnam was able to keep his word to del Toro, even if it cost him a big paycheck.


Source: Cheat Sheet

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