Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Charlie Hunnam

The star of this week's Deadfall -- and Guillermo del Toro's forthcoming Pacific Rim -- on his five favorite movies of the moment.

by | December 5, 2012 | Comments

It’s a big, busy year ahead for Charlie Hunnam. Besides his ongoing role in TV hit Sons of Anarchy, the actor is starring in Guillermo del Toro’s massively anticipated sci-fi throwdown Pacific Rim, which marks the director’s first film in five years and looks set to be one of 2013’s summer smashes. In the meantime, Hunnam is appearing opposite Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde in this week’s snowbound neo-noir thriller Deadfall, in which he plays an ex-con boxer tangled up in a deadly game of survival.

“I’d always been interested in telling the classic hero’s journey,” Hunnam says of Deadfall. “You know, told with the contemporary narrative of a man being released from prison. I felt like the psychology of that character resonated very deeply. Through this I had the experience of being a boxer. So I put myself through a boxing academy and completely gave myself over to boxing. I did that seven days a week for five weeks.”

The rigors of such training paled in comparison to the Guillermo del Toro regime, however; which perhaps goes with the territory when you sign on for a role piloting a giant robot. “It was pretty torturous, I must say,” Hunnam laughs. “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.”

He laughs again. “I say that absolutely adoring the man and everything about him, but boy, he will work you til you’re on the verge of death.”

Well, Hunnam has survived to tell the tale. You can see him in Deadfall in theaters and on demand this week, and here now he talks us through five of his favorite films.

Pusher III (Nicholas Winding Refn, 2005; 92% Tomatometer)

My relationship to film is dictated to a lot by what I’m working on at the time, and right now I’m writing so there’s a few films that I’ve been watching a great deal of.
My top three films at the moment are Pusher III, A Prophet and Bullhead. I think that how those films are constructed, tonally, is what I’m looking for, because none of them follow a narrative that I’m interested in — although the worlds have some similarities. I’m looking to do a very personal exploration of a man’s journey that is, for whatever reason, slightly outside of everyday society, but still has all of those hopes and desires of everyone else in America.

I just think, of the three Pushers, for me as an audience member, enjoying those films I go backwards. I think Pusher III is a masterpiece; Pusher II I like a great deal; and Pusher is my least favorite of the trilogy, which is the only time I’ve ever had that experience. I mean, I guess I do like Godfather II more than Godfather one; well I don’t know if I like it more, I find myself watching it more frequently. I really like the struggle of that character through Pusher III. Unlike the other films, he’s really, really trying to do the right thing with his life over the course of that film. And you just see that, because of the environment he’s in and the forces that surround him, that he keeps getting pulled down over and over and over until he descends into total darkness at the end.

A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009; 97% Tomatometer)

More than anything, with these three films, it was really the performances — which was certainly the actor, but it was also the writing and the direction. Powerhouse performances in all three of those movies, especially in A Prophet.

Bullhead (Michael R. Roskam, 2011; 70% Tomatometer)

You know, what I’ve really been studying are single-perspective narratives of grand character journeys, and A Prophet and Bullhead really achieve that in a wondrous way. What I’ve been trying to figure out is how to stay, as authentically as possible, within the single narrative of just the one character while bringing an entire world to life through that. It’s a challenge I’ve really been focused on.

Valhalla Rising (Nicholas Winding Refn, 2009; 71% Tomatometer)

Of the films I’ve seen of late, I adored Drive, also — another Nicholas Refn joint. You know another film I adore of Refn’s — and I seem to be in the minority on this — is Valhalla Rising.

I loved that. That’s my favorite of that trilogy he did, with Bronson and Drive.

Me too, yeah. I mean, Mads Mikkelsen is just spectacular in that movie. And it’s where I’m from, you know; it’s those hills. Well I guess it was a little further north than where I come from, but I felt a sense of pride — geographically — over that film.

It was shot in… Scotland, right?

It was shot in the highlands of Scotland, in Northumbria — which, if you go north, it turns into the highlands of Northumbria.

So you’re really nostalgic for that grim weather, huh?

[Laughs] I really am. I went from Newcastle to the Lake District and in the Lake District it rains about 275 days a year, so I’m a kid that’s used to getting rained on.

Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995; 80% Tomatometer)

Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008, 90% Tomatometer)



You know what’s another film that I watch over and over again? Actually I just came up with two more films, both because I think they’re masterpieces of contemporary storytelling — non-linear storytelling. Casino, I think, is probably up there with Chinatown in the best screenplays ever written. I love the film itself, but if you look at the sophistication of that screenplay and how they effortlessly move between time periods and geographic locations with no problem whatsoever — and of course they use narration but still, I feel it’s a truly spectacular display of storytelling.

And somewhat overlooked in the Scorsese filmography; at least compared to some of his other stuff.

Oh I know, I know. And it’s a film I sometimes bring up and wax lyrical about its brilliance and get a lot of kind of blank stares in return; and I think, “Go back and have a look at the way they’re telling the story, the information you’re getting and the rapidity with which that world is set up, and the nuance.” It’s just a spectacular piece of storytelling.

And then, for the same reason, I’ve been obsessed with watching Hunger.

That is a great, great film.

Yeah. More than anything, that’s a film that I’ve been watching over and over and over again, because the device with which they bring the audience into the world in that first act through a character that’s not seen in the film again, it’s just something I’ve never seen done before. It’s storytelling; it’s brave and fresh and non-linear in a way — I mean it is, it is linear, but in a non-traditional, non-linear approach to a linear narrative.

Deadfall opens theatrically this week and is available to watch on demand.

Tag Cloud

Certified Fresh Rocketman dceu jamie lee curtis nature game of thrones FX on Hulu Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 71st Emmy Awards screen actors guild LGBT cooking Apple Star Wars Summer Action strong female leads Lifetime Christmas movies revenge TCM American Society of Cinematographers 45 A&E spanish language Heroines ESPN Emmy Nominations TV Land spy thriller blaxploitation Tarantino what to watch Sundance Showtime Apple TV+ YouTube Red Infographic Hallmark Christmas movies quibi Dark Horse Comics The Arrangement 2016 Writers Guild of America E3 DC Comics Red Carpet Comedy Central elevated horror 20th Century Fox Masterpiece Mary Tyler Moore hist Box Office Sneak Peek werewolf Sony Pictures Lionsgate Pirates Turner Television Academy directors Food Network mockumentary streaming BBC Thanksgiving FX Film Mudbound USA Network Universal Toys 24 frames Black Mirror political drama halloween Stephen King Marathons Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2015 crime thriller Best and Worst TLC Winter TV Reality Disney Channel Trailer RT History Character Guide Premiere Dates cults Film Festival Sci-Fi canceled TV shows Britbox binge anime biography Elton John Marvel Television doctor who independent Biopics ratings Captain marvel Chernobyl WGN Tumblr LGBTQ History cartoon spider-man Peacock romantic comedy TIFF Mary poppins christmas movies Photos Disney+ Disney Plus Amazon Studios APB First Reviews cancelled television comics CW Seed Cannes SDCC unscripted PBS documentary Hallmark TNT natural history The Walking Dead Black History Month Epix Endgame facebook Paramount Network Mystery Spectrum Originals Awards Tour MTV dogs 2020 foreign Fantasy police drama TV renewals adaptation witnail CMT CBS All Access Travel Channel sitcom TV Ellie Kemper sports renewed TV shows Apple TV Plus Fall TV TruTV television DirecTV Amazon spain reboot kids HBO Max Funimation robots Ovation 007 Sundance Now spinoff latino aliens BBC America New York Comic Con Nickelodeon Musical Pet Sematary Marvel DC streaming service transformers cats Schedule The Purge sag awards Christmas GLAAD technology CNN politics 21st Century Fox WarnerMedia adventure festivals TCA Winter 2020 book Drama dramedy slashers Countdown YouTube toy story stand-up comedy Animation discovery Ghostbusters Cosplay Podcast Hulu Arrowverse singing competition Crunchyroll Academy Awards Spring TV reviews Comics on TV Netflix Christmas movies Family Polls and Games social media Acorn TV Pop Shudder supernatural Pixar anthology travel children's TV teaser sequel comic tv talk Rom-Com Columbia Pictures TBS Rocky Women's History Month Shondaland YA Logo Holidays composers historical drama Walt Disney Pictures dc video BET canceled Warner Bros. NYCC ITV award winner Turner Classic Movies golden globes X-Men CBS vampires Music crime drama cancelled TV shows game show joker breaking bad casting IFC Films thriller south america TCA Opinion VH1 Amazon Prime ABC MSNBC YouTube Premium OWN cars Star Trek cancelled The Witch See It Skip It HBO series Amazon Prime Video TCA 2017 Rock Comic Book Binge Guide Election Syfy Pride Month Trophy Talk A24 DGA batman docudrama Mary Poppins Returns Tubi justice league theme song scary movies Discovery Channel movie Lucasfilm psychological thriller Nominations animated Freeform crime Year in Review crossover war FXX green book zombies Netflix diversity Tomatazos Quiz PaleyFest E! Winners name the review free movies 2017 Mindy Kaling serial killer Set visit Starz Marvel Studios Video Games screenings Western ABC Family Reality Competition Kids & Family First Look romance hispanic Disney Spike Interview Watching Series Baby Yoda Classic Film based on movie medical drama cancelled TV series Grammys Crackle disaster comiccon Brie Larson SXSW cinemax GIFs franchise Cartoon Network Sundance TV dragons Vudu talk show Holiday Musicals science fiction Avengers true crime Calendar blockbuster Song of Ice and Fire Esquire boxoffice space RT21 2018 Super Bowl rotten movies we love Extras finale SundanceTV Disney streaming service DC Universe Emmys zero dark thirty richard e. Grant mutant President ghosts National Geographic OneApp Superheroe Nat Geo San Diego Comic-Con universal monsters VICE Trivia Valentine's Day Fox News versus AMC Adult Swim USA The CW FOX NBC Lifetime Country Pop TV Comedy 2019 IFC Teen Creative Arts Emmys zombie Awards GoT indie cops movies psycho Anna Paquin Superheroes miniseries Paramount Martial Arts period drama MCU El Rey harry potter Bravo Horror Disney Plus Oscars