“I really feel good,” Charlie Hunnam mentioned with a smile (and an asterisk) upon hitting the crimson carpet Monday evening outdoors Westwood’s Bruin Theater, host of the world premiere of his new Apple TV+ collection Shantaram.
The asterisk is critical as a result of Hunnam’s emotional state is understandably layered, particularly on the eve of this long-gestating collection based mostly on Gregory David Roberts’ 2003 blockbuster novel lastly being seen by the world. Shantaram casts Hunnam because the lead, Lin Ford, an on-the-run fugitive who escapes to Bombay, India, the place he will get misplaced among the many metropolis’s vibrant characters within the typically mysterious and seedy underbelly.
“Once I wrap and the job’s over, I’ve already gone by way of the highs and the lows,” Hunnam defined to The Hollywood Reporter concerning the collection, produced for the streamer by Paramount Tv Studios and Nameless Content material’s AC Studios. “I’ve already judged it on what we did nicely and what we didn’t do nicely, so it’s kind of surreal to lastly be right here, as a result of I’ve been so deep on this for thus lengthy that I don’t know the way to really feel. I really really feel numb tonight, possibly considerably unemotional.”
He was fast to make clear: “I’m excited for the world to see it however after seven years, I suppose I’m saying that it’s extra private to me than sharing it with the skin world and I suppose all of it hasn’t actually sunk in but.”
He has a couple of extra days to course of. Shantaram will make its world debut on Apple TV+ with the drop of the primary three episodes of its 12-episode first season Oct. 14. A brand new episode will then roll out weekly by way of Dec. 16. Steve Lightfoot leads the cost as co-creator, author and govt producer alongside govt producers Nicole Clemens, Andrea Barron, Justin Kurzel and the late Steve Golin. Eric Warren Singer, who was beforehand hooked up as creator and showrunner earlier than Lightfoot took over, additionally receives an govt producer credit score.
A novel-length textual content could be required to element the backstory of bringing Shantaram to the display. Through the years, everybody from Johnny Depp and Joel Edgerton to filmmakers Peter Weir and Mira Nair have been hooked up for a characteristic movie model. Then, in 2018, Paramount and Nameless snapped up adaptation rights as soon as they grew to become accessible, setting Singer and director Kurzel to spearhead the collection starring Hunnam. Nevertheless, after two episodes have been shot, the present went on hiatus and Singer was changed by Lightfoot in a whole inventive overhaul.
Hunnam says the richness of Roberts’ storytelling has made the story such a scorching commodity. “It’s a rare journey of a person who goes by way of darkness to search out mild, and there’s motion, journey, romance and the thrilling international nature of the environments,” says the actor, who hasn’t starred in a TV collection since Sons of Anarchy. “All the issues [Shantaram] surfaced are the identical issues that I discovered compelling to analyze in my very own life. Once I first learn this guide, I used to be considering an enormous quantity about God, about philosophy and psychology and about my expertise on the earth. These are all topics that Greg writes about, and he actually swings for the fences. He not solely tasked himself with telling a rare story and delivering compelling drama because the story goes alongside, however he additionally tasked himself with determining the which means of life by way of this textual content, you already know? What’s the nature of God? If God does exist, what’s God?”
Hunnam continued: “Thematically, it was simply an unbelievable playground to go and spend time in and round, to attempt to perceive the issues that I wish to spend my life fascinated about.”
The playground was not all the time the healthiest place to play, nevertheless.
Throughout his dialog with THR on Monday, Hunnam, who spent a beneficiant period of time talking with each media outlet on the crimson carpet, opened up about battling a critical collection of well being points, first on Shantaram and persevering with by way of to his present challenge, Zack Snyder’s Insurgent Moon.
“Once I was in India, I received a bacterial intestine an infection, a viral intestine an infection, an acute respiratory an infection. I had conjunctivitis in each eyes, an ear an infection and dengue fever from a mosquito chunk,” Hunnam mentioned, rattling off the diseases with out lacking a beat.
That’s one more reason why an asterisk is required when Hunnam says he’s feeling good. As a result of whereas he walked down the crimson carpet with a smile, he wasn’t precisely feeling nice because of a latest harm he sustained whereas filming Snyder’s Insurgent Moon.
“I simply completed doing the Zack Snyder movie and received injured once more. I’ve a very exploded S1 and S2 which might be torn broad open, 100% dehydrated,” Hunnam mentioned of the accidents to areas that have an effect on the hips and the groin space [for S1] and the again of the thighs [for S2]. “It’s going to take two years to heal and I’ve a 40 p.c tear on the ligament on the fitting facet that holds my spinal column in place.”
However, as he says, “The present should go on.
“I get to a degree the place I’m much less tolerant of getting injured and extra wanting to attempt to work out methods to keep away from that and mitigate that transferring ahead. However the intrepid nature of those experiences go hand in hand with the tales that I’m drawn to, so it sort of goes with the territory.”
Requested how he sustained the harm on Insurgent Moon, Hunnam mentioned it occurred whereas he was making ready for the half within the challenge, particulars of that are being carefully guarded.
“It was by way of no one’s fault,” he mentioned. “I used to be coaching actually arduous for some large bodily necessities that I needed to do, however I had misplaced lots of weight and not likely been coaching for a couple of years throughout COVID. So then, actually getting again to an aggressive routine whereas not listening to my physique or giving myself sufficient time to relaxation and making an attempt to get as large as I may as rapidly as I may, ended up simply destroying my again.”
If solely compliments may assist him heal, Hunnam could be nicely on his manner. His Shantaram collaborators had no downside spreading the love about their main man up and down the road.
Paramount Tv Studios president Clemens, who notched her first govt producer credit score on the collection after first creating it throughout her tenure at Nameless, referred to as Hunnam “the very best primary on a name sheet you can ever have.
“Charlie is Lin,” Clemens added. “I believe persons are going to be blown away by his efficiency. Who he’s and what he’s about could be very a lot in step with the spirit of his character and that basically comes by way of. He’s an outstanding chief and a tremendous, wonderful man.”
Veteran actor and Shantaram co-star Vincent Perez agrees. “I like the actor and I like the person. He’s an unbelievable soul and somebody who’s all the time open, all the time very beneficiant. Additionally, I used to be amazed by the way in which he works and his dedication. For eight or 9 months straight, every single day, he was all the time centered, all the time up to the mark. Then, outdoors the set, we constructed a relationship and have become buddies. He’s an exquisite soul and actually has one thing very religious and really particular about him.”
Added Lightfoot: “Charlie was hooked up after I got here on board. He was one of many points of interest for me as a result of he has this nice mixture of dynamism and mischief on one hand, and on the opposite, he has an actual willingness to go to very emotional, weak locations that his character required. He did such an excellent job.”
Now the query turns into, will he get to proceed to do it? Everybody was mum on whether or not plans for season two are already within the works, however it’s clear all of them hope so.
“We did the very best job we may presumably do with the primary season, in opposition to at instances what gave the impression to be insurmountable odds,” Hunnam mentioned. “We did some issues actually, rather well and captured some magic. There are some issues that we will do higher if we had the chance to return season two and the hope is we get to proceed telling the story the way in which it needs to be informed, whether or not that’s in 10, 20 or 30 extra hours. One factor is obvious: This textual content has an vitality of its personal and calls for to be informed the way in which it needs to be informed.”
Charlie Hunnam on Battling Intestine Infections, Dengue Fever on ‘Shantaram’ and “Destroying My Again” Whereas Prepping for Zack Snyder’s ‘Insurgent Moon’