Charlie Hunnam: ‘Cutting Myself Off From Modern Technology Was Liberating’
Actor Charlie Hunnam experienced a real sense of liberation after isolating himself in preparation for his role as a real-life British explorer in The Lost City of Z.
The Sons of Anarchy star wanted to live as basic a life as possible to help him get into character as Colonel Percival Fawcett, who became an absentee father while searching for the mythical titular city in the Amazonian jungles during the 1920s.
To replicate the simple living conditions, Charlie shunned most modern technology, cutting off all contact with his friends and family in the months leading up to, and during, filming.
“I felt as though it was going to require more from me than I ever had to give,” the actor explained of the demanding role. “He (Fawcett) would go on these grand, heroic, explorations into the jungle for three or four years at a time, have no contact with his family at home, and I’m lucky that I have a very understanding girlfriend who allows me to go off and do these weird whims.”
And although snubbing his loved ones for the project would be a big sacrifice for many, Charlie admits he actually reveled in having no contact with the outside world.
“I didn’t use email once, I didn’t use a computer, I didn’t make a phone call for four months…,” he told ABC News. “It was so liberating.”
The job also required both Charlie and his co-star Robert Pattinson, who plays rival explorer Henry Costin, to slim down, each losing around 35 pounds (15.9 kilograms) for the movie, and the 37-year-old confesses his strict diet probably wouldn’t have made him great company even if he had allowed himself to socialize as he geared up for the gig.
He laughed, “I don’t think I was too much fun to be around!”