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Charlie Hunnam Biography & Latest Photos

Born Charles Matthew Hunnam on April 10, 1980 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Charlie Hunnam is an up-and-coming British actor who is destined to make his mark on Hollywood in the years to come. He was always drawn towards acti…

Born Charles Matthew Hunnam on April 10, 1980 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Charlie Hunnam is an up-and-coming British actor who is destined to make his mark on Hollywood in the years to come. He was always drawn towards acting, particularly from a young age. Hunnam's parents split up while he was only two years old. While in school, he was bullied a great deal, in part due to his small size. This, coupled with being raised by a single mother, helped give him a steely resolve that would prove valuable later on in his life. When Hunnam was twelve years old, he and his older brother moved to the Lake District in order to be close to his mother, who had remarried.

During his teenage years, Hunnam received his first taste of acting. A production manager for the British children's television show "Byker Grove" discovered him goofing off in a shoe shop, and promptly offered him a part in the show. Hunnam featured in a total of three episodes as a child model named Jason. Although it was only a short-lived role, it did give him some experience that would serve him well once he reached adulthood and began a career for himself. Hunnam would not appear in front of a camera again for some time. In the meantime, he further refined his acting skills at Cumbria College of Art and Design where he graduated with a Performing Arts degree.

After finishing his studies and moving out of the family home, Hunnam found an agent who would help him find roles that he was well suited to. Before long, he was cast in another British-made teenage television series: "Microsoap." This was another short-lived role, but it did lead to his breakthrough role on British television in "Queer as Folk." Cast by director Russell T. Davies as Nathan Maloney, a fifteen-year-old gay schoolboy, Hunnam became somewhat of an icon and role model for gay youth in Britain around the turn of the new century. He made such an impact in the role in only a short space of time that he was asked to attend a parliamentary debate regarding gay issues. In 2000, Hunnam reprised the role for a two-hour television movie, "Queer as Folk 2." The series proved to be so popular that an adaptation was made for American audiences, although Hunnam was not involved with the movie in the States.

He could have entered the US movie world through the "Queer as Folk" series, instead he chose to carve out his own path to the big lights of Hollywood. Hunnam initially landed a role on the very brief teenage drama series "Young Americans." However, the show ended abruptly due to low ratings. From there, he secured a regular acting role on the Fox sitcom "Undeclared," which was an offshoot of Judd Apatow's "Freaks and Geeks." The show was not a huge success, but it did help to raise Hunnam's profile in the United States somewhat. In 2002, he tried out for various film roles, such as in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones," but none proved successful. He made his American film debut acting opposite Katie Holmes in "Abandon" later that year.

The following couple of years resulted in roles in "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Cold Mountain." At the time, Hunnam was very selective about the film roles he accepted because he knew that the film choices he made early on in his career would define him as an actor for decades to come. After not appearing on either television or film for a period of close to two years, Hunnam went back to Britain to appear in a football hooliganism film, "Green Street," alongside Elijah Wood. The move was considered a disaster by most film critics, with some even going so far as to say that Hunnam put on the worst Cockney accent in film history. After this bad experience, he moved back to America and stayed there for good.

It took until 2008 for Hunnam to really carve out his niche, this time with the television drama series "Sons of Anarchy." Surprisingly, he was sought out for the role of Jackson "Jax" Teller after the show's creator, Kurt Sutter, saw his performance in "Green Street." Set in a fictional Californian town, the show has proved to be a hit and is still running five years later. Hunnam's performances as Jax have been recognized in the television industry through several nominations for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Since he has been appearing on "Sons of Anarchy," he has tended to stay away from film roles and focus solely on television. However, in 2013 Hunnam was cast as the lead character, Raleigh Becket, in the science fiction blockbuster "Pacific Rim." The hype surrounding this role is sure to give him plenty of acting opportunities for years to come.

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