‘Sons of Anarchy’ Star Charlie Hunnam Once Declared He ‘Should Get the Flu More Often’ — Here’s Why

The things Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam did to commit to his role of Jax Teller have been the stuff of legend ever since he landed the role in 2008. Hunnam admits that he went over-the-top to remain in the Jax mindset, even when he wasn’t on set. And, he did it for seven seasons. Hunnam even once declared that he should “get the flu” more often because it resulted in the best performance of his career.

Sons of Anarchy Charlie Hunnam
‘Sons of Anarchy’ star Charlie Hunnam | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Charlie Hunnam went to extremes for his career-defining role

According to Cinema Blend, Hunnam admits he took his commitment to Jax Teller to the extreme. He admits that he “pretty much wore nothing but plaid shirts” for seven years. When the show wrapped, he felt compelled to get rid of everything and have a massive spring cleaning.

“I put everything I had into that show. I lived it as much as I could. I never got in a car the whole seven years. I was only on my bike and rolling around with a bunch of real bikers and occasionally acting like a maniac,” Hunnam said.

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When the series came to an end, Hunnam confessed that he had trouble letting Jax go. He described saying goodbye to the character as “a motherf**ker.” He knows it sounds “stupid,” but he says it felt like “genuine bereavement”. Hunnam loved Jax, and he “hung out” with him constantly for seven years.

The ‘Sons of Anarchy’ star wanted to be Jax Teller because he was in a career slump

As The Blast points out, Hunnam explained during an appearance on Talking with Chris Hardwick that he was in a career slump in 2008. This was the real reason behind his desire to audition for the role of Jax Teller.

Hunnam started his career on TV in the late 1990s. He appeared on Byker Grove and Queer as Folk in the UK before landing a role in Undeclared on Fox. By the early 2000s, Hunnam had turned his focus to film. But, in just a few years his career went cold.

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The 40-year-old says he was “really struggling,” and was spending enormous periods of time unemployed. Hunnam described going months, sometimes years, without acting work. But then he came across the Sons of Anarchy script.

“I read it, and I was blown away,” Hunnam recalls. “I said, ‘Man I would do anything to get me in a room with these guys. I wanna try and get this role.'”

Charlie Hunnam had the flu while shooting a heartbreaking ‘Sons of Anarchy’ episode

Hunnam once told Entertainment Tonight that he should “maybe get the flu more often,” and he had a good reason. Hunnam explained that he was “very, very sick” while shooting his favorite Sons of Anarchy episode — Season 5, Episode 3 “Laying Pipe.”

“I think the episode where Opie got killed was a pretty powerhouse episode,” Hunnam said. “I had a terrible flu and was running a really gnarly fever. I was very, very sick through the course of shooting that whole episode.”

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Hunnam was afraid that he messed up the monumental episode because he was “so out of it” he couldn’t remember his lines. He admits that he was nervous to see his performance because it was such a pivotal moment for the series. But, he wasn’t in good health and didn’t think he did good work.

However, when he actually saw the heartbreaking Sons of Anarchy episode, Hunnam thought it was some of the best work he had ever done.