Charles Hunnam is from northern England where he enjoyed painting, photography, and playing rugby in his youth. He and his 1 brother and 2 half-brothers were raised by a single mom. He was expelled from school for fighting. After high school, he studied performing arts in college and graduated with a degree in the theory and history of film. Hunnam made his first tv appearance at age 17 in the series Byker Grove. He also tried modeling but decided it wasn’t for him. Hunnam gained popularity in the show Queer as Folk, but his breakout came in 2002 with Abandon. Hunnam also writes and has sold a screenplay to Brad Bitt’s Plan B studio, and has plans to start directing. Hunnam spends half his time in LA and half in London. He is not a fan of social media. Hunnam is 6 feet tall and weighs about 170 lbs.
Charlie Hunnam’s Diet
Hunnam wanted to be solid but extremely lean for the role of King Arthur, and so he cut out all the junk and ate a lot of lean protein. More generally, he sticks to whole, natural foods like fresh veggies, quality protein, and a few complex carbs in the form of oatmeal or sweet potatoes. His weakness is sweets and he isn’t afraid to indulge every now and again. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is important on a low-carb diet because the body retains less water, and especially so if you also work out intensely.
- Low Carbs 15% 15%
- Low-Medium Fat 25% 25%
- High Protein 70% 70%
To play King Arthur, Hunnam says his goal was to be ripped but lean, which involved an extremely strict diet, along with tons of exercise.
Hunnam says that there’s no real secret to getting in shape. You have to do the work by eating right and exercising. Lucky for him, he enjoys both.
Hunnam admits to having a ‘wicked’ sweet tooth. His favorite indulgences are chocolate and ice cream.
What to Eat
Whole, natural foods
What to Avoid
Hunnam on his Physique
‘Unfortunately, there is no secret to it. You just have to stop eating all of the things you want to eat and exercise every day ’til you have lost the will to lift.’
Hunnam on his Diet
‘Good-quality air travel and good-quality food are the two luxuries that I never feel any guilt indulging in.’
Hunnam on his Clean Diet
‘I eat super healthy just by taste. It’s not hard work for me to eat healthy.’
Hunnam on Cheating
‘I stay active, that’s the key. If you’re gonna mess around and eat a lot of sugar, you better stay active as well.’
Charlie Hunnam’s Fitness Routine
Lean & Mean
Hunnam gained 20 lbs. of muscle to play the role of King Arthur. He spent hours working out every day.
Mix It Up
Hunnam does lots of different exercises that work all his muscles, big and small, as well as build endurance, strength, and flexibility.
Hunnam practiced jiu-jitsu as part of his regimen for Arthur, along with sword fighting, boxing and strength training.
Besides sword fighting, Hunnam runs and hikes as part of his cardio routine.
Hunnam also jumps rope, which is an easy way to squeeze in cardio if you’re short on time.
Hunnam is also a fan of swimming, which provides full-body fitness.
A Charlie Hunnam No Equipment Routine
Pull-ups: 25 reps x 3 sets
Dips: 25 reps x 3 sets
Squats: 30 reps x 5 sets
Push-ups: 30 reps x 5 sets
Ab work: 20 min of crunches, side crunches, leg lifts. etc. Do ab work 3-4x/week.
Hunnam on Fitness
‘When I’m between jobs, I need to work out a lot for my sanity. If I weren’t an actor, I’d be the fittest [expletive] on the block.’
Hunnam on Exercise
‘We’re supposed to be very active animals. It’s in our DNA.’
Hunnam on Getting Ripped for Sons of Anarchy
‘It takes an enormous amount of time and energy to get big and strong like that.’
Hunnam on Getting Lean for Arthur
‘I didn’t want to be swollen up, I wanted to be really, really ripped and have very little body fat.’
Hunnam on the Importance of Regular Exercise
‘It’s not even as much the physical benefit; it’s the mental. When you’re training every day in a combat discipline, it just gives you the eye of the tiger.’
Charlie Hunnam’s Supplements
To maximize fat loss, consider adding l-carnitine to your supplement stack. It helps prevent lactic acid build-up, which means you can workout for longer, and still reduce post-workout soreness.
BCAAs are a go-to for most athletes because they build muscle while reducing muscle wasting, boost metabolism and also improve endurance.
Charlie Hunnam’s Lifestyle
Travel in Style
Hunnam says he doesn’t skimp on air travel because it helps to keep him healthy.
Right at the beginning of his career, Hunnam scored auditions for big films including as Annakin in Star Wars Attack of the Clones.
The final 5-minute fight scene in King Arthur took 5 days to shoot, 11 hours per day.
Hunnam’s father was a junk dealer and alleged gangster. Although his parents divorced when he was 2, Hunnam stayed close to his father until his death a few years ago.
Hunnam has dyslexia and finds reading and writing difficult, but he works hard on self-improvement, including taking Spanish lessons and watching cooking tutorials. He hopes to earn a jiu-jitsu black belt by age 45.
Hunnam is a germophobe, and hates doing kissing scenes, but ‘natural’ dirt such as is found while camping is fine.
Hunnam says that when he goes for a while without practicing his American accent, it is hard for him to get it back.
Hunnam on his Father
‘My dad is one of the toughest savage dudes I ever met. In a way, I feel like I have been playing my father a lot in my career.’
Hunnam on Playing the Bad Guy
‘It’s generally more fun playing the villain.’
Hunnam on Baring All
‘I’d never use a body double. I’m not worried. I have nothing to hide.’
Hunnam on his American Accent
‘I’ve been working in England a lot, which sort of complicates the process a little bit…I definitely struggle more now that I don’t do it every day.’
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Sons of Anarchy