Looking at Charlie Hunnam doesn’t really make a lot of people think that he’s made for comedy, but of course, appearances can be deceiving. Still, his chance to play Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is something that a lot of people might not know about, but it was also his choice. His friend Jason Segel actually wrote the part for Charlie, but at that point in his career, it sounds as though Charlie was in a different spot, mentally-speaking, and wasn’t feeling the part. It’s likely best that he made the decision that he did since Russell Brand taking over the part made a huge difference and Hunnam’s emergence as Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy was a bold but successful move on his part. Everything panned out though, as the movie went on to be the favorite of many that year and SOA became one of the best-loved shows on FX. Since then, Hunnam has gone on to star in several other movies and while he hasn’t always hit the same high as he did during the show, his mere presence is enough to get a lot of people excited since he’s a pretty decent actor and it feels as though he’s only getting better, as he proved with The Gentlemen, in which he plays the close advisor to a drug kingpin that is tasked with cleaning up the boss’s messes and helping to run his business.
Hunnam has almost always played a better dramatic role than he has a comedic one, but to be certain he’s good at both, even if his dramatic roles come off as a little more believable simply because he puts so much into them. It does sound as though he could make his way back to comedy, at least in some part, at some point since he apparently has been working on a couple of projects that might be able to see the light of day at one point or another. It might be kind of difficult for some people to picture Hunnam in a comedy, but in The Gentlemen, he does dip into a bit of dark comedy that he excels at since the movie does manage to make some people laugh simply because the content is fairly amusing, much as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch were, even though those movies didn’t feature Hunnam. One thing Hunnam is great it is timing since his lines are usually pretty crisp and on point, but there are times when his accent does intrude a bit and makes it difficult to see since he tends to run the same kind of act for each role he plays as though this is the best way to mask his accent when needs to. It doesn’t really take away from his role that much, but it’s noticeable.
It does feel as though Charlie is a bit underrated for his abilities since he hasn’t appeared in any other movies that might be considered to be mainstream and capable of getting his name out there in a much bigger way. Whether he wants that or not is difficult say since he’s already a star and plenty of people know about him, but going even bigger and starring in blockbuster movies would likely elevate his career in a very big way. He did make the right decision for all involved, including himself when it came to refusing the part of Aldous Snow since Brand has a very different level of energy than Charlie does and brought the role to life in a manner that Charlie might not have been capable of doing at that time. The ability to recognize that the part just wasn’t right for him at the time was even more impressive since it gives people the realization that he’s fully aware of his abilities and where he’s at in any given moment. Well, he was at that point at least. People that can admit their flaws and either find a way around them or simply live with them and move on are often easier to deal with and a lot more humble at times since knowing yourself tends to mean that you know when you’ve reached your limit or when something doesn’t feel right for you. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but in this instance, it sounds as though Hunnam didn’t see the project working out the way that it needed to and stepped away rather than trying to force anything.
It’s easy to think that Segel and the rest of the cast were a bit taken back by Hunnam’s refusal and they likely said quite a few things in order to get him to stay, but as it stands, Charlie went his way and the movie picked up Brand and things turned out just fine.