Charlie Hunnam praises honest director Guy Ritchie

February 28, 2017 GMT

Charlie Hunnam has praised Guy Ritchie for his honesty on the set of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’.

The 36-year-old actor plays the titular role in the director’s upcoming fantasy film and he enjoyed the fact that Ritchie encouraged a dialogue between himself and the cast on set, which he describes as a “freeing process”.

In an interview with Collider, Hunnam said: “Guy has a sort of inability to fully visualize or understand or even allow himself to get excited about a scene before we’re actually on the day, on the set, in costume doing it. So it’s all just sort of framework. So even in that four-hour get-down that we did, he would come in and be like, ‘That’s crap. That dynamic’s not working. Let’s say this. You say that.’ It’s a very freeing process. It sort of threw me a little bit for the first couple of weeks, because it’s very dramatic.”

Hunnam also revealed that the ‘Sherlock Holmes’ director moved away from the typical table reads when production began in favor of staging a play of the film.

He said: “We did something strange and wonderful. I didn’t think it was gonna work at all, but it did. Guy had this wacky idea that he wanted to take an afternoon before we started working and shoot the whole film in four hours on two or three cameras and in a room all in black. We shot the whole film, and that’s where we met. That’s where most of the cast met. It was a baptism of fire. It was such a high-energy, sort of anxiety-inducing experience.”

And the new early stage filmmaking technique helped speed up production further down the line.

Hunnam recalled: “I think there were several elements as to why it was useful to him. First and foremost it was sort of like a table read, but where he could actually see everything edited. Sort of like an elevated table read. Just to see the pace and the tone and a little bit of the dynamics between the characters. So that was the pre-production benefit of it.”

He continued: “As we’ve gone on and they’ve been assembling different sequences that we’ve been shooting, we’ve been able to fill in the gaps with that stuff. So from about halfway into the filming they’ve had the whole film sort of edited with those sections that we hadn’t shot yet filled in with that four-hour thing. Which has been really interesting and helpful to Guy.”

Hunnam has also confirmed expectations that Ritchie’s take on a ‘King Arthur’ film is “grimmer and grittier”.

He said: “As you would imagine, it’s the origin story. It’s the sort of Arthur origin story, of his rise to the throne. So it’s a reinvention certainly of the periods between him being estranged from his family and reuniting with his destiny, with sort of the royal lineage. It’s a very different sort of rendering. Much grimmer and grittier, and in a certain way probably much more modern. The camaraderie feels sort of modern and easily recognizable as boys’ banter, the sort of stuff Guy does very well. But I feel like the world and the pace of the whole thing feels very period. I don’t think it feels like an uber modern rendering of it.”

‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ is due to be released in May and also stars Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Eric Bana and Annabelle Wallis among others.