You know what they say: It's always better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. For British actor Charlie Hunnam, that's just a way of life. He goes after what he wants, even if what he wants happens to be a custom, hand-forged steel sword.
The 37-year-old actor has been known to steal things from his sets, like the Harley-Davidson motorcycle he swiped from FX's Sons of Anarchy after the biker drama had wrapped. He's also fessed up to stealing clothes and rings from the show's wardrobe department. So when the actor landed the role of Arthur in Guy Ritchie's stylish fantasy epic King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (out now), it was pretty much guaranteed that he was going to try and nab something from the set. This time, however, he wasn't so slick.
"I was going to steal a sword. They didn't want to give me one, so I said, 'Well, OK. That's no problem. I'm from Newcastle upon Tyne, I'll just steal one,'" Hunnam told MTV News at the New York press day for King Arthur. "And then as I was in the act of stealing it, I got caught."
After catching him in the act, the armorer told Hunnam that Ritchie had commissioned a "really beautiful" version of Excalibur and that the director planned on presenting it to him as a wrap gift. There's only one problem: Hunnam never got his damn sword.
"I don't know what happened to my sword," he said. "I don't know if Guy decided to sell it on eBay or what happened. Maybe it's in his office." Unless, of course, Ritchie gifted it to someone else instead. Someone like, say, Hunnam's costar Jude Law. "Jude Law gets everything — everything he wants," Hunnam added.
But Hunnam isn't too bitter about the whole thing. After all, he still got to play one of his childhood heroes. The actor's obsession with the Arthurian legends started with John Boorman's 1981 fantasy film Excalibur. "I'd spent many hours as a child running around the countryside with fake swords pretending to be a knight and playing Arthur," he said.
More than 30 years later, Hunnam found himself pulling the fabled sword from the stone, now reimagined as his father Uther's calcified body, in a Hollywood movie. (It was an important scene that took "many, many, many" takes to get just right.) Not too bad for a scrawny kid from northern England.
"On the day I pulled the sword, which is this big epic moment you have to have in any rendering of the Arthur legend, there was certainly a sense of coming full circle," he said. "That my own sense of destiny that I've fought my whole life to manifest had come to fruition in that moment. I thought to myself, 'It's pretty amazing how the world works.'"