Charlie Hunnam Reshaped His Superhero Body to Fit in Costume for Crimson Peak
Get ready to see another side of Jax Teller. This week, Charlie Hunnam, the 35-year-old who played beloved-but-troubled motorcycle club president on Sons of Anarchy, ventures into Halloween movie territory as Dr. Alan McMichael in the Victorian gothic horror film, Crimson Peak. Hunnam plays a Buffalo, New York-based American ophthalmologist who is madly crushing on Edith Cushing (portrayed by Mia Wasikowska). Too bad she went off and married Thomas Sharpe (played by Tom Hiddleston). This is actually the role Hunnam took when he turned down Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, but don't worry—this film gives fans many opportunities to view his sexiness.
The woman tasked with making Mr. Hunnam look so darned good was costume designer Kate Hawley. InStyle caught up with her this week at the debut of the Crimson Peak-inspired Bergdorf Goodman windows, where she told us the notoriously tough actor has a tender side. “Charlie is a soft-spoken gentleman, but there’s also a bit of cowboy there,” she said. “He’s a bit like Steve McQueen—beautiful and very cool.”
He was, however, a challenge to design for since his build is, well, large and deliciously muscular. “Men of that era are slimmer and less built up than men today so he had to reshape his body slightly to make it more authentic to the period,” said Hawley. That meant changing up his exercise routine: “He wasn’t doing modern workouts with a lot of heavy weightlifting," she explained. "He did different physical moves to reshape himself so he didn't come in with that V-shape torso.”
For the clothes, that meant putting him in pieces not traditionally Victorian because, let's face it, this is not the guy to squeeze himself into a slim-fit suit. "We wanted to bring out Charlie's inner qualities," she said. "He wore a lot of browns because he represented the Buffalo optimism and wealth. This is actually a difficult color to wear but it worked for Charlie. He made them look beautiful. Boy, did he wear those clothes with swagger.”
See Hunnam's Victorian-era fashion show for yourself when Crimson Peak hits theaters starting Oct. 16.