Charlie Hunnam has landed himself a big space opera role as the roguish – and, bizarrely, Northern Irish – mercenary Kai in Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon. But it turns out that he almost landed a sci-fi holy grail two decades ago: the job of portraying Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels.
Hunnam revealed that he met with George Lucas about the Star Wars role ahead of Hayden Christensen joining the Star Wars cast for Attack of the Clones. The future leading man of the Sons of Anarchy cast was stunned to have got as far as actually meeting the man behind the galaxy far, far away, but left pretty sure that he wouldn’t get to play the most significant of all Star Wars characters.
“I don’t think [Lucas] meets a lot of actors,” Hunnam told Entertainment Tonight. “I think there was probably, maybe, two to three actors they were considering. I don’t remember much about it. I remember that I was nervous and I was a little bit awkward. I just remember walking out and thinking: ‘Well, I’m definitely not getting that role’. And I was correct.”
Hayden Christensen was mostly unknown when he landed the role of Anakin Skywalker. There were some huge names in the mix, including none other than Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as Paul Walker and Topher Grace. It’s hard to imagine DiCaprio revisiting the role decades later as part of the Ahsoka cast, isn’t it?
But Hunnam definitely would’ve been a fascinating choice to play Anakin. He would instead spend the early noughties establishing himself with new movies including Nicholas Nickleby, in which he played the title role, and Green Street Hooligans. If he’d mixed up the roles, we could’ve got Anakin with a dodgy Cockney accent.
It’s not the only major near-miss in Hunnam’s career either. Famously, he was attached to play Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades trilogy, until his commitments to Sons of Anarchy got in the way. Given that it’s among the best TV series ever made, we’d say he made a good call by prioritizing Sons of Anarchy.
Christensen is now likely to appear in new Star Wars movies and Star Wars series, with his performance getting a lot of love and Christensen saying he wants to stay in Star Wars. The world is reappraising the prequels and many have decided they were actually good. We’ve sat through Attack of the Clones enough to seriously disagree.