It would seem that body image in Hollywood is still as important as ever, as Charlie Hunnam explained how he nearly lost the lead role in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword because he wasn’t quite in the right shape to take on the character, according to director Guy Ritchie.

Charlie Hunnam leads King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Charlie Hunnam leads King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

“I wasn’t ripped at all when I auditioned,” he explained on The Graham Norton Show. “I’d been in Sons of Anarchy and lost a lot of weight and it was a bit of a stumbling block to me getting the role because Guy had wanted a formidable Arthur.

“[Guy] was very concerned about it and would bring it up a lot during the audition process. I had a eureka moment and the next time Guy brought it up, I said, ‘Do you know what pal? If you are so concerned about my physicality put me in a cage with all the chimpanzees that are auditioning against me and we’ll have a little fight and whoever walks out of the room gets the role.

“I maintain that was the moment I got the part!”

Of course, the actor went on to land the role and shaped up for the flick, and said of the pressure to look good: “It’s all about balance of spectacle and substance and if there is balance I am happy to get my kit off.”

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is available to watch in cinemas now.

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