Before he landed his breakout role as Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy, Charlie Hunnam starred on the Fox comedy Undeclared, which was Judd Apatow‘s follow-up to his cult classic series Freaks and Geeks. Thanks to his role on the college comedy, Hunnam became good friends with the Apatow crew, and he became particularly close to Jason Segel, who went on to write Forgetting Sarah Marshall. What people might not know is that the two friends were so tight that Segel originally wrote the part of British rocker Aldous Snow for Hunnam. Yet Russell Brand ended up playing the role in the film and its spinoff, Get Him to the Greek.
As for what happened to Hunnam, the actor has revealed for the first time why he passed on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which might also explain why he hasn’t appeared in any Apatow projects despite initially being part of that inner circle. Via Collider:
“I was in a dark night of the soul in my career, at that point, and felt as though I needed to seize the trajectory and that just wasn’t really aligning with, at that period of my life and career, what I wanted to be doing. Jason was one of my best friends [the pair had worked together on ‘Undeclared’], which is why he wrote the film for me, but I had to tell him, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m not gonna do this.’ It was one of those things where that wasn’t very well received by the inner circle of that production. I had to stand my ground and say, ‘Listen, it’s nothing personal. I’m just following my North star. I’m just in a weird spot and I’m trying to define for myself what the path forward is.’”
Hunnam also has nothing but praise for Brand’s performance as Aldous Snow, which made him feel like he made the right decision for everyone involved. “Obviously, that’s the dude who should have been playing that role,” Hunnam said. “Clearly, I just needed to step out of the way of the universe manifesting itself, the way that it was supposed to.”