With director Guy Ritchie at the helm of “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” the film promises to deliver a version of the ancient legend that is more action packed than ever.
Actor Charlie Hunnam of “Sons of Anarchy” plays the title role. Arthur has a tough childhood, growing up on the streets of Camelot, but must come back to the society from whence he came when he pulls the sword from the stone.
Djimon Hounsou (“Gladiator,” “Blood Diamond”) joins the knights of the table as Sir Bedivere, who must help guide Arthur back to the throne, even if Arthur may not want to be king.
The film’s star studded cast also includes Jude Law as Vortigern, a warlord, and Eric Bana as Uther Pendragon, Arthur’s father.
The DePaulia took part in a conference call with Hunnam and Hounsou about the film.
What do you think makes this film special or unique in its telling of the story?
Hunnam: Well, I think that Guy Ritchie’s sensibility as a filmmaker is just so unique. What makes any story exciting is the vision of the director. And ultimately — you know, we talk about the fact that King Arthur has been told many times, but ultimately King Arthur is one version of the telling of the hero’s journey, which is one of the archetypal stories, the three or four stories that we dress up different ways that we tell over and over and over again — having Guy Ritchie at the helm immediately makes this fresh and original and unique because there’s nobody out there that really has that vision that he has as a filmmaker.
Being a Guy Ritchie film, I know there’s going to be a lot of humor in it, but how much of the humor in the film is in the script and how much was left to you guys to add into the movie?
Hounsou: Well, I did not see much humor in the script. I think the humor sort of came organically as we were interacting with Guy Ritchie as our director.
Hunnam: Guy Ritchie’s not much of a — he’s not much of a preparation man. He really has an extraordinary ability to work in real time. And so the script for Ritchie is really just a blueprint and the whole thing’s going to come alive on the day, which is why he’s very specific about the team he puts together because he wants some like-minded people that he feels have the ability to contribute to the process and that’s why it’s exciting for Hounsou and I.
What audience do you hope the film will attract?
Hounsou: Well, it’s a story of all people. I think it’ll attract a lot of people and certainly most of us can relate to this king. Certainly, this interpretation of Guy Ritchie and certainly having to witness this heir to the throne that I, Bedivere, has been looking for for 25 years and finally he manifested himself by drawing the sword out of the stone, that was quite exciting.
Hunnam: I think for me at least, the people that I’m most excited about seeing this film are the young generation because it seems to me that there’s a lot of disillusionment in the kids of today. My little brother’s much, much younger than me and he just graduated university(…)graduated top of his class and I was so proud of him when I call — and I was away working, so I called him and I said (bro,) I’m just so proud of you and congratulations and I’m sorry that I couldn’t be there with you today, and he was so dismissive and he said, ‘yes, well maybe now I’ll be able to get a job at McDonald’s.’ And it like was an insight into the youth of today.
And I understand it because it’s more competitive, there’s less opportunity but I firmly believe, as I think Hounsou does, that anybody in this world is capable of anything. You just have to cultivate a sense of belief in yourself and know that the journey’s going to be difficult and you’re going to have to endure failures, but you get knocked down five times and you get up six. And that’s just the key to achieving what you want.
But it’s so important in this world. You only have one life and your only responsibility is to be true to yourself and live that life as fully as you can. And I think that’s ultimately the message of the film, which I think hopefully is a really universal one.