TVLine's Performer of the Week: Charlie Hunnam

Sons of Anarchy Season 5 SpoilersA new feature in which we spotlight the past week’s shining star

THE PERFORMER | Charlie Hunnam

THE SHOW | Sons of Anarchy (FX)

THE EPISODE | “J’ai Obtenu Cette”

THE AIRDATE | December 4, 2012

RELATED | Sons of Anarchy Boss Talks Finale Shockers, [Spoilers’] Fates — Plus: Early Season 6 Scoop!

THE PERFORMANCE | Jax Teller completed his transformation into a new man this week during the gritty drama’s season finale, in which he officially became the ruthless outlaw leader he’d long despised. Hunnam turned in yet another impeccable, nuanced performance in the final 90 minutes of Sons‘ fifth season as the underrated actor expressed a range of emotions rarely seen from the King of Charming.

He feigned ignorance while being questioned about Damon Pope’s murder (“You give me way too much credit. I’m just a mechanic looking out for my family.”). He showed fatherly affection to troubled Son Juice (“I’m proud of you,” with a kiss). He complacently accepted his fate of morphing into Clay’s equal (“Maybe I’m not so different…”). And Hunnam conquered it all.

His most poignant work, however, involved no dialogue and came about in the installment’s final moments: his cold, unnerving glare in response to his wife being carted off to jail for something she did to help save him and his club. It was a unsettling parting shot and a perfect cap to Hunnam’s triumphant season.

HONORABLE MENTION | Suburgatory‘s Parker Young for his fearless, fully committed, Incredible Hulk-inspired meltdown upon Ryan’s discovery that he was adopted.

Which performance knocked your socks off this past week?

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49 Comments
  1. Warren says:

    Eh, I find him overrated as an actor, especially this season. His British accent was coming out in every single screaming match he had, haha. I thought Ron and Katey were particularly outstanding in the scene where Gemma betrays Clay, they’re the best when it comes to subtle acting. And Maggie was incredible in the scene where Tara gets arrested, I don’t even like her and I obviously felt her pain. Even Kim Coates was great after he kills Pope and also Drea de Matteo when Wendy visited Tara’s office. Idk, Charlie Hunnam is a wierd choice, when his supporting players have always outshined him in SoA. But w/e, to each their own.

    • Mina says:

      To be honest, I agree and I was such a champion for his acting in past seasons. It seemed much more natural in 2 and 3. I’d even go into the episodes hoping there would be no outbursts because of all the accent tics. Maggie Siff, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal all had some incredible moments in the finale. I might even give the edge to Ron for creating an air of sympathy around his character at a time when I didn’t believe it was possible. That scene with Ron, Theo and Katey especially stood out for me.

      Even though many people seem divided, I really enjoyed this season and thought many if not all the regular cast had some great, shining moments throughout.

      • Warren says:

        I really didn’t enjoy the season, but I agree, the acting was still top notch. I think this show really lucked out with such a stellar cast because I’ve been on the fence with the writing and the direction of the show since season 3. Slow decline from there and then season 5 just was a mess. Nothing felt cohesive for me. :( Still love the actors, particularly Katey, Kim, Tommy, and Ron so I’m going to continue watching. It’s only two more seasons, so.

      • Ruby says:

        There are plenty of great actors who aren’t great at hiding their accents when they need to. Ewan McGregor, for one. Being able to perfect an accent doesn’t equal being a great actor.

    • katie says:

      yea charlie said that he cringes at his work in seasons 1 and 2 bc all he could focus on was working on the accent that he couldn’t develop jax. lol. guess what charlie? having an american accent IS part of the job! plus, i think there was an interview where he said dialect coaches are expensive.

    • Betz Kimble says:

      YUP as you say, to each his own, Warren…but I daresay there are about a million and a half fans around the world that are wholeheartedly disagreeing with you right now- who cares if Charlies’ British accent is heard? Is that really important? (What are people from Charming supposed to sound like?) The entire cast ensemble deserves kudos for the last 5 seasons…It’s because of concrete minds like yours within the industry, that SOA doesn’t grab up nominations, and well deserved wins-

      • Warren says:

        Just because a “million and a half fans” disagree with me doesn’t make my opinion any less valid. Like we both said, “to each their own.” Good for you guys not being bothered by his acting coming out, and I genuinly mean it. I wish it didn’t bother me because I truly want to enjoy this so-called “amazing performance.” But sadly, it bothers me and it’s distracting enough to me that it take away certain power of certain scenes. For example, that scene where Jax assaults Wendy? It could’ve been SO MUCH MORE powerful to me had his accent not slipped. “(What are people from Charming supposed to sound like?” Uhh, not British since it’s Charming, CALIFORNIA, USA? Just saying. But good for you guys! :)

      • Anne says:

        I have to agree with you with regards to the accent. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest I focus on the acting, the facial expressions etc. Quite frankly Ron Perlman trying to sound sexy or bad ass irks me more…the accents he puts on his words sound like something out of a Looney tune cartoon. I tune in each week to watch the storylines, Quite honestly if it wasn’t for Charlie, Maggie and the supporting cast I wouldn’t bother with the show. Katey and Ron leave me cold acting wise.

    • Kelly Adey says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Warren – to me Hunnam is one of the weaker acting links in the Sons ensemble. They’re all *good*, but I don’t think he’s a standout performer and (as you say) this week’s episode really showcased other people much better.

    • Lyndsey says:

      The slight British accent that comes out when Hunnam gets upset is one of the things I actually love about him!! It’s far better than listening to these actors butcher my own Southern accent or any other. What’s more important, that he stringently keep an American accent or that he emotionally invests in his scenes to deliver knockout performances (which he’s done all season)! Seriously, when he saved Tig and we learned what his plan had been, all I could do was cheer at the TV because it was absolutely brilliant…it’s not often you can knock out 2 enemies in one shot while keeping your hands, figuratively, clean!!! Fantastic work this season by everyone involved in this show. That scene with Gemma, Clay, & Juice was one of my favorites ever on the show too!

    • Ari says:

      If Kim Coates doesn’t win a peformer of the week nod from TV Line or some kind of recognition for his work it’s a crime. He’s so good that even when you should hate Tig, you still can’t help but love him.

      • Pat D. says:

        Plus, you cant deny his stirring performance when Venus Van Dam showed up! LOL

      • Ken says:

        Kim Coates’ range of emotions in the finale was spectacular and he deserves a LOT of recognition for it. His face when he saw the poor dogs fighting and about to be killed….and the dead dogs in the dumpster…..was spot on. Here’s a guy who kills people without blinking an eye…yet he melted when he saw those dogs. Just for that scene alone….he deserves credit He nailed it….but he also was awesome in the “betrayal” scene and especially after he killed Pope when Jax tried to hug him…and he pulled back with emotion….then broke down. Just amazing acting…and totally deserving of the “performer of the Week” award. He was robbed

  2. Joe says:

    i completely agree with Warren. I’d hoped someone from American Horror Story (Ian McShane, Lily Rabe) or SOA (Ron Pearlhman, Katey Sagal, Maggie Siff) but my last pick out of both shows would have been Hunnam. I feel like he’s the weakest in the Son’s cast. His acting always feels like it’s half-a**ed or forced, never genuine. Especially when Katey, Ron, or Jimmy Smits are so clearly outshining him every week I would have thought someone else would be more deserving.

    • Warren says:

      I’m glad you brought Jimmy Smits up, he was definitely a highlight of season 5. His scenes with Gemma were so good, the chemistry between those two was amazing to watch. Anyway, yes, Smits was a great fit for SoA and yep, I never really bought Charlie in the role of Jax. Too preppy looking, hahaha.

      • Pat D. says:

        I just hope that chemistry didn’t get ol’ Kurt jealous, LOL…Jimmy’s character might meet a painful death next season!

    • Kelly Adey says:

      Word on Smits. He brought a lot to the programme this season, and I hope Nero is at least present next time round – very interesting change to the dynamics.

  3. Aleksa says:

    Oh, I totally agree with Parker Young. I think that was the hardest I’ve laughed at a sitcom all season.

  4. isablle says:

    I agree with this pick. CH was amazing in the finale. I loved how he pushed the situation with Tig to the last second then saved him. His shining scene for me this season was when he told Bobby and Chibs the truth about his father and why he needed to keep going after Clay. Acting wise this season was amazing but a lot of the plots I hated. Don’t agree with Gemma being the bad guy or Clay still alive.

    • Warren says:

      “Acting wise this season was amazing but a lot of the plots I hated. Don’t agree with Gemma being the bad guy or Clay still alive.” Couldn’t agree more! I never bought the whole catfight between Gemma and Tara in the first place, so seeing them fight again the finale was just eye-roll inducing. And yep, seem like they’re setting up Gemma to be the season 6 version of Clay. Ugh, ridiculous. And I still think they should’ve killed Clay in season 4. However, Ron gave his best performance in season 4 and 5, so I’m SORT OF glad they kept him. But storywise? It makes no sense why he is still alive… :/

  5. i love that the supporting cast is just as strong as the main cast– chibs, juice, tig, bobby, nero even wendy is great. the plots may be not so great sometimes but the acting is always top notch. i think charlie did fantastic in the last scene where he and tara were fighting over the papers and then when she got arrested. tara, gemma, clay and jax did fantastic this season.

  6. Ann says:

    I’m french but i don’t understand the title, can someone explain to me what did he get ? (“j’ai obtenu cette”~”I got that”, but that don’t mean anything in French, words missing!!!)

    • Kelly Adey says:

      Reference to the tag “I got this” which has appeared throughout this season.

      • Ann says:

        Thanks, in French it would be “je l’ai obtenu” ;-)

        • MaryAnnMc says:

          I studied a lot of years of French, but I am far from fluent. Just looking at “je l’ai obenu” would translate to me as “I obtained it,” assuming it is not an idiom in French. That’s different from the American “I got this” which means, “I have this situation handled.” So which does the French phrase, “Je l’ai obtenu” mean, “I obtained this,” or “I have this handled” ?

          • MaryAnnMc says:

            Ok I may have read wrong. I just realized you said “obenu”. That is not what I thought I read when I made my comment. Please disregard what I said.

          • Ann says:

            In French the correct translation is “je l’ai eu”. I kept “obtenu” only because it was in the title.

  7. emma says:

    I find Charlie Hunnam UNDERRATED. so good choice(s… Ryan was preciously impeccable too)

  8. Tony Gucci says:

    I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR THIS SHOW TO COME ON EVERY WEEK. HOWEVER, I HEAR THAT NEXT YEAR WILL BE THE FINAL YEAR. I HOPE THAT IS NOT TRUE IT IS ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS ON TELEVISION.

    • Warren says:

      The show has already been renewed for season 6 and 7, I believe! Kurt Sutter says he still has planned on ending it with 7 seasons, but nothing is set in stone yet. So we have at least 2 more seasons.

  9. kiki says:

    I agree about that last scene. Maggie Siff was brilliant in that as she saw Jax look coldly at her and then look away she drew a deep breath and realized she was alone again. She had been dealing with loneliness all season as Jax concentrated on his club. His desertion of her is almost complete. He has chosen this club over her every single time. Broke every promise and has forgiven Gemma and come back to her because she helped get Clay. Tara got them out from under RICO but she is given total coldness. I hope Sutter believes Karma is a bitch. Jax Teller has transformed into Clay in this brilliant performance and may he learn just as Clay did that his Lady Love was in the end the only thing he still wanted.

    • H.Houston says:

      I agree with your comments about Tara.

      I hope next season she gets the boys and leaves.

      I have been where she is… there is nothing good enough that will ever fix what Jax has done to her.

    • Pat D. says:

      I agree. Maggie’s performance in that scene was the high point of the season for her, IMHO.

  10. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I could probably be okay with anyone from that show winning this week. They all did great. I think my favorites from the week though were whoever the heck that guy is that plays Abu Nazir on Homeland, and Ian McShane on American Horror Story. Though every time he went to attack someone, I just kept hearing Al Swearengen in my head saying, “Welcome to f—ing Briarcliff! It can be combative!”

  11. SuperJodes says:

    I love the honourable mention! The hulk-out plus the Tessa kiss made it pretty awesome.

  12. A says:

    Yep Eugene Goldfarb was brilliant this week

  13. MaryAnnMc says:

    Well, if the point of the whole series is to morph Jax into what he most despised, the creator of the show is doing an A+ job. But I’m not sure that is what I want to watch. What I want more than anything else in terms of where this show is going is Jax’s redemption and his clean getaway in the end, with Tara and his boys. I guess I better watch as I go, because I will never go back and watch what I missed if the series ends on a major downbeat for Jax and his family.

    • Warren says:

      I agree. I don’t like this tragic journey the show is giving us, where all the characters are to a point of being totally irredeemable. I want nothing more than to see Jax and Tara leave, Gemma to kill Clay and then stick with Nero and forget about the club, and Chibs to become the new President. I think he would lead the club with far less greed and chaos than the Teller-Morrows did. But then again, this show has always had that Shakespearean vibe so. :/ I’m sticking with it for the actors, though, I’m done with the show as far as storytelling is concerned. Season 5 was a mess.

  14. H.Houston says:

    This season was incredibly hard for me to watch. I hope that Jax remembers that he is JT’s son… and not just a Son.

  15. Linda Tomek says:

    I love Charlie, he is great in this role, I have not really noticed his Brit accent coming through!! All the actors in this show are top notch, I definately think Katy deserves a Oscar and that SOA deserves to win many awards. I as well hope that things do turn around for Jax and his family and Sutter can back off this tragic road that he is taking the show down at this point. I know one thing for sure tho the next two seasons will be a hell of a ride and I hope leave us all begging for more. One more thing I think the man that plays Bobby is a hell of a character actor as well. Ride on SOA!!!’

  16. Ram510 says:

    I’m did y’all not see Scandal this week? How could the “performer of the week” not go to Scandal this week? Take your pick, the whole cast put on a stellar performance the entire episode, I can’t say the same for SOA this week.

  17. shuayb says:

    KERRY WASHINGTON should be performer of the week. Girl was on fire. That breakdown in the first closet even had me choking! It was so amazing! She should be getting a Golden Globe Nomination and win for this episode. Seriously!

  18. Ruby says:

    Of the week? Try the YEAR. Charlie has KILLED this season on SoA. Most underrated actor on TV. Especially when he doesn’t have any lines…his face is incredibly expressive.

  19. Matt says:

    I had to laugh when I read this article. He is easily one of the worst actors on TV right now. He plays Jax on the same level episode after episode and it hasn’t changed since season one. All he does it make angry faces and do a weird walk. And let’s not even get started on the accent.

  20. cjeffery7 says:

    nomination for next week, though i realize it’s a HUUUUUUUUUGE stretch:
    intern heather from grey’s anatomy for simultaneously taking 3 phone calls on two cell phones while being stared at by madusa and callie. comedic genius!

  21. rentacar3 says:

    I think the entire cast is awesome. I don’t see homw anyone could say that Charlie was bad cause he was terrific, Ron shows time and again what an excellent actor he is and Katey blows me away week after week. I thought I’d die when they killed Opie but the pain it caused Jax was evident in his expression. MY FAVORITE SHOW EVER…..

  22. Verna says:

    Charlie is an amazing actor. Glad to see him finally getting noticed and I love his accent.

  23. Dennis Fischer says:

    Thank you, all the folks that recognize finally what a truly GREAT ACTOR Kim is. His emotional range is by far, one of the best on SOA!!!