TVLine's Performer of the Week: Charlie Hunnam

Charlie Hunnam Suits of Woe

A weekly feature in which we spotlight shining stars

THE PERFORMER | Charlie Hunnam

THE SHOW | Sons of Anarchy

THE EPISODE | “Suits of Woe

THE AIRDATE | November 18, 2014

THE PERFORMANCE | Ever since Sons of Anarchy first revved its engines for the series’ final ride, we’ve anxiously awaited the crucial moment when Jax would learn the identity of Tara’s true killer. We knew that moment wouldn’t come until late in the season — Episode 10, to be exact — and we knew that Jax would likely come undone as soon as he discovered his own mother murdered the love of his life.

What we couldn’t anticipate, though, was just how breathtaking Charlie Hunnam would be in his portrayal of a man learning of a devastating betrayal.

For most of Sons’ final season, Jax has shown mere glimpses of the heartache he feels over Tara’s death — a few somber monologues around the table with his SAMCRO brothers, a sudden wave of emotion after sleeping with prostitute Winsome. Deep down, Jax has been hurting; Tuesday’s episode allowed Hunnam to bring that pain to the surface in the most spectacular way.

As Jax sat across from Juice (an also-terrific Theo Rossi) and heard the exact words he was hoping he wouldn’t — “She must have gotten in a brawl with Gemma” — Hunnam didn’t have to say a word to communicate Jax’s grief. Instead, you could see it in the way his shoulders shook, in the way he hung his head, in the way his eyes flickered past confusion, anger and despair in a matter of seconds. Many Sons fans considered the season’s first 10 episodes an opening act for this moment when Jax would learn the truth — and Hunnam did not disappoint.

Later, as Jax commiserated with Nero about Gemma’s betrayal, Hunnam once again lowered his character’s guard in a way we hadn’t yet seen. “How could she do this to Tara?” he sobbed, holding his head in his hands. “How could she do this?” And them with a mixture of horror, shame and grief, he admitted that, despite Gemma’s actions, he still loved her. “She’s my mother,” he wailed.

There is perhaps no character on TV right now who’s quite as conflicted and tormented as Jax Teller. With so many of us anticipating Jax’s anguish in this week’s episode, Hunnam had a tall order to fill — and his performance exceeded all expectations.

EPHONORABLE MENTION | “I know who you are.” When American Horror Story: Freak Show’s Jimmy said those five words to Dell, revealing for the first time that he was aware the strong man is his father, the lobster boy’s portrayer, Evan Peters, released so much sadness with his tears that we didn’t just want to give him an Honorable Mention, we wanted to give him a hug. What followed, as Jimmy begged Dell to admit it was true, was nothing short of a master class in vulnerability. Between this scene and the actor’s face-off with Jessica Lange and his impressive rendition of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are,” we can only conclude that — in the best of all possible ways — he’s a total freak.

JMHONORABLE MENTION | “Have I made you proud, father?” It’s not every day six simple words send an icy chill running down our spines, but then again, it’s not every day those words are delivered with acute precision by The OriginalsJoseph Morgan. Monday’s episode forced Klaus to face his estranged father after centuries, and while the exchange was difficult for the immortal orphan, the true burden fell on Morgan, who channeled his character’s rage, pain and fear into a silver bullet that shot straight through viewers’ hearts. The look on Klaus’ face as he held his dying father in his arms will haunt our nightmares — and our DVRs — for eternity.

What performances rocked your TV set this week? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. indigo15 says:

    My performer of the week would have to be Viola Davis on “How To Get Away With Murder.” The way she portrayed Annalise orchestrating the events of “Murder Night” was masterful. And I have to give major props to Kerry Washington, who gave what I feel is one of her best performances ever in her scene with Jeff Perry toward the end of this week’s “Scandal” winter finale.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      I so agree about Viola Davis. She takes this character, who is clearly flawed, and, in less capable hands, incredibly unlikeable, and makes us root for her, while keeping us on these of our seats. I hope she’s given serious Emmy consideration!

    • The Beach says:

      The first time I remember seeing Viola Davis was in the movie “Doubt” with Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman and she was so good that she held her own with those two acting powerhouses. I’ve enjoyed her in everything since. She is an amazing actress and I’m so glad she’s on my TV screen. (I’m not, however, as big a fan as you or Ms Washington’s acting abilities).

    • chris1 says:

      I agree, Viola, Kerry and Jeff where amazing! I know they have been nominated in past episodes, but who cares, when your good, your damn good!

  2. King says:

    No Allison Janney? You should have different articles for comedy and drama especially now it’s a new season there are a lot of really good performances.

  3. fiona says:

    Thought jomo was over the top like he is every week those tears loose their meaning when he sheds them every single week so I cant get behind that choice at all

  4. Goldie says:

    Charlie Hunnam and Evan Peters are excellent choices. I wish Frances O’Conner from the Missing would get a mention. That show is so suspenseful and brilliant. Its so underrated as most shows on Starz are.

    • Gern Blanston says:

      You know that’s right. The first episode of The Missing was amazing and I haven’t read anything about it anywhere.

  5. Sal says:

    I love SOA and Charlie as much as the next, but this week all I could focus on was how he was in and out of an American accent. It totally took the emotion out of scenes for me, it’s all I could think about while watching. I wonder if it’s because there was no score in most of his scenes.

    • suzi says:

      I know some people have a problem getting past the accent, but I’ve been watching SOA from the beginning–when I hear Hunnam now I just hear Jax, who has a unique way of speaking.

    • I’ve noticed that more and more his accent is coming out but I’m good with it.

    • The Beach says:

      I realize this is “Jax speak” and I’ve gotten used to it and been ok with it through the seasons but I get what Sal is saying. It seems to be more noticeable this season and it’s been a bit distracting to me this season too. Still, a great performance from Charlie. With Jax, Gemma, Nero, Tig and Venus they are knocking it out of the park this year acting-wise.

    • Kelly says:

      He has fallen out of his American accent the last few episodes at moments, last episode was constantly though I agree!

    • Netty says:

      I don’t even notice it, I just love how he talks.

    • ...... says:

      Don’t be petty, how racist do you sound right now, so because it was a Non-american accent, you did not connect with his performance. Pathetic.

      • The Beach says:

        WTF? Sounds like someone needs to learn the definition of “racist”… SMH

        • Kelly says:

          I have no problem with his accent, I love it actually! I didn’t start watching it until season 4 and caught up on Netflix. When I started I was confused if he was suppose to have it and I missed something or if Charlie actually had an accent. Then I never heard it for a few seasons and now I’ve noticed it again. That’s all, I’ve just noticed when he gets emotional (be screaming angry or upset) it comes out. I don’t have a problem with it and love the show and Charlie! Just an observation…

          • katrina says:

            I noticed it this last episode. I don’t care he can speak anyway and it’s great. I wonder if it’s insanely hard when you are crying and super emotional to try to keep the American accent. It would for me. I’m happy he was chosen as potw!

  6. Phyllis Gallagher says:

    Kasha Kopinski as Ruth on
    Hell on Wheels “13 Steps

  7. What? No Jimmy Smits? Viola Davis and Theo Rossi.

  8. The two honorable mentions were fantastic and, with all due respect to Charlie Hunnam, deserved to have top ranking.

  9. angelwings1 says:

    I agree 100% with the choice of Charlie Hunnam as the Performer Of The Week, he turned in the best performance that’s ever been seen in Sons of Anarchy bar none.

  10. Maya says:

    Oh TVLine, Joseph Morgan?! I used to love him on TVD but come on. There are so many much more deserving actors who deserved that spot instead.

  11. rachelle says:

    Who didn’t see this coming?? Very well deserved. Charlie Hunnam was absolutely fantastic. Viola Davis would be my honorable mention.

  12. Leah says:

    Loved Joseph Morgan these last two weeks. He really brought it in that scene with his father. Really sad to watch but so good

  13. Netty says:

    That last scene between Nero and Jax should get Charlie and Emmy. It was raw & heartbreaking and was delivered with such intensity and emotion. Everytime I think about it, I tear up. Charlie Hunnam knocked everyone out of the park this week. He was brilliant.
    I also feel Theo Rossi delivered the best perfomance of this career on SOA, he’d be my honourable mention.

  14. rachelb says:

    what about jack falahee, tom verica or even viola davis for how to get away with murder! those 3 were fantastic this week!

  15. Ma says:

    i hate his accent. took me out of some scenes lol

    • Guest says:

      I feel people that rag on him for his accent are very discriminating and petty, so what is it! you don’t like the English accent or maybe you don’t like your precious American accent being mixed up with other accents. There’s nothing wrong with his accent, he could have any accent in the world and would still deliver a great performance every week just like he did last episode. If you are that superficial then stop watching the show!

      • Hannah says:

        You need to study what real discrimination is, goodness. British people notice when American actors struggle with British accents. It’s a part of a performance and it is as fair to critique as how well they do sad scenes or something like that.

  16. Aidan says:

    I’m sorry were you not watching how to get away with murder this week?

  17. katie says:

    All due respect. .. but SOA is the ONLY TV show we watch and Charlie Hunnam killed it in this scene as he does each episode. Raw emotion….I can’t wait to see his as well as all other actors from this series in future projects. Kurt Sutter ….Hats off to a job very well done….

  18. All good things must end but this is one ride that should never end!

  19. Bwhit says:

    First performer of the week I have agreed with 100% this fall TV season. Charlie saved all that emotion for that moment and delivered in a big way. Jax was broken and for the first time in 10 episodes, he wasn’t planning his next move. I lost it with him when he cried and said “how could she do that to Tara?” He asked what we have all been thinking since it happened. Theo Rossi and Jimmy Smits were excellent too.

  20. Shannon says:

    Nicole Beharie from Sleepy Hollow did a pretty great job this week. She’s great in every ep but this episode showed a huge amount of talent. Even Lyndie Greenwood or Aunjanue Ellis as a guest star. Adelaide Kane and Toby Regbo of Reign should have least gotten a mention. They’re phenomenal talent, every week.

  21. Fran says:

    I knew Charlie Hunnam would get it this week- well deserved! Jimmy Smits was fantastic too and a close, close second for me. Also agree with the other choices. I’m glad you’re spreading the performers around this year.

  22. lululime says:

    I thought Mandy Patinkin was excellent this week. He usually has to be stoic and keep Saul at a simmer. But under this week’s circumstances, he delivered in an outstanding episode.

  23. ? says:

    I thought this one was a toss-up between Charlie Hunnam and Kasha Kropinski, but I guess no one from TVline watches Hell on Wheels. Too bad, she far outclassed either of the two runner-ups.

  24. LABete says:

    I’m so glad you gave the POTW to Charlie Hunnam. I have never seen any performance quite like what he delivered during the course of that episode. From his stoic determination to find out the truth behind Abel’s revelation, to his absolutely willing Juice to tell him the truth, to his horror when he finds out, and finally to his breakdown in the final scene with Nero when he realizes that despite everything, he still loves his evil mom. He delivered an epic tour de force! I would’ve also included Jimmy Smits in your HM’s. The scene where we watch his face as he hears the truth over the phone and then can’t even get the words out to Gemma was also amazing. I hope this episode is submitted for Emmy consideration for both actors.

  25. carolyn says:

    Performer of the week is definitely Charlie Hunnam. I felt every emotion he was conveying. Great, phenomenal acting.

  26. abz says:

    Definitely agree with the choice. I have been very critical of this season of SOA and have not completely been a fan of the direction Jax’s character has been taken in, however, Charlie Hunnam did an excellent job this episode. Felt so many emotions while watching the episode. He did an excellent job.
    Also, I think Jimmy Smits should’ve been an honourable mention. That entire scene with Gemma and his breakdown afterwards was so heartbreaking.

  27. thx to all , that you all use my pic. We were the first on twitter SonsFansGermany. at least 4Noises Look for yourself on Twitter (SonsFansGermany) to controll that . Every week we are trying to post to you the pics first.We cut from the episode directly before US start beginns , pics which we mean are important. You have no own ideas ?Awesome Next time we make logos on the pics

  28. Rose Hannon says:

    I always felt like I was part of samcro even though it is a TV show in this last season when watching each episodes wow the anxiety I have watching it is likea actually being there and being apart of it, the emotions and I’m truley gonna miss this show it is part of my life its like samcro is part of my family, Thank all of yous for this wonderful show love every single one of you guys like family. Love Rose

  29. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    Love SOA, REALLY LOVE Charlie Hunnam he deserves it’s! I also say Viola Davis as well HTGAWM has become my new favorite show. Viola killed it in that winter finale…..just my thought these 2 are my top performers of the week!!

  30. Gia says:

    Hands down Charlie Hunnam! No disrespect to the other actors because their great (SOA) but without Charlie as Jax we wouldn’t be having a discussion!

  31. Christy says:

    I think that Jax will not kill Gemma. He will leave SAMCRO and take the kids and never let Gemma see her Grandkids again. The Club will never want anything to do with her again, all she ever had was SAMCRO and Jax and the kids as her family. She had Nero who really loved her, I think after loosing everyone most important in her life, I think she will take her own life and spare Jax the pain of having to kill his own mother himself.

  32. King Kulina says:

    Jonathan Tucker who plays Jay Kulina on Kingdom. BRILLIANT.

    • Bwhit says:

      Yes! Kingdom is phenomenal and is making the sadness about losing SOA a little better. I love the choice this week with Charlie Hunnam and hope that Jonathan Tucker, Frank Grillo and Matt Lauria get their due this season.

  33. Sandy says:

    i think Jax will banish Gemma from the family and let her live in her own torment! No one will ever forgive her and she’s lost a love, Nero! Forcing Jax to destroy his club where he wanted to build respect! I really hope the series adds more episodes!!!

  34. Kim says:

    toyally agree about SOA & Hunnam

  35. Lynda Tetzlaff says:

    Everyone on SOA has done outstanding work. EVERYONE….

  36. Sandie says:

    I consider myself a well informed tv watcher but I have never been so
    moved by a performance as I was with Jax and juice. Thank you

  37. Allison Knowles says:

    I would add Theo Rossi to the Honorable Mention list. His understated performance was nothing short of brilliant.

  38. Anne says:

    Despite the fact that I feel these character on SOA are basically all more than a little deranged and very delusional I have enjoyed this series and think the acting has been superb! I think episode 10 is the best so far and the scenes between Jax and Juice and Jax and Nero are the best yet! For some strange reason I really want Juice to survive.

  39. Sally says:

    I have to say that Jax’s performance was the best definitely deserves an award for his acting!!

  40. Deborah Tillison says:

    My vote would be Jimmy Smits in SOA and Kasha Kropinski in second in Hell onWheels. Jimmy Smits face told the whole story about what he was hearing on the phone. To find out the person you love has done something so heinous, that was the catalyst for so much resulting carnage, was conveyed totally and beautifully. Kasha Kropinski’s fear at being hanged for something everyone felt was justified was honest and raw, but her faith won out in the end. Both were beautiful performances.

  41. john says:

    I still want Jax to kill that bitch. She’s had too many second chances to live past the end of the series. I got really sick of her thinking those boys were her OWN children instead of just her grandchildren. It got so bad that her ‘love’ for those boys went from kind-hearted to obsessive and even maniacal. For Jax and his sons’ own good, she needs to die.

  42. Charlie really hit it out of the park in “Suits of Woe”. It was a devastating episode for a Sons fan.

    I started to rewatch the series from episode 1 this week and am now on season 3. It is amazing to watch Charlie’s progression as an actor. He has really come into his own and become a fantastic actor over these last 7 seasons. Props to him.