Hunnam said: "You have to conquer the demons within to be strong enough. While I was playing Arthur, I thought an enormous amount about Conor McGregor, the reigning lightweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His attitude is: 'There is no opponent. I am fighting with myself in the octagon. It's only me and my own fears and the execution of my own ability that is going to win or lose a fight for me.'"
Another source of inspiration that the British actor found in portraying King Arthur was being bullied while growing up.
"As a kid, I got picked on," he said. "I got into a lot of fights, losing some and getting severely beaten a few times. When that happens to you, you just feel like, 'I'm going to do everything in my power to never be in a situation like this again.' Hence you go out and learn how to fight."
That fear that was instilled in him as a youngster made a lasting impact that still affects the way he lives today.
"I still do martial arts training and I'm eager to never let that happen again. But then I developed this tendency to carry [that belligerence] into every room. I wanted people to know, 'Look, if you're going to f*ck with me, it's going to go badly for you.' But then you realize you've become a slave to the thing you're afraid of. In a lot of ways, I started channeling my father," he said.
Hunnam believes that he is coming into his own as a person, and he looks forward to whatever challenges come next in his life.
"As a kid, I spent an enormous amount of time reading the American philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau. He wrote: 'If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.' If you just throw yourself wholeheartedly into your pursuits and the desire to manifest your intention in life, the universe will conspire to help you."
[H/T Red Bulletin, FX]