It's a little-known fact that Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam was originally supposed to play the lead role in the raunchy rom-com Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Now, the actor has finally revealed just why he quit the film ahead of production. During a conversation with Collider, Hunnam explained how he and the film's writer and star, Jason Segel, were good friends, and that Segel wrote the film for the two of them to do together, writing the Aldous Snow role specifically for Hunnam. Ultimately, the role went to British comedian Russell Brand.
"It’s funny, I’ll tell you a little story. Jason Segel wrote Forgetting Sarah Marshall for he and I to do together, and he wrote that role for me. I went and I did the table read and it was very successful. Judd [Apatow] was producing," Hunnam shared. While he was excited about the project, the timing just didn't feel right, so Hunnam opted to bow out. "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," he said."
"Jason was one of my best friends, 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," Hunnam continued. "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 shared that some time later, he saw one of Brand's stand-up comedy specials and realized that it had to have been destiny for the comedian to play Aldous Snow. "It was just this liberating moment where I said, 'Obviously, that’s the dude who should have been playing that role. Clearly, I just needed to step out of the way of the universe manifesting itself, the way that it was supposed to.'"
He continued, "My relationship with Jason gave birth to that character, but there’s no way I could have done it justice the way Russell Brand did. I think there’s a rhythm to these things and you just have to really follow your instincts. It’s all you can really ever do. I suppose I brought that up because it’s a nice example of my instincts being proven to me that it was correct, I think." Finally, Hunnam revealed, "By the way, I’ve never told anyone that story before. I don’t know if that makes it attractive or not — but it’s a world exclusive."