The role of Jax Teller on Sons of Anarchy was Charlie Hunnam's breakout part after years of supporting roles in movies and television shows. The FX motorcycle gang series made him a star and gave him the confidence to keep his acting career alive. In a new interview with PEOPLE, Hunnam said the show "gave me a career," although he is not sure he would ever play the part again.
Sons of Anarchy "game me the ability to have confidence that I was going to be able to make [acting] work as a lifelong career," Hunnam told the magazine ahead of the release of his new movie, Jungleland. The series, created by Kurt Sutter, ran on FX from 2008 to 2014 and inspired the spin-off Mayans M.C. Hunnam compared filming the show far away from his native U.K. to a college experience. Before SOA, Hunnam's biggest role was the title character in 2002's Nicholas Nickelby. He also had supporting parts in Cold Mountain and Children of Men. But nothing he had done before 2008 could prepare him for the learning experience he had working with Sutter and the SOA cast.
"I think I went into Sons of Anarchy being a pretty unaccomplished actor in terms of my skill set," Hunnam explained. "I wasn't one of these people that were born enormously and innately talented. I had to really cultivate a skill set." Hunnam said he cultivated that skill set on the show. "I feel like that was my college days," he told PEOPLE. "I went in knowing very little about the process of acting and came out knowing a little more."
Although SOA ended with Jax meeting his end, fans have always held out hope to see Hunnam play Jax again in some way. Hunnam told PEOPLE he will "never, ever" but the SOA jacket back on. "It was a very deep experience. I lived with that character inside me for years, like, in a very real way. In a way that manifested in ways that I could never even [have] imagined," Hunnam said. He went on to point out that Jax is "dead now... so there would be no ever bringing him back... When he died, he died."
Since SOA ended, Hunnam has focused on film work. His next, Jungleland, will be available on video on demand platforms on Nov. 10 and co-stars Jack O'Connell. In the film, Hunnam stars as Stanley, who manages his boxing brother Lion (O'Connell). They hit the road after Lion suffers a big loss and lands the two in debt. Hunnam plans to return to television with Shantaram, a new Apple TV+ series about an Australian bank robber living on the run in India.