Perhaps there’s something to the theory of manifestation, at least in the case of Charlie Hunnam.
This story first appeared in the September 5, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
As a teenager, the British actor ripped ads for Calvin Klein’s CK One scent out of magazines and papered his bedroom walls with them. Now, the “Sons of Anarchy” star has been named the face of the newest addition to the Calvin Klein fragrances portfolio, Reveal Men.
“Everyone always thinks the film business is so glamorous, and it really isn’t at all,” Hunnam said with a laugh during an exclusive phone interview with WWD. “Most of the time I’m up at 5 a.m. working outside in the beating sun from sunrise to sunset in some dusty hell of a location. I mean, I love the business, but it’s not at all glamorous. The fashion world — and fragrance [world] — is all about capturing the idea of aspirational living, the most extreme luxury and glamour that life has to offer, and Calvin Klein created that feeling with this shoot.”
Hunnam also appears with Doutzen Kroes in global advertising for the women’s version of Reveal, which launched in July. The men’s ads continue the voyeuristic journey that began with the women’s ads; similarly, the social-media component which began with the women’s launch continues with this one, said Thomas Burkhardt, vice president of global marketing at Calvin Klein Fragrances, part of Coty Inc. Print was shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in collaboration with Doug Lloyd; TV was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, also in cooperation with Lloyd. Print will begin dropping in February and March books; TV will begin running at launch. Reveal Men, which will be launched in February 2015, was developed with Ann Gottlieb and Givaudan’s Marypierre Julien, Olivier Gillotin and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, and has top notes of crystalized ginger, lentisque essence orpur, pear brandy and kiwano; a heart of suede, agave nectar and clary sage, and a drydown of tonka bean, vetiver, organic Haitian orpur and golden amber.
In the U.S., eaux de toilette sprays in three sizes — 1 oz. for $42, 1.7 oz. for $62 and 3.4 oz. for $80 — will be offered, as will a 2.6-oz. deodorant stick, $20. Globally, a 3.4-oz. aftershave spray, a 6.7-oz. aftershave balm, a 6.7-oz. hair and body wash and a 5.4-oz. deodorant body spray will be sold. In the U.S., the scent will be sold in about 4,300 department and specialty store doors; the scent will be sold in 130 global markets.
“Reveal Men Calvin Klein epitomizes the uncompromisingly masculine and bold attitude of the modern man,” said Steve Mormoris, chief marketing officer, fragrances, for Coty Inc. “Charlie perfectly speaks to men who want to intrigue, challenge and seduce.”
Steve Shiffman, chief executive officer of Calvin Klein Inc., added, “The new scent is fresh and unique and builds upon the already robust Calvin Klein Fragrance portfolio.”
While all executives declined comment, industry sources estimated that Reveal Men could do $100 million at retail globally in its first year on counter.
While Hunnam declined to discuss too much of what’s next for Jax Teller, his “Sons of Anarchy” character, he did point out that show creator Kurt Sutter isn’t holding back on the drama for the show, which is currently filming its last season. “Kurt’s always been pretty fearless in the ways he tells these stories, but, this being the last season, there’s no reason to keep anything in reserve. It’s going to be an emotionally charged season,” Hunnam said. (And one heavy on the body count, if Internet rumors are to be believed.)
Acting wasn’t always at the top of Hunnam’s list of career aspirations. “As a young man deciding to be an actor, I had a million different things that I wanted to do, but I would always come back to acting because I felt, through being an actor, I could experience many different versions of life,” he said.
Did he consider any alternate career choices? “Bank robber,” Hunnam said, completely deadpan before bursting into laughter. “Seriously, though, something in the arts, maybe a photographer or painter. I still paint a lot and take a lot of photographs.”
Hunnam has been looking at film roles. While he gave up the high-profile role of Christian Grey in the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” to accommodate his “Sons of Anarchy” shooting schedule, Hunnam is still keen on the big screen. “I’ve been preparing my exit out of the show, trying to create a little energy to propel me through this transition,” he said. As a producer, he’s currently developing three projects, which he also hopes to star in; all are based on true stories, he said. One is about a young Texan who, after a tragic accident, is forced to re-create his life and dreams and ends up becoming a Mexican drug cartel head; another is about a very successful bank robber. “I figured, now that I have the opportunity to do it in film, I don’t have to do it in real life,” Hunnam said. “The last seven years have completely revolved around doing ‘Sons.’ For now, I think I want to concentrate on doing some movies.” His next project is Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak,” which is slated for an October release.
“For me, it’s really all about the director,” he said of choosing projects. “I’ve been attached to really good scripts that I’ve seen turn into not very good movies at the hands of an average director. And the reverse is true: I’ve seen average scripts turn out to be fantastic at the hands of a really accomplished director. Now that I’m also producing projects, I’m going to have to find people to direct them, so I’ve been paying close attention.”