What a gift on a Friday.

If you’re a regular visitor here at LaineyGossip, you know how we all feel about Roxane Gay. We learn from her. She makes us think. We read every word she writes. And now… she’s writing about Charlie Hunnam for InStyle.

Charlie is promoting The Lost City Of Z. And he tells Roxane, not arrogantly, and not fake-modestly, but seemingly matter-of-factly that, “I did the best work of my career so far in Lost City,” and this is after an honest exchange about his looks. Which Roxane acknowledges – because, as she points out, it’s kinda hard not to notice that he’s… well… look at him:

It’s refreshing to hear him talk openly about his obvious physical beauty. Asked if being a sex symbol is ever limiting, Hunnam responds with considerable self-awareness. “It’s both collateral damage and a huge opportunity. I mean, it’s a visual medium, and it makes it a lot easier to get roles if you’re a little easier on the eyes. But the reality is you get on set and every scene is a challenge to make work.”

But what about the effect that Roxane has on Charlie? Previously he revealed that he was so method about his role in The Lost City Of Z that he tapped out on his girlfriend, Morgana McNelis for months without contact – a total dick move. With Roxane though, we get more explanation about how that works, what he has given back to Morgana after taking so much away:

Hunnam says being part of the storytelling process “totally nourishes” him, though he admits that transitioning back to real life can be tough. “It’s brutal. Reintegration is a motherf—. I keep thinking it’ll get easier, but it doesn’t. It’s really hard for my girlfriend [jewelry designer Morgana McNelis]. There’s all this expectation and longing and hope for what that reunion’s going to be. For me, it’s always a process of trying desperately to get back to center, so I can be that person for her.”

Just before Christmas of last year, he wrapped his next film, Papillon (a remake of 1973’s prison-escape drama with Hunnam in the role famously played by Steve McQueen), and McNelis gave him an ultimatum—do whatever you need to do, but don’t come home until you’re ready to see me. Hunnam took a trip back to England to decompress before returning to L.A., which gave him time to “exorcise the experience from my heart and soul” and reflect on “how fragile our connection is to anything.”

I feel like that’s a testament to how well Roxane Gay did her job during that interview, to be able to elicit that kind of response. You’ll note, the previous times that he talked about bailing on his relationship while he was filming, the people he was talking to (Entertainment Weekly and Men’s Health) were men. Didn’t seem like that would have been their focus, to hit pause at that part of the conversation and be like… huh? You ghosted your girlfriend for a ROLE? And so the focus of those pieces became “Charlie Hunnam is so committed to his performances that he will let nothing stand in the way – not even love! RAWRRRR!” I don’t think that’s how it went down with Roxane Gay. Which is why we’re now getting more of the backstory, the essential follow-up to the first part of his answer.

Click here to read Roxane Gay’s full article on Charlie Hunnam for InStyle and to see more pictures. Ummm…this one though?

(Photo by Billy Ballard)