Based on the internationally best-selling Memoir of the same name by Gregory David Roberts, SHANTARAM debuted a couple weeks back on Apple TV+ and quickly has surged to the top on the streaming service. Fronted by the very talented Charlie Hunnam, the Series takes us on an Australian man’s journey in the ’70s as a fugitive, finding a new life in Bombay under a new name, Lin. We are swept away into a dark underworld of crime and humbling life in the slums. Lin must grapple with love, carving out his own place in his new surroundings, yet avoid his past.
Though a Canadian Premiere was to be celebrated earlier this month, we learned that Hunnam had contracted COVID-19 after the Series’ Premiere in Los Angeles which delayed plans. After having visited and filmed (Pacific Rim, Crimson Peak) in Toronto on numerous occasions over this past decade, his love for this City knows no limits. Delivering on their promise of a visit, a Midseason Celebration of SHANTARAM was held at TIFF Bell Lightbox featuring Hunnam and Co-Stars Antonia Desplat (Karla), Elektra Kilbey (Lisa) and Shubham Saraf (Prabhu). Fans in attendance got a first glimpse of Episode Six, which premieres this coming Friday.
We were so excited to chat with this exciting Ensemble from what hopefully will result in additional seasons of the Series.
Hunnam tells us what exactly happened resulting in a delay in these Canadian celebrations for SHANTARAM.
Hunnam: “It was terrible. I had two torn discs in my back and the first day I got Covid, I sneezed and coughed a lot, reinjuring my back, so I had eight days where I couldn’t move at all. But we’re here now and smiling again.”.
We congratulate him on all his success with this Series – reaching #1 spot on Apple TV+. This been a long-time coming, but actually isn’t something new for him. SONS OF ANARCHY which had him starring in the beloved role of Jax Teller garnered huge numbers for FX over its seven seasons.
Hunnam: “I have a self-protection mechanism that once a show comes out, I divorce myself from it completely. I don’t look at any ratings, but I am happy to hear we’re #1! You made my day, I really didn’t know that!”.
SHANTARAM actually isn’t Fiction. We are curious about Hunnam‘s research for the role of Lin and his own relationship with the man whom inspired his character, Gregory David Roberts.
Hunnam: “I had the incredible opportunity spending four days with Greg in Jamaica and I’m so interested in the things he has challenged himself to explore in his life. The nature of God, the nature of what it is to be human, to bringing your highest potential into reality – all that kinda stuff. I found myself in that transitional period in my late 30s into 40, I was thinking about a lot of those things at the time that I was given this Book for the first time.”.
“When I met him, we spent about 16 hours a day chainsmoking joints, just listening to him put on these Harvard University-style lectures on Theology, Philosophy and Psychology. Really such an incredible mind. Very honoured to spend those four days with him.”.
And of course, we had to know the first thing he did after landing in Toronto for this two-day Press Tour.
Hunnam: “Khao San Road. The Thai Restaurant!”.
One of the most fascinating characters in SHANTARAM is Lisa, played by Elektra Kilbey – a prostitute who is battling her own demons. The Series explores women as commodities, but Lisa re-frames this narrative. We ask Kilbey about this.
Kilbey: “I feel like Lisa at the beginning starts at rock-bottom and her arc has her taking agency of her own life, taking command of her own life and realizing she’s going to have to change things in her own life to be the kind of woman she wants to be. And I think she keeps getting roped into other people’s bullshit. If you think about Lisa, her and Prabhu are the sincerest characters on the show. Though Lisa is a lot darker and a bit more damaged I guess.”.
This actually isn’t Kilbey‘s first time in Toronto. Her and twin sister Anna have a Band called SAY LOU LOU and they have been in-town prior for a show at The Garrison back 2015. We ask her about her initial impressions of the City.
Kilbey: “It was an amazing show and we hung at Kensington Market. Super-cool city.”.
Shubham Saraf who plays Lin‘s friend and tour guide Prabhu, starred in TIFF ’20 selection A SUITABLE BOY but with a mostly-online format that year, the Festival saw no talent come amidst the pandemic restrictions. He got his chance to visit this time around and tells us his thoughts also on Toronto.
Saraf: “Beautiful. Toronto in Autumn. I just went to Grange Park today and went to the Art Gallery of Ontario and it felt like I was literally inside a poster for Canada. When the leaves turn, the sun, the Tower. It was really like a mixture of nature and Brutalism. I loved it.
We ask about the palpable friendly chemistry between him and Co-Star Hunnam which we see on-screen.
Saraf: “It helps that I hadn’t met him (Hunnam) till literally our first scene together – a key scene to develop their relationship, and within the scene I was like, ‘I like thus guy!’. And I think he also was like, ‘Hey! I like this guy!’. It was really fun. Prabhu’s had the hardest life and all he tries to do is overcome those boundaries with love. That’s the best thing to do, the best thing to embody.”.
Antonia Desplat delivers a commanding performance as Karla, a woman whom Lin falls in love with. She is mysterious and has deeply-entrenched ties to the crime underworld in Bombay. She walks us through Karla‘s world.
Desplat: “Karla‘s big battle is between power and love. By getting herself stuck into the dark underworld of the Bombay Mafia, she’s trying to assert a certain power and a certain personality in order to protect her more vulnerable side. Lin is a catalyst to bringing that side out of her because she’s trying to control other people’s perception of her. With Lin, that’s the first time those barriers can fall down and she can just be. Episode Five is where you can just see Karla for the first time.”,
We ask Desplat about her working processes with both Hunnam and Alexander Siddig, who plays Khader Khan, one of this most powerful Crime Lords in Bombay.
Desplat: “They have quite different processes. Charlie is very spontaneous and he keeps me on my toes. Alexander Siddig he will all the sudden say a line and I’m like, ‘Where did that come from?’. Sometimes he keeps it reserved when it’s for his coverage and surprises me on my coverage with a very strong presence I didn’t expect. Sometimes it’s the other way around and it keeps it fun!
A Reel from the Evening:
SHANTARAM streams now on Apple TV+ with new episodes arriving Fridays till December 16, 2022.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Apple TV+)
Have we ever missed Charlie Hunnam! Though he’s back in Toronto later this month for Fan Expo, you next can see him in SHANTARAM, coming to Apple TV+ later this year. The Series is based on the internationally best-selling novel by Gregory David Roberts. The highly anticipated Apple Original series is a hopeful cinematic love story coupled with a thrilling epic adventure that follows one man’s journey to redemption through a country that changes his life. “Shantaram” will make its global debut with the first three episodes of its 12-episode first season on Friday, October 14, 2022, followed by one new episode weekly every Friday through December 16, 2022, on Apple TV+.
“Shantaram” follows a fugitive named Lin Ford (Hunnam) looking to get lost in vibrant and chaotic 1980s Bombay. Alone in an unfamiliar city, Lin struggles to avoid the trouble he’s running from in this new place. After falling for an enigmatic and intriguing woman named Karla, Lin must choose between freedom or love and the complications that come with it.
In addition to Hunnam, the series also stars Shubham Saraf, Elektra Kilbey, Fayssal Bazzi, Luke Pasqualino, Antonia Desplat, Alyy Khan, Sujaya Dasgupta, Vincent Perez, David Field, Alexander Siddig, Gabrielle Scharnitzky, Elham Ehsas, Rachel Kamath, Matthew Joseph, and Shiv Palekar.
The series is co-created, written and executive produced by Steve Lightfoot, who also serves as showrunner. Bharat Nalluri directs and executive produces. Andrea Barron, Nicole Clemens, Steve Golin, Justin Kurzel, and Eric Warren Singer who co-created the series with Lightfoot, also executive produce. The series is produced for Apple by Paramount Television Studios and Anonymous Content’s AC Studios.
(Photo credit: Apple TV+)
Set to take place again this year between August 25-28, 2022 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre, FAN EXPO CANADA returns once again! Even more celebrity guests have been added to the schedule, including, a just-confirmed Charlie Hunnam!
List of those confirmed so far:
• JEFF ANDERSON (Clerks, Zack and Miri Make a Porno)
• SEAN ASTIN (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Goonies)
• JACOB BERTRAND (Cobra Kai, Kirby Buckets)
• BILLY BOYD (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
• LEVAR BURTON (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Perception)
• GINA CARANO (The Mandalorian, Deadpool)
• ANTHONY DANIELS (Star Wars universe)
• ASHLEY ECKSTEIN (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
• ROBERT ENGLUND (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
• GIANCARLO ESPOSITO (The Mandalorian, Breaking Bad, The Boys)
• TREVOR FEHRMAN (Clerks II)
• DAVID FOLEY (The Kids in the Hall)
• TYLER HOECHLIN (Superman & Lois, Teen Wolf)
• CHARLIE HUNNAM (Sons of Anarchy, The Gentlemen)
• RYAN HURST (Sons of Anarchy, The Walking Dead, The Mysterious Benedict Society)
• MARTIN KOVE (Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid)
• PEYTON LIST (Cobra Kai, Bunk’d)
• CAITY LOTZ (Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow)
• JES MACALLAN (Legends of Tomorrow, Mistresses)
• JASON MEWES (Clerks)
• DOMINIC MONAGHAN (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lost)
• BRIAN O’HALLORAN (Clerks)
• LANA PARRILLA (Once Upon a Time, Why Women Kill)
• EMILIO RIVERA (Sons of Anarchy, Mayans M.C., On My Block)
• MICHAEL ROOKER (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead)
• THEO ROSSI (Sons of Anarchy, Army of the Dead)
• KATEE SACKHOFF (The Mandalorian, Another Life, Battlestar Galactica)
• WILLIAM SHATNER (Star Trek)
• KEVIN SMITH (Clerks)
• BRENT SPINER (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels)
• BITSIE TULLOCH (Superman & Lois, Grimm)
• CARL WEATHERS (The Mandalorian, Rocky, Predator)
• MING-NA WEN (The Book of Boba Fett, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
• ELIJAH WOOD (The Lord of the Rings trilogy)
• WILLIAM ZABKA (Cobra Kai, The Karate Kid)
For a complete list of guests, info and tickets, visit: fanexpocanada.com
Jack O’Connell and Charlie Hunnam star in JUNGLELAND. Enter for your chance to win a Digital Download code.
Produced by Romulus Entertainment in association with Scott Free Productions and Big Red Films, and directed and co-written by Max Winkler (Flower), JUNGLELAND is a love story between two brothers whose bond is tested as they hustle and scrape towards their slice of the American Dream. Stanley (Charlie Hunnam, “Sons of Anarchy”) and Lion (Jack O’Connell, Unbroken) are brothers struggling to stay relevant in the underground world of bare-knuckle boxing. When Stanley fails to pay back a dangerous crime boss (Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country”), they’re forced to deliver an unexpected traveler (Jessica Barden, “The End of the F***ing World”) as they journey across the country for a high stakes fighting tournament. While Stanley trains Lion for the fight of his life, a series of events threaten to tear the brothers apart, but their love for one another and belief in a better life keep them going in this gripping drama that proves family pulls no punches.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. Re-Tweet this Contest Tweet for another chance:
Enter for a chance to #win a Digital Download of JUNGLELAND starring Charlie Hunnam and Jack O'Connell.— MR. WILL WONG 📸 (@mrwillw) November 17, 2020
How: https://t.co/bd4KtC3wdd pic.twitter.com/KypPtof2hm
Rules and regulations here.
JUNGLELAND is available now on Digital and On-Demand.
(Photo/video credit: Paramount Pictures)
VVS Films x Mr. Will are thrilled to give Readers a chance to win a Digital Download of acclaimed Guy Ritchie film, THE GENTLEMEN.
THE GENTLEMEN follows American expat Mickey Pearson who built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery
To enter to win a free Digital Download, click “like” on this Post over at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. Re-Tweet this Contest Tweet as well from @mrwillw for an extra chance. Contest is open in Canada only.
Rules and regulations here.
VVS Films release THE GENTLEMEN as follows:
Available now on Digital
April 7, 2020 on Video-on-Demand
April 21, 2020 on DVD, DVD-Blu-ray Combo Pack
Follow VVS Films on Twitter: @vvs_films and Facebook here.
(Photo/video credit: VVS Films)
A new Teaser Trailer has surfaced for Guy Ritchie‘s THE GENTLEMEN!
From writer/director Guy Ritchie comes THE GENTLEMEN, a star-studded sophisticated action comedy. THE GENTLEMEN follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who built a highly profitable marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he’s looking to cash out of the business forever it triggers plots, schemes, bribery and blackmail in an attempt to steal his domain out from under him (featuring an all-star ensemble cast including Charlie Hunnam, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Eddie Marsan, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant).
See the Trailer:
VVS Films release THE GENTLEMEN Friday, January 24, 2020.
(Photo/video credit: VVS Films)
Two new exciting star-studded Netflix Original Films to tell you about which will see a theatrical release and also be streamed right to your homes!
The outlaws made headlines. The lawmen made history. From Director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), The Highwaymen follows the untold true story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. When the full force of the FBI and the latest forensic technology aren’t enough to capture the nation’s most notorious criminals, two former Texas Rangers Frank Hammer (Kevin Costner) and Maney Gault (Woody Harrelson) must rely on their gut instincts and old school skills to get the job done.
March 22 – Limited Theatrical Release in Toronto
March 29 – Netflix
A group of former Special Forces operatives (Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal) reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival. Directed by Academy Award® nominee J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost, A Most Violent Year) and co-written by Chandor and Academy Award® winner Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty).
March 6 – Limited Theatrical Release in Toronto
March 13 – Netflix
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will Wong want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see TIFF ’17 selection to see PAPILLON!
Screenings take place:
TORONTO – August 22 at Varsity at 7pm
VANCOUVER – August 22 at 5th Avenue at 7pm
Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books “Papillon” and “Banco“, the film follows the epic story of Henri “Papillon” Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil’s Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with a convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon’s escape.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City.
Elevation Pictures release PAPILLION Friday, August 24, 2018.
(Photo/video credit: Elevation Pictures)
We don’t believe TIFF ’17 at last has arrived and although we’re feeling a bit sink or swim about it, we choose to dive on in and conquer! Running today, Thursday September 7 through Sunday, September 17, year after year we show the world why it is our Film Festival is the world’s greatest. The star power is beginning to pour in and around town tonight we spotted a few high profile arrivals!
See who we saw:
We love Charlie Hunnam and just seem to have the best luck with him. Although we’ve met him more than half a dozen times now, he is just as amazing every time to his Fans. Trying to make an incognito escape out of Pearson Airport, he right away was spotted by several eager Fans whom he promised to stop and greet after he put away his luggage in his SUV. Despite his best efforts to have everyone form a line, that fan excitement got the best of them but he still was amazingly accommodating. Hunnam is here for Papillon from Director Michael Noer. More here.
Even a week after seeing Luca Guadagnino‘s CALL ME BY YOUR NAME we still are mesmerized by the Oscar-caliber performances of its two leads Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Hammer arrived in Toronto bundle in a ski sweater and was more than nice to fans who surrounded him. Even two handlers blocking him wasn’t enough to stop Hammer from showing his giving side. You must see this Film. We can’t stop thinking about it! More here.
#TIFF17: #ArmieHammer getting major #Oscars buzz for a phenomenal performance in #CallMeByYourName. Please see this Film. #TIFF2017. #TorontoInternationalFilmFestival #TIFF
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She’s certainly a visionary and an Icon of the Fashion and Music realms. Multi-talented Grace Jones makes a rare appearance at TIFF ’17 in Sophie Fiennes‘ (sister of Joseph and Ralph) Documentary, GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI. We spotted both in town tonight and we are over the moon about getting photo with Jones. She rarely does this. More here.
While he is here to film Christoph Waltz‘s GEORGETOWN, Straight Outta Compton and 24: LEGACY star Corey Hawkins surely will be seen this weekend celebrating TIFF. The Actor was spotted arriving in town tonight and amazingly gracious with a growing crowd of Fans hoping to get a snap with him. For one, his Compton Co-Star Jason Mitchell appears in Mudbound from Netflix, premiering at the Festival!
You loved him in #StraightOuttaCompton and recently #24Legacy. #CoreyHawkins in Toronto #TIFF17 weekend filming #Georgetown.
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We’re only just beginning. You ain’t seen nothing yet! Keep checking our Social Media channels for updates throughout the day on all the TIFF ’17 buzz and sightings!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
One of this spring’s most eagerly-awaited blockbusters is King Arthur:Legend of the Sword and stars someone the City loves and welcomes back once again, Charlie Hunnam. The Sons of Anarchy star who has built a legion of loyal fans worldwide, returns to the very place he filmed both Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim. Tonight we rolled out the red carpet for him and the acclaimed Director Guy Ritchie at the Toronto Premiere of the historical action-drama, held at Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto.
Ritchie‘s eagerly-awaited take on the legend of King Arthur promises to be gritty, with a modern edge. Skirting around historical facts, the Film plays-up its fantastical element. The accessible Hunnam tells the story of the “prince among thieves” to a new generation of fans. The Film also features an exciting supporting cast including Jude Law, Poppy Delevingne, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen and Eric Bana. There also may be a surprise or two.
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Arthur’s uncle, Vortigern (Jude Law), seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy.
See the epic Trailer:
Despite the threat of continuous rains which have been dampening the City, fans came out in full force tonight for the indoor Red Carpet to get a glimpse of their beloved Hunnam and Ritchie. It is said that some queued as early as 6:00 AM outside the theatre. Despite a whirlwind day which earlier saw the duo in New York, jetting into Toronto in time for the Red Carpet this evening, they remained gracious and energetic, feeding off the electric energy of their Toronto admirers. Ritchie and even moreso Hunnam, were more than giving signing autographs (memorabilia including figurines of himself and arms even!) and taking selfies with fans who were separated into organized sections.
We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Hunnam multiple times in the past and it was amazing seeing him shine bright tonight!
See our Snaps of all the excitement. Hover mouse over left and right of each post below to navigate slideshow:
(Swipe left!) Charlie Hunnam + Guy Ritchie arrive for Canadian #KingArthur Premiere! #CharlieHunnam #GuyRitchie #SOA (@wbpicturescan)
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Warner Bros. Pictures Canada release KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD Friday, May 12, 2017.
(Photo/video credit: Warner Bros. Pictures Canada/Mr. Will Wong)
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