See the roles that made this British native ready to be a 50 Shades star

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated September 03, 2013 12:30 PM
Credit: Ray Mickshaw/FX

Charlie Hunnam is getting ready to break out the handcuffs for his brand-spanking new role as Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey. But just who is the actor who will play the brooding billionaire alongside Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele?

Sons of Anarchy fans know (and love) him, but may not realize Hunnam, 33, has been appearing on screen for more than a decade.

Check out our picks for his best roles so far:

1. Queer as Folk

Hunnam first gained stardom in his native England on the UK version of this show, which ran for 10 episodes beginning in 1999. He starred as Nathan Maloney, a lovelorn teenager newly navigating the gay dating scene. The previous year, he got his first big break guest starring on Byker Grove, the U.K.’s popular teen drama set in a British youth club.

2. Undeclared

The actor played up his good looks for this short-lived yet celebrated Judd Apatow-produced comedy series following a crew of college dorm-mates. Hunnam starred as Lloyd Haythe for all 17 episodes of the show – alongside Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel – who squired many ladies with his lust-worthy accent and charm.

3. Nicholas Nickleby

In 2002 he landed the title role in this period piece based on a Charles Dickens novel about a kindhearted young man trying to save his family and friends from a nefarious uncle. His love interest? None other than future Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway.

4. Pacific Rim

He proved his blockbuster chops this summer when he starred as Raleigh Becket in Guillermo del Toro’s film about a war between humans and monstrous sea creatures – and features Hunnam in some cool monster vs. robot fights.

5. Sons of Anarchy

Hunnam is most familiar to U.S. audiences as the rugged star of this FX show. He anchors the show as Jax Teller, who juggles his roles as a husband and father while serving as the tattooed president of a badass California motorcycle club.