The actor had seven different illnesses while filming in India that “as they went on, seemed like a series of assassination attempts”

By Julie Mazziotta
January 16, 2020 12:50 PM
Advertisement

Charlie Hunnam is hoping for a much healthier 2020 after dealing with “significant” illnesses last year.

The former Sons of Anarchy star, 39, spent the last few months of 2019 in India to shoot a new Apple+ show based on the novel Shantaram, and there were “some challenges” along the way.

“I had a series of pretty significant health issues that, as they went on, seemed like a series of assassination attempts,” he joked to host Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on The Tonight Show.

Hunnam then listed off his ailments: “I got a lung infection, which turns into a sinus infection, and then I got conjunctivitis in both my eyes, then I got an ear infection, then I got strep throat, then a bacterial gut infection, and then I got bitten by a mosquito and contracted dengue fever.”

A shocked Fallon then pulled out a bottle of hand sanitizer for himself and Hunnam, who said that this was out of the ordinary for him.

“It was kind of confounding, because I kind of pride myself on having impeccable personal hygiene,” the actor said. “But I think some of those things are going to sometimes go against you. I think my immune system was too delicate, because I’m too clean. You’ve got to roll around in the mud a little bit.”

Even before Hunnam went to film in India, he had a rough time while camping, and that created other health problems. While searching for firewood one day, he accidentally disrupted a nest of yellowjackets that stung him over 20 times and left him sprinting naked through the woods to get away.

“Two days later I got very sick, and I spoke to my doctor and he said you probably had so much venom in your system that your body starts to create antibodies to fight the venom, and then if I got stung again, because I have those antibodies in my system, I could have a very bad reaction,” he said. “So I’m supposed to carry an EpiPen but of course I’m an idiot and I don’t.”

Charlie Hunnam
| Credit: Dominik Magdziak Photography/WireImage

The experience made Hunnam a bit paranoid, and he said he was wary just the night before after spotting a mosquito in his room — an odd sight in New York City, in January, in an eighth floor hotel room.

“I was worried, because I don’t know the ins and outs of dengue fever. You have it for a period of time, but then the antibodies stay in your body … and I wondered if that mosquito bit me, does that mosquito then contract dengue fever, and then the next person that checks into that hotel… these are the things you gotta ask yourself,” he said. “These are the things that I stay up late nights worrying about.”

Still, Hunnam is hopeful for 2020.

“It was a strange year, but we’re in a new decade,” he said.