Hunnam helped his girlfriend celebrate her recent birthday with a home-cooked meal

By Jodi Guglielmi
May 11, 2017 03:23 PM
Credit: Tiffany Rose/WireImage

Charlie Hunnam: actor, heartthrob… master chef?

When Hunnam, 37, is not on location filming or training for his next role, the King Arthur actor says he loves to relax in the kitchen.

“If I’ve got a full day off I try to get out into nature a little bit and then cook a bunch of food,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I love to cook for people.”

And luckily for Hunnam, he has the perfect taste tester: his longtime girlfriend Morgana McNelis, for whom he recently cooked an elaborate meal to celebrate her birthday.

“I literally spent all day cooking,” he says. “She had about 15 of her friends over, and I cooked an enormous meal for everyone, and we drank some really good wine and hung out. It was a lovely day.”

The actor says he loves how cooking can bring people together.

“It was so satisfying and immediate gratification,” he adds. “A lovely thing to share. Good food, good pals.”

So how does he maintain his fit physique with the cooking and consuming of these indulgent meals? Hunnam says he works out every day — even when he’s not working.

“I have to,” he says of his strict workout routine. “The emotional and mental benefits of working out are really extreme for me so I’ve become completely dependent. I can get a little depressed when I’m not working out.”

“I just feel better [when I workout]. I feel more positive,” he adds. “I feel happier and more stable.”

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters May 12.