Charlie Hunnam Says He Was Almost Struck By Lightning While Making ‘Lost City of Z’

CinemaCon 2017: Actor also claims a beetle nested in his ear while shooting James Gray’s real-life epic

lost city of z hunnam indie box office
Photo: Aidan Monaghan

Charlie Hunnam plays British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who explored the Amazon in the 1920s in James Gray’s “The Lost City of Z.” And as he revealed during Amazon’s annual CinemaCon presentation in Las Vegas, the part didn’t come without danger.

Speaking at the event Thursday, the actor revealed that he was almost struck by lightning when they had ventured out too deep into the jungle.

“We seemed to shoot in fairly safe places that were close to our hotel, and then James and myself got into our blood a little bit and went further and further out,” he said. “At times we would travel two hours to get to a location, and we’re like, ‘what are we doing here?’ One day, we had ventured very far into the jungle and we got caught in a torrential downpour.”

Hunnam recalled that the river started to rise and the cast and crew were worried about a flash food, which prompted them to gather up their equipment. However, Hunnam believed this was the reason they came to Colombia to shoot and refused to move until they got the shot — well, until he was almost struck by lightning.

“A lighting bolt struck about where the speakers are [pointing to something on stage] and knocked me off my feet — and I was like, ‘ok lets go!’”

Shooting the movie came with a lot of physical stress, especially given the fact that he had to lose 35 to 40 pounds for the role — but the greatest ordeal actually happened in his hotel room.

“The greatest ordeal was in my hotel room — a beetle had burrowed into my ear and I woke up to a sound of a drill in my ear,” he said. “Years ago, I had a similar experience where I had a girlfriend who had a moth fly into her ear so I knew what had happened.”

Hunnam explained that it was 3 a.m. and he didn’t want to wake anyone, so he decided to “MacGyver this” and use a Neti Pot to flush out the beetle. However, nothing happened and he (miraculously) went back to sleep. When he woke up again, he felt the beetle moving around again, at which point he decided to call the producers, who eventually called for a trip to the hospital.

The movie, based on a book that tells a true story, follows British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while search for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s. The trailer shows confrontations with indigenous people, as well as the cast members running for their life.

The movie also stars a heavily bearded Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Angus Macfadyen and Edward Ashley.