It was an acting drought that was causing him anguish -- he felt he desperately needed the role to break out of a career slump he was having.
His TV career began in 1999 as Wes on "It's A Wonderful Life," but other roles soon followed: as Nathan Maloney on "Queer As Folk," as Lloyd Haythe on "Undeclared." Other appearances were in the movies Nicholas Nickleby, Abandon and Cold Mountain.
Before he snagged the role as Jax, Hunnam's last role was on the TV series "Undeclared," and that ended in 2003.
Hunnam explained during an interview on "Talking With Chris Hardwick":
“I had been really struggling in my career. I had a clear idea of the type of movies I wanted to be doing and the directors that I wanted to be working with… but it was really difficult."
"I was spending enormous periods of time unemployed.” Hunnam said he spent a lot of time waiting for his phone to ring, and he sometimes went months and even years without acting work."
Hunnam later took a stab at writing a film script, but then decided to try acting again. His role as Jax in "Sons Of Anarchy" was the turning point for him.
"'Sons Of Anarchy,' because it was a TV script, was way thinner than any of the other scripts. Then I read it, and I was blown away and said, ‘Man I would do anything to get me in a room with these guys. I wanna try and get this role.'"
We're glad he did.