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Does Jamie Dornan Regret Starring In The Fifty Shades Of Grey Franchise? Here’s What He Says

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey
(Image credit: YouTube)

Before it was even cast, Fifty Shades of Grey was destined to be the kind of movie that made its stars into overnight sensations. That proved to be true for Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan -- both of whom have since gotten very real about the highs and lows of starring in the risque franchise. Now, the series’ leading man is reflecting on the entire ride and whether or not he regrets signing on to play the controversial mogul Christian Grey

The first Fifty Shades film was released more than six years ago. For Jamie Dornan, that appears to be enough time to gauge the impact that the franchise has had on his life. When GQ Magazine asked him recently if he’d ever regretted signing on to the sexy series, he shared how he came to the decision in the first place: 

Ultimately, no. I mean, I understood the job and the reactions. I was in the running for it for a long time, remember. It wasn’t some split decision I made on a whim. I was beaten to it the first time by Charlie Hunnam and I felt a certain amount of relief when he got it, to be honest. I thought, ‘This would have been fun, but it would have been a strange ride. Better not to be on that ride.’ But he pulled out and then I got a call. And I got it. And there we go. I had to confront that choice again.

Before that first installment, the actor was best known for his work in the Irish drama The Fall. These days, despite a humbling lack of game in real life, he will forever be known as a heartthrob with a dark side. By consciously taking on a role he knew would redefine his career, he was certainly taking a risk. Even though he’s been honest about the fact that he struggled with his polarizing character, today, he believes the downsides were worth it in the end: 

Look, put it this way: it’s done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion. Every working actor would say the same thing. It’s provided – a lot. There’s no shame in saying it’s transformed my life and my family’s life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be. And the fans loved it. Kevin Maher [the film critic] at the Times didn’t love it – what a surprise! But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke. Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself.

So it sounds like even though it wasn’t a perfect experience, he wouldn’t change it. That’s a healthy perspective to have. These days, Jamie Dornan is still working hard, albeit on projects that couldn’t be more different from Fifty Shades. At present, he stars in Kenneth Branagh’s coming of age drama, Belfast, which hits theaters on November 12.