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While the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise took a lot of flack, it was quite successful with its audience. Now Charlie Hunnam is reflecting on what could have been. The Sons of Anarchy actor was originally cast as Christian Grey for the film trilogy based on the popular book series but he bailed out of the movies before filming began. Looking back on the situation now, Hunnam sees one clear way that his life would be different now if he'd stayed with the movies. He'd have a lot more money in the bank. According to Hunnam...
Well, I'd be a lot wealthier. I'd be a lot wealthier. I was gonna get paid a fortune. So much. You know, I intentionally don't look at my career from an outside perspective. My career and my life are not mutually exclusive. They're intrinsically linked. I'm really interested in the idea, which I think we explore in Papillon, of just accepting that life is suffering and your obligation is to learn something about yourself through this journey, and to figure out a way to use your time, if you're lucky enough to do it, in a way that seems substantial enough that it evens out the balance a little bit.
The fact that Charlie Hunnam apparently gave up a lot of money when he stepped away from Fifty Shades certainly could be the sort of thing that really gets to him now. Most of us would be frustrated by losing out on a large windfall. However, Hunnam tells Uproxx that he avoids looking at his life and his career that way. It doesn't sound like he really considers not getitng the massive paycheck to be "suffering" but he does draw a connection between the concept, in as much as he tries to use opportunities such as this as a way to learn something about himself.
Charlie Hunnam says that his goal, rather than making large sums of money, is to find roles that fulfill him creatively. He doesn't say that the Fifty Shades of Grey role would not have done that, he's honest that he doesn't know how the part of Christian Grey would have impacted his career, though he admits that others seem to think not taking the part was the right move.
If I'm involved in a project that I feel excited about and it gives me a sense of purpose and it gives me a sense of creative fulfillment, that is deep fulfillment to me, and it evens out the balance for me in my own journey. My success, for me, is about getting to continue to work on things that make me excited. And I don't know if that would have created more or less opportunity. I just don't know. I seem to have gotten a lot of kudos in a way for not doing it, but again that's sort of an outside perspective. I don't necessarily feel that way.
Charlie Hunnam appears to have taken a very Zen approach to the whole thing, not letting the questions of what could have been get in the way of what is happening. As far as what is happening, Hunnam will star in the remake of Papillon hitting theaters this weekend.