Jamie Dornan Reveals Why Joining The Fifty Shades Films Was Not The Easiest Decision

Christian Grey Sex Scene in Fifty Shades Freed 2018

Joining a franchise like Fifty Shades is no easy decision. At least, Fifty Shades of Grey lead Jamie Dornan feels that way. The actor recently told the Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner podcast that while there were plenty of pros to playing Christian Grey, the decision was an “odd” one. He revealed:

It was very odd to be honest, because you are presented with this incredible opportunity that is going to have a big impact on your life and change many things. To be honest, mostly financially, but again in [my] career [it] opened so many doors. But you sort of know it’s going to get panned. Very strange thing.

“Incredible opportunity” and “big impact” are both phrases that should make fans realize Jamie Dornan did know the movies would be good for his career and his wallet. However, the response to E.L. James’ books had always been very polarizing, well before Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey was filmed.

People of all ages and genders love the books; they are wildly popular and have a special place in the hearts of many. But unlike some programs that are popular -- Game of Thrones comes to mind – the faction of people who are critical about the Fifty Shades series is also a large one. Jamie Dornan knew there would be plenty of scrutiny when he was being presented with the opportunity to play Christian Grey.

The fact that joining the franchise was not an easy decision to make is also highlighted by the knowledge that Jamie Dornan wasn’t the first man cast in the role. Sons of Anarchy alum Charlie Hunnam originally had the gig.

Charlie Hunnam’s cited several reasons he ultimately bailed, including scheduling and being a total germaphobe. There are definite pros and cons to bringing a sexy book character to life on the big screen.

Jamie Dornan’s perspective on the way he thought things would shake out seems pretty reasonable, all things considered. Still, he noted that ultimately when he did take the job, the actual acting work was mostly just like any other set.

You’re trying to do the best you can and make the best of it but we knew that because the books were sort of adored by many, bought by many, but panned by many, it was probably going to be the same thing for the movies. It’s not like suddenly everyone who thought the book was badly written was going to be like, ‘Oh but the film’s very good.’ They were a great joy to be a part of and a crazy journey to go on, but also, above everything else, they are just a job on a film set. It’s no different than anything else; you’re just simulating more sex.

The notoriety, however, I would guess is another thing. It should be no surprise to anyone – even those who have never put on a single Fifty Shades movie before – there is a lot of sex in Fifty Shades of Grey and its two sequels. The series' claim to fame was putting BDSM fantasies for average individuals out into the world, after all.

Related: Fifty Shades Sex Scenes That Weren’t Sexy To Film In Real Life

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have been open in the past about how they got through filming the sex scenes. (Hint: he does a lot of push ups). Dornan revealed on Jay Rayner’s podcast (opens in new tab) that he did not know Johnson before filming Fifty Shades of Grey, so getting the chemistry right likely took work.

Plus, we know from Dakota Johnson that sometimes those sex scenes could be pretty tedious to make new, unique and interesting for the fanbase. So, the fact the job was similar to other movie gigs should not come as a huge shock.

Unfortunately for fans, Jamie Dornan’s time as Christian Grey has ended, but if you cared more about the actor’s chiseled abs than his Fifty Shades Freed character, you can see him in upcoming projects like Synchronic.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.