Fifty Shades Of Grey’s Jamie Dornan Opens Up About How He ‘Struggled’ With Playing Christian Grey

Jamie Dornan will likely always be remembered as Christian Grey, Fifty Shades of Grey’s businessman with kinks for BDSM in his own Red Room. But the 38-year-old is now two years removed from the franchise and exploring some new roles that challenge his talents and the audience’s perception of the actor. One such project is Wild Mountain Thyme, where the Irish actor plays a lonely and socially-awkward farmer opposite Emily Blunt and, while discussing the new role, Dornan explained that playing Grey wasn't without its struggles.

Fans of the Fifty Shades movies will likely be taken aback by the very different kind of romance Jamie Dornan fronts in Wild Mountain Thyme. There’s a more inhibited and eccentric quality about his character, Anthony Reilly. It’s from the viewpoint of his Wild Mountain Thyme character that he examines his differences from Christian Grey. In his words:

He's much more relatable to me than Christian Grey. Oftentimes, I felt quite uncomfortable, being very honest with you, playing Christian Grey. I felt like it was very far away from me, and sometimes, I struggled with it. With Anthony, I just knew really early on I need to embody this guy, and it felt like someone I wanted to be close to. There was no distance there... It's cool to know that you can play a romantic lead that is very different from the more widely known romantic lead you played.

It’s like they say, hindsight is 20/20. When speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor admitted to finding it difficult at times to relate and enter the headspace of Christian Grey, who is known to be super confident, aggressive and eager to be in control. It’s a quite tempered headspace for the actor to have spent four years of his life inside, and it sounds like he never surrendered himself to Christian’s psyche.

For Wild Mountain Thyme, he felt more comfortable getting close to Anthony Reilly, an Irish farmer. It makes sense considering the actor actually does live in the countryside in South West England with his wife, three daughters, and a number of farm animals such as goats, chickens, bats, a horse and a dog. Though as he told CinemaBlend when we interviewed the actor for the movie, he and Emily Blunt had a curious response to their interactions with the animals:

Jamie Dornan is at home with trying new characters outside of Fifty Shades of Grey, taking a note out of the playbook of his pal, Twilight’s Robert Pattinson, who has explored a breadth of memorable roles in recent years and has established himself as an impressive talent outside his work on the major romance franchise. Dornan has been in a number of interesting new roles as of late, such as one of the most under-the-radar sci-fi flicks of the year, Synchronic, in which he stars alongside Anthony Mackie.

Wild Mountain Thyme, on the other hand, centers on the drama between the Reilly family, Dornan’s Anthony and his father (played by Christopher Walken), when he decides he may be giving his farm to an American cousin (played by Jon Hamm) instead of his son. Emily Blunt’s Rosemary Muldoon gets in the middle when her feelings for Anthony are challenged by Hamm’s character. The movie is currently playing in select theaters and available to rent on demand.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.