How Barb And Star Pulled Off Jamie Dornan's Big Shirt Rip Off Scene

Jamie Dornan in Barb and Star

The past year we've seen countless movies pushed back, as studios attempt to bide their time and make money at the box office once theaters return to normal. Meanwhile, a number of projects have arrived straight to homes, providing a much needed distraction for those spending time in isolation. The latest of these is Josh Greenbaum's over the top comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, which stars Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. The cast is also rounded out by Fifty Shades icon Jamie Dornan, and now we know how he tore off his shirt during his over the top musical number.

Jamie Dornan is best known for starring as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise. This made him a bonafide sex symbol, so there were definitely some fans thrilled to see him rip off his shirt in the trailer for Barb and Star. But it turns out the reality of the scene was far less glamorous. Director Josh Greenbaum recently spoke about this sequence, revealing:

Again, I want to tell you he’s just that strong. The actual behind-the-scenes story is I think he did do a take or two where we didn’t rip it. Because I was like, ‘Look, it might be funny if you’re struggling to rip it,’ because I think we’ve all seen the tear-off. In our movie, maybe because he’s having such a hard time, even his shirt won’t rip off properly. Nothing’s going his way. So I think he actually did do a take or two where he just ripped it himself, and that is actually I believe what’s in the movie.

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It looks like Jamie Dornan does indeed have the physique to rip off a teal polo if needed. It's one of Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar's many sight gags, and it looks like took a number of takes to get perfectly. Luckily it's footage that worked great in the final cut.

Josh Greenbaum's comments to Slate are a testament to the shape Jamie Dornan is in. Because while they were shooting his big musical number for Barb and Star, some takes required him try to rip off a shirt without any assistance. He ultimately came through instead of flailing, to the unexpected joy of the film's director.

For his part, Jamie Dornan also recently spoke about what it was like filming his big montage number for Barb and Star. When asked by Vulture about the already infamous shirt rip, Dornan painted a far less glamorous picture. In his words,

The embarrassing thing was half the time I couldn’t even rip it! I asked the costumer to cut it at the top so it would be easier to rip it, but I guess they didn’t cut the bottom, so for the first take I was really confident at the beginning, and then I got like a second in and got stuck at the bottom, so I was sort trying to hop out of it in a pathetic way. But then we did two or three more takes where they cut the bottom so I could actually make it work.

It's unclear if Jamie Dornan is just being modest here, or if he and Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Josh Greenbaum just have very different recollections of what it was like filming the shirt ripping. Regardless, their collaboration paid off big time in the theatrical cut. You can see a brief clip of this sequence in the comedy's trailer below.

Aside from his physical prowess, Jamie Dornan flexed another set of muscles for Barb and Star: his comedic ones. Dornan plays his character Edgar as a lovable dope, and manages to volley admirably in scenes with comedic geniuses like Kristen Wiig. It's shows just how versatile the actor truly is, aside from his role as a literary BDSM enthusiast.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is currently available to stream via VOD. Be sure to check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.