Who would nab the role of the young, handsome, and business-savvy, Christian Grey in the movie adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel, 50 Shades of Grey, has arguably been the most debated character casting since that of his inspiration, Twilight’s Edward Cullen. Numerous actors have had their name linked to the role, polls have been conducted on who would best suit the role and fans have created mock up movie trailers with their ideal casting, yet ultimately, it fell to James to announce earlier this week that our Christian Grey would be played by Sons of Anarchy’s Charlie Hunnam.
Like that of another dashing leading man from fiction, Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy, readers of the novels have built up in their minds who their Christian is and, like with each casting of Darcy, fans have been vocal in their displeasure of Hunnam taking on the role. In fact, fans have been so irate that they have started a petition calling for Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel to be recast. Both Hunnam and Dakota Johnson (who has been cast as Grey’s Anastasia Steele) have yet to discuss their casting and the controversy… until now.
Speaking to ET, Hunnam says that the public outcry to his casting was unavoidable, and explains what he’s doing to cope with the hate: “I had anticipated it, these books were a global phenomenon. I isolate myself [so I] haven’t been too aware of what’s [going on in] social media”.
While not everyone is thrilled to see him slip into Grey’s shoes, Hunnam says that he is “so excited to be entrusted with this empowered character”.
What is going to be vital to the success of the film is the chemistry between Hunnam and Johnson. If that fails, the movie is doomed and all involved in the production understand this. As part of the audition process, Hunnam explains that he and Johnson were involved in a work session, but reveals that Johnson was the only person he auditioned with for the part. This seems to contradict claims earlier that Hunnam had had tests with several actresses. The work session was important for Hunnam as he “wanted to feel like he [Grey] was in [his] bones”.
50 Shades of Grey is expected to hit cinemas August 1, 2014.