Before Jamie Dornan caught worldwide fame for tying up women for their mutual pleasure in Fifty Shades of Grey, the Irish actor was known for tying up women and killing them for his pleasure in BBC's The Fall.
Later this month, he is set to return to the small screen in the critically acclaimed but controversial series. While one might think that entering the mindset of a psychopath can prove disturbing, Dornan for his part has described the experience as his "happy place".
This may be, in part, to the fact that The Fall was his big break, and his turn as the handsome serial-killer Paul Spector may have boosted his chance in landing his Fifty Shades role.
Before The Fall, Dornan had little success in transitioning from a successful model to an actor (though we'll always remember him in Once Upon A Time!). In fact, when he describes that time in his life he says, “I had a lot more time off, put it that way!”
There was one part in playing the dark character that was difficult for him, and it was that he couldn't utilize the method technique for the part. No, it wasn't because he was disturbed by the mindset. He chose to avoid it for the sake of his relationship.
"You don't want to be too method in layman's definition of method which is stay in character all the time." He says, then adds, "I would never to do that for someone like Spector, I don't think I would have a wife anymore! Especially three series in, four and a half years in, I have ways of locking myself into his psyche quickly without having too much of a build up."
Which is what stands up in his performance -- the normal way his character goes about in the series. Most serial killers on film and television would often be really creepy, which is understandable, but, if you think about it, a lot of serial killers are actually charming and come off a as pretty normal. This is one of the many reasons why it takes a long time before they are caught -- and sometimes not even at all.
It also happens to be one of the reasons why he got the part. With only three candidates left in contention, the producers had to whittle them down with a grueling six and a half hour audition. In one scene where Paul Spector was greeted by his son after murdering a woman, he played it opposite to what is standard. “I just spoke to him like it was my son," Jamie explains, "but Allan said [the other two] acted it really creepy because he’s just come back from murdering someone ... but why would you?”
Why would you indeed?
The Fall Series Three returns later this month in the UK and Ireland on BBC Two and RTE One.