Jamie Dornan was announced as the replacement for the departed Charlie Hunnam to star in the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie adaptation weeks ago, earning him one of Hollywood's most attention-grabbing starring roles to appear on the upcoming film radar. Speaking as the cover star for Entertainment Weekly, Dornan addressed the pressures of his upcoming role, as well as the route he took to get to where he is and how he is preparing himself for the role.
This is by far the most high-profile role the Northern Irish actor has been given in his time as an actor, yet this is a project that Dornan says he is looking forward to, rather than one whose gradual approach he is dreading. After taking over from Hunnam after he unceremoniously walked away from the project in mid-October, Dornan has had little time to prepare for his role, but as he explained in the recent interview, he has already begun putting in the work to achieve the right body look for Grey, as well as finding the right mindset to portray a sexually deviant billionaire.
“I certainly don’t fear it,” Dornan began his talk. “I already got a glimpse into working with [director] Sam [Taylor-Johnson] at the test, and I’d met [co-star] Dakota [Johnson] by then. So I had a glimpse into how I felt it would be if I got the part. None of it scared me.”
Explaining that his involvement with the project began when he sent off an audition tape to the first round of auditions, he added that he never heard anything back from the casting directors until after Hunnam walked out on the project. He digressed, “You know, one door closes, another opens. When he dropped out, I didn’t instantly think, ‘Oh here we go, maybe I should cancel that holiday,’ but I did feel that maybe we’d revisit the idea of me.”
And luckily for Dornan this is just what happened, as he was flown out to Los Angeles for a gruelling, day-long audition alongside his co-star Dakota Johnson. The two performed one scene from the beginning of the book, the interview where Christian and Anastasia first meet, as well as another scene found at the end of the book. He continued, “There’s quite a lot going on in both scenes. The interview scene is sort of a condensed version of the journey that the two of them go on. There are so many layers in it. It’s a beast.”
Dornan and Johnson had chemistry in their audition
Dornan has also had to get adjusted to life as a media darling now, regularly being followed by the paparazzi and dogged with questions about his personal life, something that has been part-blamed for Hunnam's eventual leave from the film. But with a wife and a child on the way already, Dornan insists that his life could be made a whole lot worse than it already is being by the paps.
“It’s happening, but not in an unmanageable way at the moment,” Dornan said in regards to the paparazzi. “I’ve been around it before and it’s ugly, but I’m glad I’m 31 and not 21, and married. I feel very settled. I’m not running in and out of clubs at 5 a.m. anymore.”
His personal regime is not suffering too much as a result of the role either, as the already hunky actor explained that he feels no need to bulk up for the role, given his already impressive physique. He explained, “I’ve never felt that Christian needs to be some kind of monster, but I think it’s very clear how he conditions himself and looks after himself. I take decent enough care of myself anyway, so obviously I’m gonna up it slightly with training, but we don’t have any intention to really bulk up. I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
Dornan says that life hasn't changed too dramatically for him and wife Amelia Warner