Jamie Dornan thinks the paparazzi culture is ''hideous''.

The hunky Irish actor - who has been cast as S&M obsessed billionaire Christian Grey in the X-rated 'Fifty Shades of Grey' movie - got his first taste of fame in 2003 when he dated Keira Knightley for two years and was horrified by the way the A-list beauty was hounded like an animal by ''perverted'' snappers.

He told the London Evening Standard newspaper: ''It was a strange environment to find yourself in, being hounded and followed. It's really hideous. F**king hell, [the paparazzi] are cretins. I couldn't have less respect for those guys.

''There are so many ways to make a living that don't involve hiding in bushes opposite houses of 18-year-old girls with a camera in your hand.

''That's not making a living, that's making a choice to be a perverted f**khead. That scrutiny when you're older will be easier to take. And I don't think I'm ever going to be as famous as her.''

Jamie is now happily married to actress-turned-musician Amelia Warner, with whom he has a three-month-old daughter, while Keira is hitched to The Klaxons musician James Righton.

The star admits he found it incredibly hard being taken seriously as an actor after working as a model, famously posing in nothing but his underwear for Calvin Klein.

He said: ''I mean f***ing hundreds of [failed auditions]. Some of them totally humiliating experience. People attach too much to the idea of being a model, that you can only be a certain way to have done it.

''You will always be dealing with it. You're an actor who used to be a model who never trained; there are not many directors queuing up.''