Jamie Dornan reflects on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ role, expected ‘Baggage’ and success

Jamie Dornan’s candid reflection on “Fifty Shades of Grey”


Actor Jamie Dornan opens up about his decision to star in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” film franchise, acknowledging the anticipation of both commercial success and critical backlash that came with the role.

In a recent episode of the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Dornan revealed that his decision to take on the role of Christian Grey in the erotic thriller was not an immediate affirmation. He was well aware that the film adaptation of E.L. James’ book series was going to generate controversy.

Dornan stated, “I knew that it came with a lot of baggage. The reality was it was going to make a ton of money and fans were going to love it, and the critics were going to despise it because that’s exactly what happened with the books. And that’s what we were making.”


The actor starred alongside Dakota Johnson in the 2015 film “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which was followed by two sequels, “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed.” The movie trilogy was based on James’ book series, which gained immense popularity upon its release between 2011 and 2012.

Interestingly, Dornan was not initially cast as Christian Grey. The role was first offered to “Sons of Anarchy” actor Charlie Hunnam. Reflecting on this, Dornan expressed some relief, believing that Hunnam would have faced a substantial amount of scrutiny. However, fate had other plans, and Dornan found himself cast in the role just five weeks before shooting commenced.

Despite his reservations, Dornan embraced the fandom surrounding the franchise. He noted that staying faithful to the source material was a priority, contributing to the movies’ appeal to fans. While critics may have been less enthusiastic, the films themselves turned out to be massive successes.

The first film, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” shattered box office records during its opening weekend in 2015, grossing $81.6 million over the combined Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day weekend. The trilogy as a whole continued to resonate with audiences, solidifying its status as a commercial hit.

Dornan’s willingness to address the dual nature of the franchise’s reception reflects the complexity of taking on a role that is as polarizing as it is popular. Despite the anticipated backlash, the “Fifty Shades of Grey” films found a devoted audience, demonstrating the power of staying true to source material while recognizing that artistic success can take various forms.