The first glimpse of Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele comes courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, which features the Fifty Shades of Grey costars on the cover of its Nov. 22 issue. It's the first time the actors have been photographed together—after getting their movie makeovers, no less!—since they were cast in the film adaptation of author E.L. James' trilogy.
It's also the first time the stars have spoken about their involvement with the buzzed-about film. Dornan was hired in late October as a replacement for Charlie Hunnam, who had originally been tapped to play the sadomasochistic billionaire. Johnson, meanwhile, was cast in early September.
As previously reported by E! News, Dornan flew from London to L.A. and auditioned on Oct. 18. He returned home shortly after, unsure if she secured the part. While watching reruns of Storage Wars at 1:30 a.m., he received a call that would change his life forever. "I was sort of pretending I wasn't waiting, but the phone was in my hand, halfway to my ear," the Northern Irish actor recalls.
With his pregnant wife Amelia Warner sleeping upstairs, Dornan got the good news from director Sam Taylor-Wood. "There was a slight fear," the former Calvin Klein model and Once Upon a Time star recalls. "But beyond anything else, I was really f--king excited."
Unlike Johnson, Dornan wasn't at all bothered by the explicit nature of the film or the nudity the role requires. "I'm a fairly worldly guy," the 31-year-old actor explains. "I grew up in a very liberal place. I'm not saying we had a playroom, but I'm not shocked by [the sex in the book]. It's essential to tell the story. I can't believe films that don't invoke the sexual side of it. So it works for me."
Johnson, meanwhile, decided to join a gym for the first time in her life. "Obviously, I want to look good naked," says the 24-year-old, who also went brunette for the role. "I totally understand now why people exercise, because it kind of f--king feels awesome."
Fifty Shades of Grey begins production in Vancouver on Dec. 2. It will be released on Feb. 13, 2015.