Jamie Dornan Reveals the One “Issue” He Has With Fifty Shades of Grey Franchise

Six years after Jamie Dornan first graced the big screen as billionaire Christian Grey, the actor is reflecting on his role in an interview with British GQ.

By Kisha Forde Oct 29, 2021 2:05 PMTags
Watch: How Jamie Dornan's Character Changed in "Fifty Shades Darker"

While Jamie Dornan doesn't regret playing a billionaire exploring the world of BDSM, there is one thing he'd change.
The actor—who starred as the ever-so-mysteriously-guarded character of Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise—recently opened up about his frustration with the movies being ultimately panned by most critics as a "joke."
"Look, put it this way: it's done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion," he told British GQ. "Every working actor would say the same thing. It's provided—a lot. There's no shame in saying it's transformed my life and my family's life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be. And the fans loved it."
"But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke," Jamie continued. "Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself."

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The three-film franchise—which also starred Dakota Johnson as college student and Christian's love interest, Anastasia Steele—went on to gross over $1.32 billion worldwide, making it the seventh highest-grossing R-rated franchise of all-time.

However, as many moviegoers may already know, Jamie stepped into the role after Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam had to drop out—although Jamie's acceptance was not without hesitation.

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"I was beaten to it the first time by Charlie and I felt a certain amount of relief when he got it, to be honest," Jamie shared. "I thought, ‘This would have been fun, but it would have been a strange ride. Better not to be on that ride.' But he pulled out and then I got a call. And I got it. And there we go. I had to confront that choice again."
Confronting that choice, as Jamie explained, also meant recognizing that starring in an erotic romantic drama would come at a bit of a price.

"I'll never forget, The Guardian did this long piece on Fifty Shades," he said. "It was just after The Fall came out and I had been nominated for a Bafta, a huge moment in my career—about my announcement and about what a devastating career choice it was for me. So, the early consensus of my ‘bad choice', let's just say, I was very aware of that narrative."

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Jamie, who has since starred in countless other movies after the franchise's debut, including Anthropoid and Belfast, is well-aware of the footnote his appearance in Fifty Shades of Grey made—but noted that it's lit an entirely new spark fire for him moving forward.
"Whether A Private WarAnthropoid or Belfast, or whatever comes next, the line in the press is always, ‘It's the best thing he's done since Fifty Shades,'" he explained. "As if I am still needing to prove myself; I am still paying penance for that choice to get me back to where I was beforehand. Look, I get it, and to be honest with you, it spurs me on. It lights a fire in me. If that means people saying, ‘Oh, actually he's not that bad,' well, so be it."