Charlie Hunnam, Jamie Dornan

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Charlie Hunnam may have dropped out of the erotic thriller Fifty Shades of Grey, but the Sons of Anarchy star has nothing but kind words to say about his replacement Jamie Dornan.

"I'm sure he'll do a great job, "the 33-year-old stud said when approached by TMZ this week. "I don't really know his work, but I know Sam [Taylor-Johnson], the director, is amazing, and she has fantastic taste, so I'm sure he'll do a great job."

Hunnam was originally cast as titular character Christian Grey, but exited the role in mid-October due to "Hunnam's immersive TV schedule which was not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role," Universal Pictures and Focus Features said in a joint statement.

Shortly after, a source told E! News that Hunnam's decision to drop out of the film adaptation based on E.L. James' trilogy was "not a surprise because what he was taking on with this role was not what Charlie wants in his future career," adding that the "attention and the pressure was intense."

Entertainment Weekly, Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson

Courtesy Entertainment Weekly

He has since broken his silence on the controversial career move, exclusively opening up to E! News at his first public appearance since the casting switch-up. 

"I am doing good. I am just really concentrating on work. It's been a really busy time," he said to E! News on Sunday, Oct. 20. "I have had some family stuff going on, so just trying to stay focused and stay positive and keep trying to do a good job at work and be with my family and stay positive."

Just four days later, Dornan was officially announced as Hunnam's replacement. The Once Upon a Time hottie will star opposite 24-year-old Dakota Johnson, who has been cast as leading lady Anastasia Steele.

The first glimpse of the sexy costars as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele comes courtesy of the Nov. 22 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which features the onscreen couple on the cover.

Jamie Dornan

Calvin Klein

"I certainly don't fear it," the handsome 31-year-old star told the mag of the sexually-charged content. "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."

And he also said he's planning to hit the gym as he prepares to show some serious skin on the big screen.

"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," Dornan said. "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."

Fifty Shades of Grey begins production in Vancouver on Dec. 2 and will be released on Feb. 13, 2015.

(E! and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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