Charlie Hunnam opened up about his decision to leave his ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ role as the Christian Grey character which went to Jamie Dornan. The former ‘Sons of Anarchy’ star spoke out in a cover story interview with VMAN magazine and also posed shirtless, revealing a chiseled physique.
It was nearly two years ago that the 35-year-old British actor announced he was relinquishing the much-coveted role in the screen adaptation of the EL James’ internationally bestselling erotic novel which, as time goes on has become a multifaceted and multi-million dollar franchise with all manner of licensed merchandise, some of which parents would do well to keep far away from children.
At the time, he was portraying Jax Teller on FX’s ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ His departure stirred much rumor, gossip and speculation, and no small amount of backlash despite the official statement which cited his “immersive TV schedule” as the reason.
In the new interview with VMAN Charlie Hunnam said of those days and the decision that he made, “Oh it was the worst professional experience of my life. It was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally. It was heartbreaking,.”
He went on to say, “I called [director Sam Taylor-Johnson] and we both cried our eyes out on the phone for 20 minutes.” Continuing his recollection, Hunnam said, “There was a lot of personal stuff going on in my life that left me on real emotional shaky ground and mentally weak. I just got myself so f—ing overwhelmed and I was sort of having panic attacks about the whole thing. I just didn’t know what to do.”
Hunnam also spoke out about the speculation as to why he had left ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and said of that, “The outside perception of that was that I got really cold feet and got scared of the explicit nature of the sexuality of the piece.’
Alluding to a role he had many years ago on UK’s Channel 4 TV series ‘Queer As Folk,’ he added, “When I was 18 I was getting f—ed in the a-s, completely naked on national TV, y’know?”
Well, that would seem to be a convincing argument, but even at the time, two years ago, it didn’t persuade some naysayers. And, as it stands, the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ franchise churns on without him, as fans anticipate the ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ movie due in theaters next year. And after that, yet another screen adaptation. And after that, perhaps yet another and once again after that, perhaps yet even another as long as grey keeps on producing green.
But what is clear is that the would-be Christian Grey has moved on, and he’ll next be seen in ‘Crimson Peak,’ which was directed by Guillermo del Toro (‘Pacific Rim’).
You can see more interview excerpts and more pics here. Charlie Hunnam’s VMAN cover and photos are below!
Pictures: PR Photos