Jamie Dornan has come a long way since “50 Shades of Grey,” starring in hit films like “Belfast” and “A Haunting in Venice” and leading the Netflix series “The Tourist.” But the actor still remembers the mockery that he endured for starring in the poorly-received adaptations of E.L. James’ bestselling erotic novels.
In a recent appearance on the BBC 4 radio show “Desert Island Discs,” Dornan opened up about the initial wave of bad publicity after Sam Taylor-Johnson’s first “50 Shades of Grey” film hit theaters in 2015. He explained that the film’s poor reviews stung him given his recent acting successes, prompting him to hide out in Taylor-Johnson’s country home until the bad press blew over.
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“I think I hid,” Dornan said. “I was coming off the back of career-altering reviews for ‘The Fall’ and BAFTA nominations and all the madness ‘The Fall’ brought… to ridicule. We went down to Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s place. They weren’t there. They let us have their place in the country and we sort of hid there for awhile and shut ourselves off from the world a little bit.”
Dornan went on to say that his disappointment with the film was exacerbated by his realization that its financial success would require him to reprise his role as Christian Grey two more times.
“It made so much money so like… films two and three were greenlit overnight,” Dornan said. “It was a strange thing because there’s a bit of ridicule here and I’m now contracted to do two more, knowing that there will be much more damnation to come.”
While the trilogy’s bad reviews may have hurt Dornan, they were not entirely shocking to him. The actor previously told IndieWire that he always expected the films to bomb with critics.
“The fans, for the most part, loved it and it made a ton of money,” he said. “I think if everyone’s honest with themselves, that was the main two intentions going into it. We were aware that the critics probably weren’t going to love it, because the critics did not love the books. I don’t know how we would’ve changed that when we were sticking so close to the books. But there’s no regret or anything.”
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