Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James branded the film release a ‘traumatic time.’

The steamy trilogy starred Dakota Johnson as naive student Anastasia Steele who embarks on a relationship with billionaire businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) who introduces her to the world of BDSM (bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism).

The movies has made more than a billion dollars at the box office and the first book in the series, Fifty Shades Of Grey, broke sales records following its release.


Actor Jamie Dornan left audience members in a steamy tizz when he starred in the saucy Fifty Shades franchise but he knew his performance wouldn’t win over critics.

Dornan played Christian Grey in all three films in the Fifty Shades of Grey series alongside Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele.

Although fans of the film are grateful he played Christian, he initially lost out on the role to Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam, who eventually dropped out, which meant Dornan was back in.

jamie dornan wears a black suit and tie

Scott Garfitt//Getty Images

Related: Dakota Johnson says Fifty Shades of Grey was “always a battle”

Speaking to Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the Heart of Stone actor revealed that he knew critics would not get on board with the film but that it would be a hit with audiences.

On stepping in to replace Hunnam, Dornan said: “When I didn’t get it, I felt a bit of relief because I knew that guy is going to get wrecked here.”

He added: “He maybe felt the same… suddenly there I was, but with way less time to make a decision. I got cast five weeks before we started filming. I knew that it came with all that baggage… that the reality was it would make a ton of money, and the fans would love and the critics would despise it.

“That’s what happened with the books, and that’s what we were making. We were staying truthful to the books, and we knew what that would be.”

jamie dornan, dakota johnson, fifty shades of grey


Related: First look at Fifty Shades of Grey and Crazy Rich Asians stars in new movie

The movies were box office successes, bringing in around $1.3 billion globally.

Dornan continued: “Movies that are made for the fans that fans love can be seen as a success.

“I’m grateful that Dakota and I have managed to come out [in the years since] and make work that people still like and have had some of those said critics do a bit of a 180.”

Fifty Shades of Grey scored 24% on Rotten Tomatoes, with Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed both scoring 11%

However, during Thursday’s Lorraine, the writer, 60, reflected on how she felt about the film adaptation eight years after the first film premiered.

‘There were some good bits there were some not so good bits, but it was a huge learning experience,’ she told the host.

‘I gained a lot out of it in those terms and hopefully we get to do it again.

She said: ‘In 2018, the stresses of all of this, the great madness and the movies and everything, suddenly my brain just decided to reset.

‘I lost seven years in terms of my memory and my husband found me sitting in our rather lovely beach house in Cornwall and asked me “are you okay?” and I didn’t actually remember where I was, so it was a bit of a shock for him and he was quite scared that I’d had a stroke.’

Explaining the cause of the amnesia she added: ‘It could be stress, it could be vigorous activity, should we say.’

The Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy made James a millionaire many times over and in 2015 the Sunday Times Rich List estimated her fortune at £75 million.

In 2012, publishers said that Fifty Shades Of Grey, the first in the trilogy, was the best-selling book in the UK since records began.


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