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Jamie Dornan Opened Up About Why He Doesn't Regret Filming "Fifty Shades Of Grey" Despite Calling The Criticism "Difficult" To Deal With

"It's given me so much, so of course I don't regret it."

Posted on November 16, 2021, at 9:54 a.m. ET

Jamie Dornan is opening up about his feelings on Fifty Shades of Grey, the movie that helped catapult him into the Hollywood mainstream at the expense of criticism from...well, just about everybody.

Leon Bennett / WireImage,

Jamie was famously cast as Christian Grey in the franchise based on the huge-selling books, starring alongside Dakota Johnson who played love interest Anastasia Steele.

Universal Pictures

All three movies in the franchise were met with swathes of criticism, with none of them reaching more than 50% on Rotten Tomatoes in either critic or audience score.

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The first movie was scored 25% by critics and 41% by the audience, while the second, Fifty Shades Darker, held a dismal critics score of 11% and a slightly better audience score of 48%. The final movie, Fifty Shades Freed, scored the lowest in both departments, finishing the franchise with 11% and 37% respectively.

However, despite the almost-universally negative response to the movies, they still managed to bring in more than $1 billion combined at the box office.

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Sitting down with British GQ recently, Jamie revealed that he was "reluctant" to take the role when he auditioned for it and was relieved when it was initially given to someone else.

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"Charlie Hunnam got it and that was announced," he said. "I was relieved. I was. I was like, Fuck that’s great, what a fucking nightmare for that guy ‘cause he’s gonna have all this scrutiny, and before anyone’s heard him do anything he’s gonna be really hated and so many people will rage against the casting of it alone." 

However, things soon changed when Charlie pulled out, and Jamie went on to accept the role. He said: "He dropped out and then I filled in and felt that wrath of hatred."

However, Jamie explained that he'd expected the onslaught of criticism because they were sticking so closely to the books, which had also been divisive upon their release.

Axelle / FilmMagic

"There's nothing like Fifty Shades in terms of, it was based on books and we were staying very close to these books," he said. "These books were loved by fandom. Really loved, obsessively loved and despised by every critic."

"You know that you're going to have these movies that are for the fans, that the fans are going to love, that are gonna make a ton of money," he went on. "But you know that the critics will be just, you know, licking their lips, and that's exactly what happened. And we knew that was going to happen so you're watching that play out and at times that's fucking difficult."

But despite the response to the movies and his decision to take part in them in the first place, Jamie added that he had no regrets because of the positives it had given him further down the line in his career.

Steve Granitz / FilmMagic,

"The thing is every move I have made in my career, post those films, I have only been able to do because of those films," he said. "Because all of the stuff, like Belfast, Beyond Private or any like well-received, more independent stuff I've done the last five or six years, they're only budgeting, they're only paying for those films to be made off my name because I'm in a franchise that made $1.4 billion. That's how that works. It's all part of it, it's given me so much, so of course I don't regret it."


Jamie also opened up about Fifty Shades of Grey in a separate interview with British GQ last month, revealing he was "aware of the narrative" in the media that questioned his decision to take on the role when his career was already on the up.

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"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."

"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," Jame added. "Every working actor would say the same thing. It's provided — a lot."

Samir Hussein / WireImage

"There's no shame in saying it's transformed my life and my family's life financially." he continued. "I am very, very grateful for this and always will be. And the fans loved it. Kevin Maher [the film critic] at the Times didn't love it — what a surprise! But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke. Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself."

You can watch Jamie's full interview with British GQ here, and read his full interview with the publication here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.