Jamie Dornan is reflecting on his life and career after Fifty Shades of Grey.
In case you need reminding, Jamie was catapulted to global fame in 2013 when he was cast as Christian Grey in the highly anticipated film adaption of the Fifty Shades book series.
With Dakota Johnson starring alongside him as Anastasia Steele, Fifty Shades of Grey was released in 2015, followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed in 2017 and 2018.
There’s no disputing that the franchise was a major commercial success, raking in a combined total of more than $1 billion at the box office. However, the films were received very poorly by critics.
Currently, all three movies have an audience score on Rotten Tomatoes of less than 50% — and the critics scores are even worse at 25% for the first movie and 11% for both the second and third.
As you might recall, the hatred for the first movie in particular was widespread at the time of its release. And now, looking back, Jamie said the backlash was so intense that he literally had to go into hiding.
While reflecting on this time period during a recent appearance on BBC Radio 4’sDesert Island Discs, the actor recalled that he’d been on a career-high before the first Fifty Shades movie brought his reputation crumbling down.
“[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,” he said, explaining that he was able to seek refuge thanks to Sam Taylor-Johnson — who directed the first Fifty Shades movie — and her husband, Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
“I think I hid,” Jamie remembered. “[My family] 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 a while and shut ourselves off from the world a bit.”
He recalled that one of the unusual aspects of the experience was that in spite of the intense criticism, Jamie and Dakota were already contractually obliged to return for two more films.
“It made so much money so like, films two and three were greenlit overnight,” he 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.”
However, Jamie made it clear that he has absolutely no regrets about taking on the role — even if it’s bound to follow him for the rest of his life.
“I’ve just had very glowing reviews for recent work. And there won’t be any that don’t mention Fifty Shades in them,” he said. “A lot of reviews are like: ‘He’s great, but lest we forget when he wasn’t great here.’”