News Column

Charlie Hunnam gets explicit: He's ready to play Christian Grey

September 10, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 10--Charlie Hunnam will bare it all as billionaire Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of E.L. James' erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey."

The "Sons of Anarchy" star said he was already prepared for the raunchy B&D scenes the film would require with costar Dakota Johnson, cast as ingenue Anastasia Steele, who finds herself tangled up in a sexual relationship with Grey so spicy it requires a nondisclosure agreement.

"I spent a lifetime preparing myself for that," the actor joked with E! News during the "SOA" Season 6 premiere at the Dolby Theatre on Saturday.

In all seriousness, Hunnam gave a more straightforward answer in another interview on the red carpet.

"You know what, I had such a baptism of fire with regards to sexuality on camera at the beginning of my career," the "Pacific Rim" star said in an interview with the Associated Press.

"I starred in the British Channel Four miniseries 'Queer As Folk' where I played a young, gay character and there were some incredible, explicit sex scenes on that show. So I feel, and now I am 16 years older and more mature so I don't anticipate them being too much of a problem. It's like anything else, just an exciting challenge."

A challenge indeed, considering the three-novel series has a rabid, "Twilight"-like fan base with its own preconceptions of how the film should have been cast. ("White Collar's" Matt Bomer and "Gilmore Girls'" Alexis Bledel were one set of fan favorites.) In fact, Hunnam's casting as the chiseled and mysterious chief exec was greeted with fan ire last week after James announced he would play the erotic antagonist.

"I didn't do it lightly, you know," he told E! "I did a lot of research and I did a lot of thinking about it and feel confident that I have a way to bring him to life that'll be fun and exciting and honest."

Apparently, Hunnam had been offered the role but didn't sign on immediately.

"There was a bit of a timing issue where I just wanted to ensure that I was going to have enough time to really do the preparation so I can bring this guy to life and do him justice and when they decided to push the schedule to accommodate that then I was a no-brainer and I was in," he told AP.

Hunnam, who is currently dating jewelry designer Morgana McNelis, explained how the sexually explicit role might affect their love life.

"Of course, it's difficult being with an actor, you know?" he said. "She is required to share certain parts of me with the world that she wouldn't necessarily choose to do, but we have a great relationship and she loves me and wants to be with me and we've been together a long time now, and I think she understands and has come to terms with the fact that there are certain elements of me that she is going to have to share.

"This is an extreme example of that, but thankfully we do have 71/2 years of history together, so it won't be a big problem."

We'll just have to wait and see. #sorrynotsorry.

Follow Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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