Charlie Hunnam: Quitting Fifty Shades Was ‘Heartbreaking’


Charlie Hunnam has said that exiting the movie adaptation of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was the 'worst professional appearance’ of his life.

The 'Sons of Anarchy’ star was all set to play Christian Grey in the movie, but pulled out four months before filming.

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He says that the decision to leave the production wasn’t because of the sexual nature of the movie – the character Grey is obviously best known for his obsession with S&M – but because he had made certain promises to director Guillermo Del Toro.

“It was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally,” he told V Man magazine.

“I’d given Guillermo my word, over a year before, that I was going to do 'Crimson Peak’.”

“People were saying, 'Are you crazy? Guillermo still has got four months to recast, it’s the fourth lead, you can go and do this [instead].’ I said, 'I can’t. He’s my friend’.”


It was also his ties to the seventh series of 'Sons of Anarchy’ which meant he couldn’t fit the two movies into his schedule.

“I was going to finish Sons, fly to Vancouver the next day, have ten days of rehearsal, and then start shooting… Then I was going to have three days after that and I’d have to start shooting 'Crimson Peak’ and then I’d have two days to travel and go back into season seven of Sons,” he said.

But on realising it wasn’t going to work, he then had to tell director Sam Taylor-Wood.

“I called her and we both cried our eyes out on the phone for 20 minutes,” he went on.

“I needed to tell her that this was not going to work. There was a lot of personal stuff going on in my life that left me on real emotional shaky ground and mentally week. I just didn’t know what to do.”

He admitted it 'was the worst professional experience of my life. It was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally. It was heartbreaking’.


Jamie Dornan eventually took on the role, starring opposite Dakota Johnson in the blockbuster.

But it’s quite possible Hunnam dodged something of a bullet.

The respected Taylor-Wood stepped down from directing the sequel, amid talk of on-set disputes between her and the book’s writer, E.L. James.

It also received some pretty stinging reviews from critics (though many remarked that it improved on the book).

That said, it made a fortune at the box office, scooping $569.7 million (£369 million) on the back of its $40 million (£26 million) production budget.

'Fifty Shades Darker’, directed by James Foley, who’s been behind episodes of 'House of Cards’, is due out in February, 2017.

Image credits: PA/Fox/Universal