Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam made the tough decision to back out of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey in 2013, and now he’s reflecting on how “heartbreaking” it was for him.
He was originally cast to portray the lead character Christian Grey, with The Fall star Jamie Dornan stepping in for all three films.
From an outsider’s perspective it seemed like it was a clean-cut decision, and everything fell into place, for the most part. Dornan took on the role opposite Dakota Johnson (21 Jump Street) and Hunnam was now free to star in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak with Tom Hiddleston, which he committed to prior to Fifty.
But all isn’t always as it seems.
Hunnam, 34, recently talked with V Magazine about how he was feeling two years after pulling the trigger, saying, “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.”
He goes on to say he was feeling panicked over his busy schedule, trying to finish up Sons of Anarchy, prepare for Crimson Peak, and somehow fit in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Apparently his friends chimed in, trying to ease his mind, which he recounts, “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.'”
From the sound of things, it seems the British actor exhibited loyalty to his friend and a project that he had already committed to. But when talking to V Magazine, Hunnam seemed a little annoyed about “the outside perception … that I got really cold feet and got scared of the sexuality of the piece.”
When he broke the news to Fifty Shades director Sam Taylor-Johnson, they both cried their eyes out, according to Hunnam.
Coincidentally, while the first installment of the trilogy was a record-breaking success at the box office, Taylor-Johnson will not be returning for the sequel.
Crimson Peak will hit U.S. theaters on October 16, 2015.
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