Several weeks ago, Jamie Dornan (your Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey) appeared on Graham Norton’s show – some of you tweeted me and asked me to cover it, but I decided against it. I later watched the whole episode and I came away completely and utterly charmed by Dornan. He’s very sweet, very funny and he’s a lot weirder than people think – you can see the full episode here. My favorite part of the interview is when Jamie is talking about how he walks on his tippy-toes and it was only recently that someone told him to walk “heel-to-toe” and he had his mind blown because no one had ever told him to walk that way.
Anyway, Jamie has another new interview in The London Evening Standard. He’s promoting The Fall, his TV show where he plays a serial killer (being hunted by Gillian Anderson). He curses up a blue streak, makes reference to his time as Keira Knightley’s boyfriend, and talks about his modeling side-projects:
His modeling career versus real life: He’s a hard-drinking, rugby-playing, Man United-supporting 31-year-old who listens to The Kinks, reads Oscar Wilde and litters his conversation with expletives. ‘I’ve never felt massively satisfied from standing there while someone takes my photograph,’ he says. ‘It’s never given me a thrill.. It would take a very foolish man to turn down the stuff that was offered to me. You’re in your twenties, and people are going to give you a silly amount of money to lean against a wall with your head down. F*** me, you’ve got to do it.’
He’s got a lot of failed auditions behind him: ‘I mean f***ing hundreds of them. Some of them totally humiliating experiences. People attach too much to the idea of being a model, that you can only be a certain way to have done it. You will always be dealing with it. You’re an actor who used to be a model who never trained; there are not many directors queuing up.’
He auditioned for Christian Grey early but lost out to Charlie Hunnam. ‘You know, one door closes, another opens. When he dropped out, I didn’t instantly think, “Oh, here we go, maybe I should cancel that holiday,” but I did feel that maybe we’d revisit the idea of me.’
He lost his mom and four close friends when he was 16: ‘Going through that certainly has had an effect on the darker side of my psyche. I was 16… Look, I’m not saying that experiencing loss is why I can cope with darker worlds, I’m not saying that for a second, but I think it opens up a side of you in terms of work that wouldn’t be as accessible had that stuff not happened.’
Being Keira’s boyfriend back in the day: ‘It was a strange environment to find yourself in, being hounded and followed. It’s really hideous. F***ing hell, [the paparazzi] are cretins. I couldn’t have less respect for those guys. There are so many ways to make a living that don’t involve hiding in bushes opposite houses of 18-year-old girls with a camera in your hand. That’s not making a living, that’s making a choice to be a perverted f***head.’
Stardom in his 30s: ‘That scrutiny when you’re older will be easier to take. And I don’t think I’m ever going to be as famous as her [Keira].’
I think it’s interesting that his first sense of stardom was second-hand, as Keira Knightley’s boyfriend when she first began blowing up. That helped form his world-view about acting and the media, I’m sure. And it seems like he’s still somewhat protective of Keira too. But yeah… I think Jamie is going to have his own paparazzi explosion happening next year when Fifty Shades of Grey gets released. Maybe it will be slightly easier for him then because he lives a relatively quiet life in England.
Photos courtesy of WENN.