Charlie Hunnam on signing up for ‘Fifty Shades’: ‘A bit of a rookie mistake’


Charlie Hunnam has a newish interview with Entertainment Weekly to promote the new season (and last season) of Sons of Anarchy. Most of the interview is about SoA and since I don’t watch the show, it was all Greek to me. You can read the full piece here. What was interesting to me is that Charlie is STILL getting questions about Fifty Shades of Grey and he’s still trying to answer them with honesty… I guess. He maintains that he dropped out of the Christian Grey role because he was overscheduled… which I guess I believe. What I don’t believe is that he was really all that jazzed about the film in the first place. Here’s the Fifty Shades part:

EW: You’ve opened up recently about your decision not to do Fifty Shades of Grey. How did you get through the media storm? Just radio silence?

Hunnan: Yeah, it was radio silence. It was a very difficult position that I put myself in, and that I put the studio in, because of course, those type of things are like red rag to a bull to a lot of bloggers and reviewers. There was a whirlwind of speculation that went around it, and I just feel like I’m happy to do interviews to promote projects and to get the word out there and stuff, but I don’t feel as though I really owe anyone an explanation on the things I do. It’s very personal to me, and every decision I make comes from my heart. There’s nothing ever monetarily or fame-seeking or any of the other motivations that sometimes go hand-in-hand with this profession. To me, it’s just not like that. I’m on [Laughs] a journey of self-discovery and trying to avoid total existential crisis. That’s the kind of operating zone that I’m approaching this business from.

And so it was very painful, and it was very difficult. I was worried that the wrong perception would come out, which is what happened—it was all about that I got cold feet, or that I didn’t have faith in the movie, or that I didn’t like the script, and all this f–king bulls–t. Anybody that knows the process of actors with integrity going about choosing roles knew that all of those questions would have been answered in the very first meeting and that had any of that actually been the case, I would have not gotten myself in the situation in the first place. So it was a little bit annoying and a little bit painful, and I really was just so sad for Sam [Taylor-Johnson], the director, because I absolutely adore her, and I gave her my word and committed to going on this journey with her. It’s been many years that I’ve been in this business. All of a sudden, I’m getting all of these wonderful people approaching me and asking me to work with them. It’s very hard to say no when you love and respect people. I just kind of made a bit of a rookie mistake in that one in biting off more than I could chew.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

Eh, so maybe we were wrong. Given Charlie’s long-winded explanation, I’m actually starting to come around on this whole idea that he really, really wanted to play Christian Grey and he was cool with the script and the nudity and everything. That being said, “anybody that knows the process of actors with integrity…” Is he talking about professional integrity of signing on to a film and then dropping out just a few weeks before the production? Or is he talking about an actor’s integrity of only playing roles he believes in? Because I wouldn’t use the word “integrity” to describe anything to do with Fifty Shades of Grey.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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49 Responses to “Charlie Hunnam on signing up for ‘Fifty Shades’: ‘A bit of a rookie mistake’”

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  1. lisa2 says:

    He really needs to let it go and stop talking about this role. I hate when actors/actresses do this. YOU turned down the role. Someone else has it. The film is done. You are not in it. Stop talking about it. If you made the right decision then nothing else to say.

    I think he wishes he had stayed on board. And I wonder if he is not getting offered other things right now.

    • Jane says:

      He is asked about it and he answers it. What’s difficult to understand about that?

    • Tig says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head- it’s like he has buyer’s remorse when he didn’t buy anything! And pls no more “he dodged a bullet, etc” pile-on that inevitably comes with these posts-clearly, HE doesn’t think so. I think he’s starting to realize that his future projects -at least the ones coming out soon- he’s just a cog in the machine. He’ll be totally dwarfed in any promo for Crimson Peak by the Hiddleston charm offensive, and Pacific Rim is about CGI. SOA is done, so now he’s like anyone else looking for work- if continually rambling about FSOG keeps his name out there, he’ll keep doing it.

      • Intro Outro says:

        Sorry but I just have to stop and snigger at “Hiddleston charm offensive” :P

      • Josa says:

        He has new Job, he is King Arthur in Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur, supposed to become a franchise. I think the press just keep recycling his FSOG story.

  2. Amanda says:

    Dude needs to stop talking about it.

  3. Lindy79 says:

    Tell that to the journalists who keep asking him about it. He was answering a question, it’s not like he brought it up himself.
    He’s an actor and he doesn’t want to lose offers because people think he’s a flake or unreliable, so I say fair enough.
    And anyone that watches SoA knows…he has no issues with nudity or sex scenes.

  4. Loopy says:

    The casting for the movie is all wrong to me,and he would have not convinced me either,but maybe am blinded by his street style. I dont think its a big loss any ways.

  5. Talie says:

    Everytime he talks about this, he becomes annoying.

  6. Viva says:

    This is a old annoying subject. It’s not Charlie bringing up the FSOG debacle. It’s the reporters who can’t be original and inventive in questions for interviews with him. At least he shows some class by answering. Thankfully he dropped out. That movie seems destined to be another one with Showgirls stature.

  7. Mia4S says:

    He’s getting annoying, and comes across as pretentious. By this time either his publicist or SOA’s publicist should have put a stop to this. Or he should be politely declining to answer as it is not his role or movie!! It feels like he’s using the situation now for PR gain. Yes the movie is basically a punch line but his behaviour is really turning me off.

    • LuluBelle says:

      One thing Charlie isn’t is pretentious. I’ve met him and he’s genuinely sweet, nice person and HOTTER THAN HOT!!!!!

  8. Mata says:

    Since the show is in his last season and he’ll be looking for work, I wonder if this is to make sure future employers know that dropping out isn’t a usual thing or a sign that he’s difficult. I guess I’d just prefer to believe that, rather than believe he’d actually want to be a part of that obvious train wreck.

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s a very good theory.
      I’m still not buying his “scheduling” problem, I still think he took the role and everyone was like “dude, really?” and he got cold feet.

  9. jinni says:

    He has spoken about this role more than the people that are actually in the movie.
    Look Charlie, you bailed on the project for one of the mainly different reasons/excuses that you and your people have been pumping out to the media, now deal with the consequences and hush.

    Also, sure he was asked the question about Fifty but he could have simply said he already explained why he made the decision he made in a previous interview and would much rather focus on promoting his upcoming roles. Not give another long, wordy explanation that is just making him seem like he’s protesting too much. This isn’t a good look, it just reminds prospective employers that he may not be reliable. Who’s going to want to hire a guy to headline their big movie if he in his own words is still pulling “rookie moves”?

    • Esmom says:

      So true and yes his answer was way too long winded and sounded like a lot of back pedaling and damage control to me. Seems like he definitely could have given a short, polite answer and moved on if he’d wanted to.

  10. InvaderTak says:

    Talk about crimson peak instead! Deflect the question and go on about projects you have actually done. Just say, “yeah it didn’t happen but this did…”Yeesh.

    • jinni says:


    • Intro Outro says:

      I have to agree, @InvaderTak. I understand that he can’t or won’t filter which questions are being asked, but there are ways of deflecting them and turning the conversation to his other projects. I am afraid that unless he finds a way around this issue, he’ll soon be known as “that guy who turned FSOG down and then couldn’t stop regretting it”. I also think that he already got his message [that he's not a bad sport when it comes to controversial projects] across to studios and producers and it’s time to move on.

  11. Aussie girl says:

    I don’t care, I will still tap him & then some more.

  12. Lilacflowers says:

    I can’t wait until that movie comes out, sinks like a rock, and disappears so everyone can stop talking about it. I’m trying to get the images from the trailer out of my mind.

    Charlie talk Crimson Peak and PR2. Legendary and GDT are supporting you.

  13. Tiffany27 says:

    Why are they acting like he turned down an Oscar? Stop asking the man about a flop movie bored housewives and no one else will view.
    MAN, Jax is making me mad on SOA.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Me too!! Given that everything that’s happened in S7 is a result of everything f*&;%@*g Gemma twice over!!
      Although I’m glad that I have no idea how they’re going to end the series.

  14. Josefa says:

    I agree it’s the reporters who keep asking him about it, but let’s be real here, turning down that role (and accepting it in the first place) is the most recognition this guy has gotten. From strictly a gossipy PoV, it’s not like he’s giving the journos much material (which is cool and totally respectable).

  15. Someonestolemyname says:

    The reporters keep asking him, so he answers.

    He’s so hot, he sizzles.
    He needs to call me. :) LOL

    • LuluBelle says:

      Charlie’s MINE…all MINE. Oh the exhausting dreams I have with Mr. Hunnam. Charlie’s a GOD!!!!!!

  16. Cora says:

    I always cringe whenever someone speaks metaphorically about “going on a journey”. It’s a bit of New Agey slang that always made me retch a little.

  17. Ana says:

    I wish he would have been on Game of Thrones. His sex scenes on SoA are awesome so I know he would have done well on HBO.

  18. Delta Juliet says:

    Those glasses are all kinds of NO!

  19. grabbyhands says:

    I think he is genuinely regretful that he may have caused others involved in the production problems by accepting and then dropping out, but I can’t make myself accept that he really regrets not being in the movie. I mainly think about the time the actress who played Tara was teasing him on the red carpet about wearing a shade of grey and the look on his face was this kind of frozen “oh f**k, what did I just do to myself” and I imagine that feeling got worse after all the Twilight mommies started showing up on the SOA set and leaving underwear on his doorstep. Cripes, even Jamie Dornan sounds tired of talking about the movie and he’s actually in it.

    In the end, I think he will be glad that he didn’t do it. The movie will make money, but it is by no means a guaranteed Twilight level blockbuster yet-it depends on how much they changed.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Agreed, plus…wasn’t there massive online protests from people when he got the part?
      It all got very Twilight-y if memory serves

  20. littlemissnaughty says:

    Oy. Why do reporters think we still care? He’s trying to be polite and answer, I get that. But his PR people need to step in and do something I usually hate but that is very common: Tell them beforehand to NOT go there. They’re wasting questions and our time. It makes him look desperate and I’m pretty sure he’s anything but.

  21. lucy2 says:

    Those glasses are not his friend.
    Has anyone else been incredibly bored by the final season of SoA so far? The show has dragged for a while IMO, but I thought with this being the end and what happened in last years finale, this season would be better.

    • Tiffany27 says:

      This last season is terrible and I want everyone to die. Everyone.

      • laughing girl says:

        Same here. Enough already. I’m so glad it’s the last one.

      • Lindy79 says:

        Given the show has been up and down so much in terms of quality, as a season I kind of like it, it’s frustrating the hell out of me because Jax is being even more of a reckless dumbass and he honestly looks like he’s not even interested in the clubs welfare anymore, just taking everyone out, but at least some of the characters (Nero) have acknowledged it and you can even see it in some of the other Sons faces particularly in the last episode.

        Its not as bad as the Irish season…nothing could be. I am biased though.

    • FingerBinger says:

      I’m a little bored with this season. It’s just been a lot of gratuitous violence and not much else. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this ,but Charlie’s british accent seems to come and go. He’s not even trying with the american accent anymore.

      • Tiffany27 says:

        He’s really not. I feel like they’re all over it. Everyone seems to be phoning it in, but I’ve watched from the very beginning and I can’t quit it now.

  22. laughing girl says:

    I’m not sure I understand the shade he gets for answering the reporters’ questions about 50SOG. They’re bringing it up, he answering it. He also seems to be at pains to avoid the impression that he’s unreliable. Fair enough.

  23. pnichols says:

    I say re-start the whooole thing and cast him in it. (and replace the girl) I’ve seen the previews- yawnfest. Not that I read the books, but I will not see it. If HE was in it there’s a better chance I would. YOU LISTENING HOLLYWOOD!!

  24. Anne says:

    Ugh. Let this die, it’s been covered before.

    *I know the official line is “scheduling conflicts.” Ok. But my sense was always that the fan backlash that greeted the announcement of his casting must have played some role in his not going ahead with the project. I can’t imagine that that wouldn’t have rattled the producers.

    Anyway, It must be hard for an actor to spend a long time with a character and then have it all end. I hope the transition goes well for him.

  25. Brionne says:

    He talks about this movie more than the guy who is in it. He should just say I wish the guy well and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  26. Dawn says:

    So I don’t know if I just love Jax Tellar or Charlie at this point. But I do think at the end of the day he may be glad he was not in the movie. Only time will tell! But I do know that I will miss my Tuesday evening with the Sons but I can’t wait to see what Sutter does next!

  27. browniecakes says:

    I love frank Charlie. Here’s a great response to reporters about the agony of working on Pacific Rim. He makes complaining funny – a real art I wish my co-workers would learn.

    …and he signed up to work with Del Toro on Crimson Peak immediately after this!

  28. LuluBelle says:

    Charlie is the hottest man on the planet and has plenty of film roles lined up. I lust after him!!!!! JAX best be standing when SOA ends.