Charlie Hunnam: Leaving Fifty Shades of Grey Was “Painful”

Charlie Hunnam on the cover of EW
Charlie Hunnam spoke about Fifty Shades of Grey in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly MARC HOM for EW


What could have been! Hunky Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam famously signed on for the role of Christian Grey in the big-screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, but broke fans’ hearts when he pulled out of the gig just weeks later. 

Hunnam, 35, reflected on the decision in a new cover story interview with Entertainment Weekly. Promoting his role in the upcoming Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, the star stuns on the cover and talks Fifty Shades inside the issue.

“It was very, very painful for me, that whole process, just very unpleasant,” the Brit said of handing over the role of Christian to eventual star Jamie Dornan. “I felt like I let myself down. I let those people down on Fifty Shades that I’d grown to really love and respect. It’s just a really unpleasant period of time for me.”

Reps for Universal Pictures broke the news in October 2013 that Hunnam would no longer be leading the adaptation of E L James‘ erotic novel. As to why he dropped out of the risky flick, the Abandon star cited scheduling at the time, explaining that he would not be able to make the movie while still filming his scenes for Sons of Anarchy.

jamie dornan and dakota johnson in 50 shades
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in 50 Shades Of Grey Universal Pictures

“For the first time in my life, [I] had more work than I had time to do it,” he continued to EW. “It’s very hard to be disciplined in that situation and understand what is going to be required to all of that work to the best of your ability and have yourself surrounded by people.”

“You see it all the time in Hollywood,” he added. “There’s a tendency to make hay while the sun shines and to capitalize on every second once somebody gets hot and people just get burnt out. That’s what I started to do.” 

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