The Once Upon a Time alum, 39, told British GQ in an interview published on Friday, October 29, that he has no regrets about his work on the films, the first of which premiered in 2015. “Look, put it this way: it’s done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion,” he explained. “Every working actor would say the same thing. It’s provided — a lot.”
He pointed out that fans of the book series loved the movies too, even if critics didn’t. Still, he doesn’t appreciate that the trilogy still has a reputation for being silly or poorly made. “I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke,” he told the outlet. “Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself.”
As fans know, the former model played Christian Grey, a billionaire who falls in love with the inexperienced Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). He’s racked up plenty of film and TV credits since the trilogy’s final entry, Fifty Shades Freed, premiered in 2018, but he’s had trouble shaking the association with the franchise.
“Whether A Private War, Anthropoid or Belfast, or whatever comes next, the line in the press is always, ‘It’s the best thing he’s done since Fifty Shades,'” the Northern Ireland native said. “As if I am still needing to prove myself; I am still paying penance for that choice to get me back to where I was beforehand.”
Earlier this year, the Marie Antoinette actor showed off his comedic chops in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, which starred Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. His next project is the drama Belfast, directed by Kenneth Branagh and due out later this year.
Dornan’s Fifty Shades costar, meanwhile, has expressed similar sentiments about the franchise. “I’m proud of Fifty Shades of Grey,” Johnson, 32, told The Guardian in 2016. “I don’t need to distance myself from that. The more work I do, the more the general public sees the different things I can do. Do I think it opened doors? Yeah. More people know my name.”
In September, the duo had an impromptu reunion at the Telluride Film Festival, where they were each promoting their new films. While promoting her upcoming movie The Lost Daughter, the Bigger Splash actress posed for a few photos with her former costar, who was at the Colorado event to promote Belfast.
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