Bella Heathcote Cast in ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ as Christian Grey’s Ex-Girlfriend Leila Williams

Bella Heathcote
Bella Heathcote attends the 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' premiere. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Finally, a face to a name! Australian actress Bella Heathcote has officially signed on to the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel to play fictional character Christian Grey’s ex-girlfriend Leila Williams.

On Friday, February 5, the Twitter handle for the popular BDSM-based trilogy announced Heathcote, 28, as the latest addition to the film series. (Last week, Variety reported that veteran actress Kim Basinger will take on the role of another one of Grey’s former lovers, Elena Lincoln.)

In the erotic romance books, penned by author E L James, Williams is one of Grey’s “ex-subs,” or ex-submissive lovers, who (spoiler alert) suffers a mental breakdown and begins to stalk Grey’s new love, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

Jamie Dornan plays the brooding, troubled billionaire in all three films.

Fifty Shades of Grey
'Fifty Shades of Grey.' Universal

Though Heathcote’s name may be unfamiliar to an American audience, the actress has been training since the young age of 12.

“My mum passed away when I was 12, so I think Dad was all for me being distracted,” she told the New York Times T Magazine in 2012, about how she got into the acting business. “I don’t know that he thought speech and drama would lead to a career. At the time, it was just an escape.”

She has had roles opposite Johnny Depp, in Tim Burton’s 2012 film adaptation of Dark Shadows, and most recently played Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

She is perhaps best known, however, for her role as Amanda Fowler in the hit Australian soap opera Neighbours, where Kylie Minogue and Margot Robbie also had major parts.

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