You gotta do what you gotta do — or not do, as the case may be. Fans were shocked when Charlie Hunnam walked away from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie just a few weeks after his casting had been made public, but he says he had a good reason. Speaking about the decision in a new interview with Men’s Health, the Sons of Anarchy actor said that the shooting schedule would have compromised his ability to fully commit to the role.
“I was going to finish playing a psychopath who’d just lost his wife [in Sons], and five days later I’d be on set playing Christian Grey,” the hunky 34-year-old told the mag for its December issue. “I was like, ‘This is going to be a f—ing disaster.’ It was the opposite of how I’ve tried to ground my career, not stretch myself too thin, and always do my homework.”
Hunnam further explained that “there’s a tendency in this Hollywood machinery to take on too much. You end up not being able to give everything you want.” He learned early on that that kind of lifestyle doesn’t work for him. “Since I was young, I’ve been aware that I need time to myself to process everything,” he told Men’s Health.
Adding to his stress at the time was the fact that he had another project lined up immediately after Fifty Shades was scheduled to wrap. “It was a really, really difficult time in my life,” he explained to Us Weekly back in August. Thinking about the shooting schedule, he added, he had “frankly, something of a nervous breakdown.”
Ultimately, the role of Christian Grey went to Once Upon a Time actor Jamie Dornan, who will star opposite Dakota Johnson in the racy flick, set to hit theaters on Feb. 13, 2015.
For more from Charlie Hunnam’s interview with Men’s Health, pick up the December issue, on sale now.