Hollywood’s new “It” hunk? Us Weekly confirmed on Thursday, Oct. 24 that Jamie Dornan has been cast to replace Charlie Hunnam in the film adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The 31-year-old actor will take on the role of Christian Grey, a wealthy young businessman who secretly practices BDSM, opposite Dakota Johnson‘s role as college graduate Anastasia Steele.
Dornan won the part after Sons of Anarchy star Hunnam, 33, got cold feet over the script and other issues earlier this month. “Everyone trusts that [Dornan will] make an excellent Christian and will do the role justice,” an insider told Us. “His contract is set — this has the potential to make him a huge star.”
Here, Us Weekly uncovers five things you might not know about Dornan.
1. He is Irish. Perhaps destined for Hollywood, Dornan was born in Holywood, County Down, Ireland. He has two older sisters and dropped out of Teesside University in Middlesbrough, England to move to London to train as an actor.
2. He had a sexy career start. Dornan began modeling underwear for Calvin Klein and starred in many hot, shirtless ads. His first major acting role was playing Count Axel Fersen in Sofia Coppola‘s 2006 film Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst in the title role.
3. He previously dated Keira Knightley. The couple met at an Asprey photo shoot in 2003 and dated for two years before splitting up. Dornan married British actress and singer-songwriter Amelia Warner in April 2013, and Knightley wed musician James Righton in May 2013.
4. He is about to be a daddy. He and wife Warner, 31, confirmed in June 2013 that they are expecting their first child together.
5. He played the handsome virtuous Sheriff Graham on Once Upon a Time . . . and currently plays a serial killer in The Fall. Dornan’s Once Upon a Time character was killed off in season one in 2011 as the show’s first major death, but returned as the Huntsman for the season finale episode. Leaving the fairytale world behind, Dornan took on the role of serial killer Paul Spector in the U.K. TV series The Fall. “I don’t want to play a serial killer for the rest of my life,” he told The Mirror in June 2013, “but this will change perceptions of who I am.”
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