Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

First photo of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey - as the actor reveals he was in his pyjamas when he landed kinky Fifty Shades role

The Northern Irish actor is unfazed by the steamy sex scenes he's about to film with Dakota Johnson

Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in the first cast photos from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Photo by Frank Ockenfels for Entertainment Weekly
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in the first cast photos from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Photo by Frank Ockenfels for Entertainment Weekly
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in the first cast photos from the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Photo by Frank Ockenfels for Entertainment Weekly

The first photograph of Jamie Dornan in character as Christian Grey has been revealed - along with an amusing admission the Co Down actor was in his pyjamas when he got the big phonecall from Hollywood.

Dornan, 31, posed with co-star Dakota Johnson, playing Anastasia Steele in the much-hyped Fifty Shades of Grey movie, for the front cover of US magazine Entertainment Weekly.

It is the first time the actors have been photographed together since they were cast in the film adaptation of EL James' erotic literary saga, following months of speculation, production delays and a major casting U-turn.

A stern-looking Dornan can be seen brooding and clutching his trademark silk tie while Johnson bites her lip.

But the man who will soon become the object of women's fantasies around the world has said he was in his pyjamas, watching reruns of Storage Wars, when he was anxiously praying for the phone to ring.

“I was sort of pretending I wasn’t waiting, but the phone was in my hand, halfway to my ear,” he told Entertainment Weekly.

As his pregnant wife, actress Amelia Warner, slept upstairs, the film’s director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) phoned with the good news.

Dornan would instantly be propelled to international stardom.

“There was a slight fear,” he said. “But beyond anything else, I was really f***ing excited.”

The former Calvin Klein model spent his early days frequently undressing for the camera and told the magazine he wasn't at all anxious about the graphic sex scenes he and Dakota Johnson are about to film.

"I’m a fairly worldly guy," he said.

"I grew up in a very liberal place. I’m not saying we had a playroom, but I’m not shocked by [the sex in the book]. It’s essential to tell the story. I can’t believe films that don’t invoke the sexual side of it. So it works for me."

The movie - about the seduction of virginal college student Anastasia Steele (Johnson) by a beautiful billionaire with a penchant for sadomasochism (Dornan) - was originally set for release in August 2014, but has now been pushed back to Valentine's Day weekend 2015 Production begins in Vancouver on December 2.

Dornan was invited to audition for the role after Charlie Hunnam pulled out.

The Holywood (Co Down) boy was last on our screens in the Belfast-set BBC crime drama The Fall, as grief counsellor Paul Spector by day and a sexually motivated serial killer by night.

He also plays Sheriff Graham Humbert in ABC series “Once Upon a Time” and was regularly pictured in gossip magazines when he dated Keira Knightly for two years.

This year he became a patron of Carryduff-based TinyLife - Northern Ireland's charity for premature and vulnerable babies. Dornan has long been associated with the charity through his father, Professor James Dornan, a founding member who still sits on the board of directors.

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