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Action man Jamie Dornan tackles new role in African wilderness

By Claire McNeilly

Published 19/09/2016

Jamie Dornan has gone from serial killer to sex symbol - and now soldier.

The Co Down actor's new character is an Irish UN peace keeper who survived an ambush in central Africa.

New images for the forthcoming Netflix film The Siege of Jadotville - released ahead of a special screening at Dublin's Savoy cinema tonight - show Dornan wearing army combats and brandishing a rifle in the African wilderness.

The Siege of Jadotville marks a departure for Dornan from playing cold, complicated and unpleasant men - first as a charming serial killer in The Fall, then as the masochistic romantic interest in Fifty Shades - and allows his fans a to see him as a straightforward good guy.

The movie recounts the true-life tale of Irish UN peacekeepers, ambushed by mercenaries during the Congo's brutal civil war 55 years ago, and how they fought off 5,000 guerrillas before running out of supplies.

When the promo reel was released last week, it made headlines internationally - in large part due to the casting of Dornan, who became a household name playing Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise. The second movie, Fifty Shades Darker, is out next February - and, if the success of the trailer is anything to go by, it could be a more successful movie than its blockbuster predecessor.

When the first trailer for the new movie was released last week it garnered a whopping 114 million views online in its first 24 hours - smashing the record set for most-viewed trailer in a single day by the 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens', which hit the top of the charts in October 2015 with 112 million views.

Some 39.3 million of the views came from North American, while 74.6 million came from overseas.

'50 Shades of Grey' was the first book to sell more than one million copies on Amazon Kindle, and the trilogy has sold more than 125 million copies worldwide.

In The Siege of Jadotville, which is a far cry from the S&M sauce-fest which helped make him famous across the world, 34-year-old father-of-two Dornan assumes the role of Commandant Pat Quinlan, who led the 157 troops in their shootout against troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe, and the Belgian and French mercenaries assisting them.

Jamie Dornan as Pat Quinlan
Jamie Dornan as Pat Quinlan

As different factions vied for power in volatile post-independence Belgian Congo, the peacekeeping operation from 1960 to 1964 attempted to keep order was the largest and most costly operation the UN ever carried out.

Belfast Telegraph

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