Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Dornan 'just feels Irish - we are separate from the UK'

Co Down star Jamie Dornan has said he feels he is Irish and holds neither the Catholic nor Protestant religion.

The Fifty Shades of Grey actor reveals his thoughts during a lengthy interview with broadcaster Eamonn Mallie, to be screened on UTV this Wednesday.

"I just feel Irish," he said. "A lot of that's down to so many different reasons, mostly geography, that we are an island separate from the UK, so how could you, why would you feel more connected to that other piece of land than you do to the piece of land that you are living on?"

The Bafta-nominated actor also told Mallie the implications of Brexit keep him awake at night and could not envisage a positive outcome for Northern Ireland.

Dornan, 35, said: "I am kept awake at night for what it means for this country, I can't really see a sort of sound solution, some of the people who have a say in it over here break my heart a little bit.

"I think this is the last thing that this country needs at the moment, and I just don't see how there's a positive outcome for Northern Ireland in the matter."

Northern Ireland's position post-separation has been the subject of intensive negotiations as part of the Brexit talks in Brussels.

Dornan added: "There's lots of different very interesting options on the table, and I think they should all be seriously considered - but who knows where we will end up."

The latest part in the film adaptations of the Fifty Shades books is released this month.

He played Christian Grey in the franchise of EL James's erotic novels and still receives attention when he comes home to Northern Ireland.

He said: "You are in the public eye and you are from here and you have gone away and done whatever and you are recognisable, people feel that they have a sort of, an ownership of you almost here."

If he was recognised in a New York pub, people were more polite, he added.

He said: "In Belfast you're in a headlock before you know it, someone's just grabbed you, they're taking a picture without asking you and once they finally release you from a headlock then it's like they invariably know someone, it's like two degrees of separation here as opposed to six."

He is a big rugby fan, following Ireland internationals enthusiastically.

"I have had my whole life either being in Lansdowne Road in Dublin (where Ireland play) or watching it on TV or watching it in pubs all over the world just screaming 'go on Ireland, come on Ireland' and how could I not call myself Irish?"

Dornan has also had a starring role in BBC drama series The Fall as serial killer Paul Spector.

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