Jamie Dornan: Fifty Shades of praise... for wife Amelia
“My wife is a brilliant, hugely understanding person,” explains Jamie Dornan.
And, it’s lucky for The Fall actor that his stunning partner and mother of his baby daughter, actress Amelia Warner, is so very understanding given Jamie’s raunchy on-screen antics in the second series of The Fall, which comes to its sensational conclusion this week.
Between tying his teenage babysitter to the bed and slaughtering dark haired beauties in the dead of night, Jamie has become one of the most talked about actors in the world and, with the hotly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie set to be released early next year, Mr Dornan has never been hotter.
The trailer for Fifty Shades has already broken the record for the most hits - over 100 million view so far - and in a matter of weeks Jamie is set to be catapulted into the A list when he brings famous sado-masochist Christian Grey to life on screen.
With the release of this potential blockbuster on Valentine’s Day, Jamie is about to take the leap into super-stardom, something he says he has only been able to do with the help and support of Amelia, who he lovingly describes as “dream stuff.”
Jamie stepped into the role of Christian Grey after actor Charlie Hunnam dropped out and was on set filming within days of signing on the dotted line, uprooting eight months pregnant Amelia and bringing her with him to Canada where the movie was being filmed.
He said: “My wife is a brilliant, hugely understanding person. Plus, she was an actress for 10 years so she’s aware of what it’s like.
“A lot of people would have had a sh** fit at 30 something weeks pregnant hearing, ‘Darling, we’re going to Vancouver this week for four months - we’re going to have a Canadian baby and I’m going to do a film where, for parts of it, I will be naked’. That’s a tough pitch but my wife is an incredible person.”
And it’s Amelia who Jamie credits with turning his life around and helping him make the transformation from jobbing actor/model to serious Hollywood contender.
Before his breakthrough role as Paul Spector in The Fall, Jamie was one of the world’s highest paid models. But, despite being dubbed the golden torso, and starring in campaigns with Eva Mendes and Kate Moss, Jamie found modelling to be unfulfilling and spent his free time going on endless rounds of “hundreds and hundreds of failed auditions.
He says: “I’ve never felt massively satisfied from standing there while someone takes my photograph. It’s never given me a thrill. It would take a very foolish man to turn down stuff that was offered to me.
“You’re in your 20s and people are going to give you a silly amount of money to lean against a wall with your head down. F*** me, you’ve got to do it. If I hadn’t been paid to model, I would definitely have stopped. I spent so many years auditioning with nothing to show for it.”
Jamie readily admits that there weren’t many directors queuing up for ‘an actor who used to be a model, who never trained.’ At one point he was auditioning for “scores of dry sh** parts and not even getting them” — but last year he got lucky.
Having auditioned for The Fall to play a police officer, he was summoned back from LA where he was unsuccessfully trying out for pilot season and asked to audition for killer Paul Spector.
A gruelling six-hour audition proved that he was the right man for the role and his part was secured in what would become BBC2’s most watched original drama in nearly a decade.
The Fall, he readily admits, has changed his life and was the reason he was cast in Fifty Shades. But, again he credits his family life and his role as a father in helping him make the part his own.
“In the case of Paul Spector, now that I’m a father I have some perspective on being a dad. His love for his family is the main thing which humanises him in the mind of the audiences and makes him much more an appealing figure than if he were simply a cold blooded killer. When he kills, it’s not sexual. He’s never cheated on his wife. There are two lovely kids that he loves but then there’s the night.
“You can’t fail to be left slightly scarred by carrying someone like that for two series, I do carry elements of him with me and in a worrying way I find him relatable. I must be careful how I say this, but there are times where I scare myself. You do carry some of that anger in you a little bit, for a few months afterwards.”
So as 2015 beckons, life is about to change dramatically for Jamie and his family but he says he doesn’t fear the attention.
“It’s easier to handle the scrutiny when you’re older and you’ve lived a bit. I’ve already had my share of being followed by the paparazzi. It’s really hideous. The paparazzi are cretins. I couldn’t have less respect for those guys.”
But while much will change for Jamie, much will remain the same. He is still close to the pals he grew up with in Holywood, Co Down.
“When I heard about getting the part of Christian Grey, a friend of mine messaged me: ‘I heard about Fifty Shades. Congratulations on the role. That’s going to be disgusting. I won’t watch it!’”
The Fall concludes on BBC2 this Thursday at 9pm
Belfast Telegraph Digital