For a male model to graduate to the big screen is not unusual, and Jamie Dornan isn’t the first young man to move from modeling to movie-making. It’s a little more unusual to see a fellow who looks very, very good in nothing but underwear taking said underwear off for the camera. The former Calvin Klein poster boy will be starring opposite Dakota Johnson in the upcoming film version of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.
Dornan was invited to audition for the part of Christian Grey last October, when Charlie Hunnam withdrew from the role in mid-production, and Jamie, coincidentally, was about to become a father for the first time. He told interviewers that taking on the challenges (and intense publicity) presented by Fifty Shades was fairly scary, but mostly he was “excited.”
Dornan is probably better-prepared to play a convincing Christian than many actors with more experience and more established reputations. This will be a defining role and definitely a game-changer for the 31-year-old Belfast native, whose grandparents, both maternal and paternal, were Methodist lay preachers (according to Wikipedia). Jamie began studying drama at MethodistCollege in Belfast but his subsequent move to London to study it in earnest left his Methodist roots pretty far behind.
In earlier years Jamie’s biggest exposure to the viewing public came with his modeling contracts with Calvin Klein, GQ, Dior and others. His rugby-toned physique and Black Irish aura make him an ideal candidate for the camera when he’s stripped down to manly underwear, but looks are not enough to make a memorable actor, and Jamie has some newly-learned skills to offer, including a macho walk and an ability to do the foxtrot (see his appearance on the Graham Norton show.)
However there is a great deal more to be said of Dornan’s professional career than underwear. He has made a lasting impression in several different roles, the first as the rumored lover of the Queen in Marie Antoinette, though his ‘break-through’ performance was in the ABC series “Once Upon a Time”. In that fairy tale/drama he had two roles – Sheriff Graham Humbert and the Huntsman; both producers and viewers were loath to let him go when Fifty Shades came along.
As for the dark underside of Christian Grey (he’s a gorgeous billionaire with a powerful sadistic streak that supposedly results from childhood abuse), Jamie has good credentials for that role also. He was a serial killer in “The Fall”, and played the part so well that not only did his acting ability get extremely honourable mention, but reports are that he will be continuing in the role of vicious killer as his Christian job is wrapped up.
He seems to be enjoying his celebrity, but the attention he’s getting now is nothing to the hoorah that’s anticipated when Fifty Shades of Grey hits the big screen. Sales of the best-selling book by a female British author have recently topped 100 million, with almost half of those sales in the U.S.
When asked if he plans to be around for a sequel (if there is one) Jamie says he has no idea what the future holds, but the role of Christian Grey is certain to open a lot more doors for him career-wise.
We can expect to see much more of his acting talents, though after Fifty Shades a whole lot of people will have seen just about all there is to see of the body that goes with them.