It might be hard to imagine now, but at one point in time, Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam was cast for the role of Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey. Although Hunnam eventually dropped out of the role and Jamie Dornan was cast instead, he recently told Entertainment Weekly that it wasn’t an easy decision for him to make.
“It was very, very painful for me, that whole process, just very unpleasant. I felt like I let myself down. I let those people down on Fifty Shades that I’d grown to really love and respect. It’s just a really unpleasant period of time for me.”
Hunnam’s reason for dropping out of the role was largely due to his busy schedule at the time.
“For the first time in my life, [I] had more work than I had time to do it,” he stated. “It’s very hard to be disciplined in that situation and understand what is going to be required to all of that work to the best of your ability and have yourself surrounded by people.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with Us Weekly, Hunnam revealed that playing Grey was something he really wished he could have done.
“I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place if I didn’t want to do it. It was a really, really difficult time in my life. I had already been attached to Crimson Peak for about 14 months, which I said, I was going to do with Guillermo [del Toro].”
Hunnam also explained how he felt a connection with director Sam Taylor-Johnson, but his schedule was so packed that he eventually had a nervous breakdown prior to backing out.
“I was going to finish [filming] Sons at like 11 p.m. Friday night, get on the plane Saturday morning to Vancouver for Fifty, missing the whole first week of rehearsal and start shooting Monday morning. And I was going to shoot that film, wrap that on the Wednesday and the following Monday I was going to start shooting Crimson Peak in Toronto. I just had like… frankly, something of a nervous breakdown.”
Hunnam went on to state that he didn’t want to disappoint fans of Fifty Shades of Grey with an inadequate portrayal of Grey.
“To fail on such a grand scale — because Fifty’s going to be massive, it’s going to be huge. I really didn’t want to fail on such a grand scale, and I just couldn’t transition from Jax Teller to Christian Grey in 48 hours. It’s painful because I loved the character and I wanted to do it. I’m also a man of my word.”
Charlie Hunnam can be seen in Crimson Peak this coming October and in Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur in the summer of 2016.
[Image Courtesy: Kevin Winter/Getty]