Although Jamie Dornan played the part of Christian Grey as well as anyone could have, many fans still lament the fact that Charlie Hunnam was originally cast for the part. While Fifty Shades of Grey went on to make it big in the box office, the Sons of Anarchy alum recently discussed backing out of the film and how it was one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made.
“Oh, it was the worst professional experience of my life. It was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally,” Hunnam told V Magazine. “It was heartbreaking.”
Hunnam was forced to back out of the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey because he was too busy with other commitments. In addition to wrapping things up with Kurt Sutter and Sons of Anarchy, Hunnam was also working on the upcoming Guillermo del Toro film, Crimson Peak.
While he admitted it was a hard thing to do, Hunnam went on to reveal that he called up Sam Taylor-Johnson himself to let her know he couldn’t go through with the role.
“I called her and we both cried our eyes out on the phone for 20 minutes. I needed to tell her that this was not going to work,” he stated. “I was going to finish Sons, shoot the whole sequence where Tara was brutally murdered, fly to Vancouver the next day, have 10 days of rehearsal, and then start shooting. Then I was going to have three days after that and I’d have to start shooting Crimson Peak and then I’d have two days to travel and go back into season seven of Sons.”
Charlie Hunnam also attributed personal issues as another reason he was forced to turn down the role.
“There was a lot of personal stuff going on in my life that left me on real emotional shaky ground and mentally weak. I just got myself so f**king overwhelmed and I was sort of having panic attacks about the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, Hunnam also described how he said goodbye to his character, Jax Teller, on Sons of Anarchy following the series finale.
“I smoked a few joints and sat on the back lots and cried a bunch and said goodbye to him. It was beautiful and it was the right thing to do. I took my rings, my bike, my jacket, my knife—f**king a lot,” he said. “Anything that wasn’t nailed down, I took.”
Charlie Hunnam can next be seen in Crimson Peak, which hits theaters October 16.
[Image Courtesy: Kevin Winter / Getty Images]