Fifty Shades Darker is getting closer and closer to rounding out the final pieces of its cast. As production gets ready to ramp up for the sequel, producers have finally found the right actress for the role of Leila Williams. With so many actresses in line for the role, who landed the part of Christian Grey’s (Jamie Dornan) former submissive?
Lucy Hale and Kendall Jenner were amongst the top candidates for the part. However, Us Magazine is reporting that producers decided to go with Bella Heathcote. The announcement was made on the movie’s official Twitter page, which welcomed Heathcote into the Fifty Shades of Grey fold.
In the books by E.L. James, Williams is Christian’s former BDSM submissive. After going through a psychological meltdown, Williams attempts to get back with Christian, only to find he has a new love in Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). Consequently, Williams stalks Ana as she tries whatever she can to win back Christian’s love.
Heathcote’s name might not be familiar to many Fifty Shades of Grey fans, but the Australian actress has plenty of experience to make her a good fit for the part. According to E! Online, Heathcote has been an aspiring actress ever since her mom died when she was only 12-years-old.
“My mum passed away when I was 12, so I think Dad was all for me being distracted,” she told the New York Times. “I don’t know that he thought speech and drama would lead to a career. At the time, it was just an escape.”
Heathcote got her first break in 2008 when she appeared in the horror movie Acolytes. She then went on to play a role in Neighbours, an Australian soap that starred the likes of Margot Robbie and Kylie Minogue. The show proved to offer Heathcote an opportunity to fully launch her career, which she did so by moving to Los Angeles.
Heathcote went on to appear alongside Johnny Depp in the 2012 film Dark Shadows while rounding out her experience in the horror genre with a part in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Heathcote is also a winner of the Heath Ledger Scholarship, which helped her monetarily as she pursued her acting career in Los Angeles.
That being said, one of Heathcote’s most memorable moments came when reports surfaced that she was romantically involved with Brad Pitt. Not only did Heathcote reveal that nothing could be further from reality, but she actually found the story pretty amusing.
“I remember being in New York when it happened and my friend sent me an e-mail saying, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!'” she explained. “And then I went to Duane Reade and it was in Star magazine. But I wasn’t bothered because it was just so far from the truth—it was hilarious to me.”
Meanwhile, Heathcote’s casting follows Variety’s report that Kim Basinger is set to play the part of Elena Lincoln in the film. Elena, also known as Ms. Robinson, is the one who first brought Christian into the BDSM community and is one of his business partners in the upcoming movie.
The only major role yet to be cast is that of Jack Hyde. Jack is set to be the main antagonist in the film and is expected to play an important part in the sequel. A casting announcement for the part is expected to be announced at any moment as producers iron out the last details before filming starts.
Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to be released in theaters everywhere in February of 2017, followed by Fifty Shades Freed one year later.
Tell us! What do you think of the addition of Bella Heathcote to Fifty Shades Darker? Let us know in the comments below.
[Image via Universal]