Garrett Hedlund was almost the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey, but the 28-year-old actor turned down the chance to play Christian Grey because he “didn’t connect with the character.”
This week producers ended months of speculation and fan intervention and named the lead roles in the film adaptation of the popular novel. They tapped Charlie Humman to play Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson to play Anastasia Steele.
Though it seems the roles in the surefire hit movie would have been a hot ticket, producers actually had to do a bit of shopping around before landing on Humman and Johnson. They reportedly courted Ryan Gosling (a fan favorite to play Christian Grey), but he turned down the role.
Garrett Hedlund was also targeted, but said he couldn’t connect with Grey’s character and turned down the role as well.
It may end up being a career-altering decision for Hedlund. While Gosling has already established himself as a leading man in Hollywood with his pick of roles, Garrett Hedlund has a somewhat lighter resume. While he’s had parts in Friday Night Lights, Tron: Legacy, and more recently On The Road, he’s still searching for a breakout role.
Fans of the novel may have not been happy with Garrett Hedlund being selected. After fan favorites Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer were passed up, fans erupted on Twitter and one even set up a petition on Change.org to ask the studio to reconsider.
Producer Dana Brunetti tried to explain to fans why their favorites may have been passed up.
“There is a lot that goes into casting that isn’t just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc,” Brunetti tweeted. “So if your favorite wasn’t cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective.”
Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t the only potential movie dynasty that Garrett Hedlund has declined. He also turned down the role of Finnick in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire.