Actor Charlie Hunnam recently scored one of the most arguably coveted roles in Hollywood last month, playing sadistic billionaire businessman Christian Grey in the film adaption of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” But according to one producer, he almost didn’t accept the role.
In a recent interview with Vulture, “Sons of Anarchy” creator and producer Kurt Sutter said that the 33-year-old actor had inner turmoil with taking on such a large film project. “We had a couple long creative conversations about what the role was, what it meant," Sutter said. "He [Hunnam] struggled with it because obviously there’s a lot of noise around that role. There’s a lot of predetermined expectations.”
While the U.K. native was reportedly on the fence about whether to join fellow lead, former “Ben and Kate” star Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele) in the upcoming film, Sutter claims it was his advice that eventually led Hunnam to accept. “My advice to him was: Look at the material. Don’t look at the history. Don’t look at where it potentially could be going. Look at the material and look at the people you’re working with. If it makes sense, then move forward.” Later, Sutter added, “I think that’s what he did.”
Sutter’s comments follow recent reports that Hunnam was considering dropping out of the film, specifically due to fans’ protests and a petition to get the series’ author E.L. James to recast. After the claims were published by the gossip site CelebrityLaundry, James cleared up casting rumors by posting a photo of Hunnam’s forearm sporting his character Jax Teller’s tattoos on the set of “Sons of Anarchy.” “Guess who…” James wrote on Twitter Saturday.
Following reports that Hunnam is still on board to star in the adaption, fans of the trilogy erotica series have expressed their happiness over his decision to continue with the project. While some have shown their support for the films’ lead online, others not in favor of his decision aren't being shy about sharing their desire to see a different actor star in the flick, which is due in theaters August 2014. As of Friday, a fan-created petition on Change.org said: “We want Matt Bomer and Alexis Bledel as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele on 50 Shades.” The petition had more than 85,600 signatures from readers requesting filmmakers to recast the films' leading roles.