Jamie Dornan is set to make his debut playing BDSM-practicing billionaire and literary heartthrob Christian Grey in “Fifty Shades of Grey” Friday, but there is another male starring in the romance film sure to generate a similar amount of buzz. Playing opposite fellow lead Dakota Johnson (Anastasia “Ana” Steele) is actor Victor Rasuk. So just who is the thespian who portrays Ana’s longtime admirer and friend José Rodriguez in the film? Here are five fast facts about the “Fifty Shades” star:
1. He is from New York — Rasuk, 31, is the child of Dominican natives. He was born in Harlem, New York, and has one sibling, Silvestre Rasuk, who is also an actor. According to the New York Times, the “Fifty Shades” star is an alumni of the famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in New York City. During an interview with AOL Build Monday, Rasuk credited his East Coast roots with helping him keep remain grounded in the entertainment industry.
2. He has an impressive resume — While his upcoming role in “Fifty Shades of Grey” might be the part that ultimately catapults him to superstardom, Rasuk has starred in an impressive number of TV shows and films ahead of the romance film's debut. Fans of CBS’s crime/drama series “Stalker” will recognize Rasuk as Beth Davis’s (Maggie Q) colleague, Ben Caldwell. “E.R.” viewers may also recognize Rasuk as Dr. Ryan Sanchez. Rasuk is probably best known for his starring part in the 2014 blockbuster “Godzilla” playing Sergeant Tre Morales.
3. He didn’t read “Fifty Shades” before his audition — After winning the role of José, Rasuk admitted to Variety Latino that he had never read E.L. James’ best-selling series. The actor told the publication that he asked his aunt, who is a big fan of the books, whether or not he would have to get naked for the film. “I hadn’t read the book yet, so I asked her, ‘Wait, am I going to get naked in the movie?” he asked. “If I had to do it, I would have."
Thankfully for Rasuk, his character doesn’t strip down in James' sequels either. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson recently confirmed that “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” will be adapted for the big screen.
4. He dated Nikki Reed — While it’s unclear who Rasuk is currently attached to — he has been linked to actress Melonie Diaz and model Bridgetta Tomarchio — he did previously date a high-profile star. In 2005, after starring in Catherine Hardwicke’s “Lords of Dogtown,” Rasuk had a romance with his co-star, “Twilight” actress Nikki Reed. The couple reportedly ended their relationship after two years together in 2006. Reed went on to marry and eventually divorce “American Idol” contestant Paul McDonald. She is now engaged to “The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder.
Despite ending their romance, Reed did give a warm shout-out to Rasuk in May 2014 after he landed his role in “Godzilla.” “A HUGE congrats to my boy @victorrasuk on his new film,” Reed wrote. “I’m so ridiculously proud of you! You deserve every ounce of success and recognition for your undeniable awesomeness! I feel honored to have been a part of your journey for the last ten years!”
5. He’s active on social media— Like his “Fifty Shades” co-star Jamie Dornan, Rasuk also enjoys tweeting. The actor has posted everything from exclusive interviews, to Vines and promo shots for “Stalker” and “Fifty Shades of Grey” on his Twitter page — @victorrasuk — in recent months. As of Wednesday, he had just over 12,400 followers.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” premieres in U.S. theaters on Friday.