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Jamie Dornan Defends ‘50 Shades’ and Shares How He Feels About People Criticizing It

Jamie Dornan Defends ‘50 Shades’ and Shares How He Feels About People Criticizing It

Both the book series and the film adaptations of E.L. James' 50 Shades of Grey have received a lot of criticism, and much of that has made it to the ears of actor Jamie Dornan. The 39-year-old played the titular character Christian Grey, a man with certain sexual proclivities he introduces protagonist Anastasia Steele to across three movies. Steele was portrayed by Dakota Johnson, and both actors rocketed to fame after their release.

In a new interview with British GQ, Dornan says that he doesn't have any reservations about his participation in the series.

“Look, put it this way: It’s done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion. Every working actor would say the same thing. It’s provided — a lot,” he said. “There’s no shame in saying it’s transformed my life and my family’s life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be.”

Dornan also added that “the fans loved it” and he wasn't surprised that more serious critics did not.

“But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke,” he continued. “Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself.”

Dornan is now promoting his new film Belfast, in which he plays a young father across from Outlander's Caitriona Balfe. The drama is based on director Kenneth Brannagh's life growing up in Ireland during the tumult of the late 60s.

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Dornan did say in his interview that he always feels pressure about what projects he choses, knowing his role as Grey will always be compared to his new performances.

“Whether A Private War, Anthropoid or Belfast, or whatever comes next, the line in the press is always, ‘It’s the best thing he’s done since Fifty Shades,” Dornan explained. “As if I am still needing to prove myself. I am still paying penance for that choice to get me back to where I was beforehand.”

“Look, I get it,” he continued, “and to be honest with you, it spurs me on. It lights a fire in me. If that means people saying, ‘Oh, actually he’s not that bad,’ well, so be it.”

Real fans know Dornan is not bad at all.

Aimée Lutkin
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com.

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