It was pretty shocking when Charlie Hunnam dropped out of Fifty Shades of Grey a mere three weeks before filming was set to begin. At first, I thought there is no way he really dropped out. Not only do actors not dare to burn bridges in Tinseltown, but they are normally obligated to finish a role once they sign a contract. I figured Charlie and the studio saying he had too much TV work to do was a cover -- but for what? I'm not sure we'll ever completely know. But this much is true -- at this point, pretty much everyone from Robert Pattinson to Matt Bomer to Chris Pine to Ryan Gosling had been rumored to have been offered the role. And turned it down. And at least one actor -- Charlie! -- ran from it after agreeing to do it. So what is up with Christian Grey? Is he cursed?
While Grey might seem like the most awesomely amazing character ever with every actor lining up to play him -- it's clear that the opposite is true. Actors are either completely disinterested or scared. Sure, you've got a few, like Dallas' Josh Henderson, who are down with the part, but for the most part, no one is! Why? Here's why.
1. The sex. The entire movie, of course, will be highly sexual. Although Charlie bragged that he'd done explicit erotic scenes with men for his breakthrough role in Queer as Folk, sex scenes aren't exactly something actors are usually dying to do. For one, there's all that gym time before scenes! And you literally can't eat the entire movie. Plus, with a movie like Fifty, chances are Christian will have some frontal action going on, and unless you're Michael Fassbender, who wants that? Actors also usually have significant others who either kibosh the idea or whom they don't want trouble with. And there's nothing worse than kissing someone you don't like in real life.
2. The sex. Part two. Explicitly sexual movies don't tend to do well at the box office, which is why they're rarely made unless they're dumb sex romps like American Pie. If you think of a successfully done sexual film, like Basic Instinct or 9 1/2 Weeks, they are few and far between. Other sexual films like Eyes Wide Shut or Body of Evidence have tanked and been a total embarrassment for the actors.
3. $125,000??!!! This is reportedly what Charlie was getting paid to play Christian. While it sounds like a lot to your average working schmo, it's a pittance when you consider the amount of work and "exposure" the movie will require. (And once you take out taxes and manager fees, there isn't a lot left.) The only thing that would make this meager salary worth it is if the film is a hit and the actor gets to share in backend profits. But that's a big IF.
4. Typecasting. This is the thing every actor absolutely DREADS. Being typecast. If you ever wonder why actors like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson went from a megafranchise like Twilight to tiny little art films, this is why. They're trying to avoid playing vampires for the rest of their lives. And no one wants to play a sex fiend forever.
5. Trilogy. If the film is a hit, then there will be three movies, not one. That will tie up (heh heh) the actors for the better part of a decade, not allowing them to do a lot of other things. You have to be massively in love with a character to do that -- and most of the actors being considered for Grey probably have a life, and other work, that they want to get back to.
6. The fans. The onslaught of fandom will be enough to scare all but the most narcissistic of actors away.
7. Sorry!!!! Woe to the actor who screws up Christian Grey. They probably won't work again -- and they certainly won't have any peace again.
8. The material. Let's face it, it's not very good.
Why do you think this role is so hard to cast?
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