Former male model Jamie Dornan made a big impression last year as psychopathic killer Paul Spector in BBC1’s cop series, The Fall, opposite Gillian Anderson. Then Hollywood came calling and Jamie was cast as Christian Grey in the movie of EL James’ runaway bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey.
But Jamie, 31, has also proved himself a dashing action hero as the lead in Channel 4’s New Worlds. A sequel to 2008’s The Devil’s Whore, New Worlds returns to a Restoration England 20 years on in 1680 and riven by conflict under King Charles II.
Jamie plays Abe Goff, who is determined to remove the Stuart dynasty from the British throne.
“Abe lives in the woods with a tribe of like-minded folk and they’re all fighting the cause together,” says Jamie. “He is fighting to end tyranny and make England a republic. He sacrifices a lot to fight that cause.”
On the day we visited the set, Jamie was filming a chilling scene in which Abe finds some of his cohorts hanged from a tree.
Jamie says New Worlds is more realistic than other period pieces such as The Tudors, which he calls “medieval porn,” and admits he was shocked at the brutality of the period.
He says, “400 years doesn’t seem that long to me, yet it’s so barbaric – the deaths, the way people treated each other and the way the country was run, was quite disturbing.”
How does it feel for Jamie’s life to have changed so dramatically in a year?
“In terms of professionally doing a job that’s well received, it helps, but otherwise nothing’s changed.
I don’t get recognised much, except when somebody shouted, ‘There’s that serial killer!’ at me – which provoked an interesting reaction,” he says.
Jamie married singer Amelia Warner [Slow Moving Millie] last April and they now have a baby daughter.
Despite his rapidly rising star, the actor’s feet remain on the ground. “The Fall has changed the landscape of my professional career slightly, but I know so many actors who don’t work and a few who work a lot. I’m just happy to do good work.”
With New Worlds launching him as a revolutionary hero, series two of The Fall coming up and Hollywood taking notice, that shouldn’t be hard to come by.
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