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LEADING MAN OF THE YEAR
His Bafta-nominated turn in the BBC's dark drama The Fall put him on the map, but upcoming Fifty Shades Of Grey will see him dominate the world.
Jamie Dornan is tired. In the past eleven months, he's attempted to overthrow the government in 17th-century England in Channel 4's New Worlds, done a second series of suprise HBO-a-like BBC hit The Fall, as a most serial killer opposite Gillian Anderson, and filmed Fifty Shades Of Grey, the adaptation of a certain bondage bonkbuster you may have heard of.
Total break: one hasty honeymoon. Result: one broken man.
"I'm really happy, I wouldn't complain for a second," says the more-than-deserving winner of GQ's Vertu Breakthrough Artist award. "But you know, it's tiring. I feel like I'm ageing rapidly!"
Which, one would imagine, is what happens when you sign up for roles that involve revolution, serial murder and tying people up in sex dungeons. As Dornan puts it, laughing, "They're all quite demanding,"
In person, the 32-year-old is handsome, in an intense, brooding way, but in personality he's dry, laconic and does a great line flippant competitiveness.
"It was lovely to be nominated," he begins, in standard humble actor mode, of his Bafta nomination for the first season of The Fall. "But, to be honest, once you get there one the night, you want to win. I'm a competitive little bastard! Once I got there, I was really like, I want to win."
But if it was The Fall that put the former model from Northern Ireland on the map as a serious talent, it's his upcoming role as millionaire Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey - out next February - that will send him into the stratosphere. Just the small matter of an entire film half-naked with bondage whip in hand then...
"I'm not really fearful of that stuff," he says. "It's just work. It's strange work, sure, but it's still just work. I just get on with it."
His dad, he says, was his biggest cheerleader for him to get the role - one he only got after first choice Charlie Hunnam dropped out. "He was all for it. I don't come from a cagey family. We're fairly liberal."
And anyway, he says, it's not going to be the licentious sex adaptation some are expecting. "I mean, in some ways, it'll break a few boundaries. But at the same time, they want to put bums on seats. They can't alienate an audience. You know, it has to be watchable. It can't be hard-core. I wouldn't have signed up to it if it was. You've got to make something a large amount of people can go and see. It's not going to be grotesque."
Next up, he's set to secure his new-found star status by appearing opposite Bradley Cooper in Adam Jones, a film about chefs in London.
And while the past year has been exhausting, he says, there have been benefits. Namely, after a year spent tying people up in The Fall (the victims) and Fifty Shades (the submissive sex slaves), he's got rather good at knots. "Yes!". He laughs. "And specialist knots too." The Fall returns this autumn on BBC Two.
Thanks to Desiring Jamie for scans.