Sunday, February 1, 2015

Andrew Airlie Talks About 'Fifty Shades of Grey' and Jamie

DailyRecord - But his biggest role yet is as Carrick Grey, father of leading man Christian, in 50 Shades of Grey, the forthcoming film of the erotic bestseller.

While stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson have been at the heart of the discussion on online forums, fans have made their feelings known about the casting of every role – including Carrick.

Most fans wanted a big Hollywood name like Pierce Brosnan or Kevin Costner – not an ex-Queen’s Park centre-half from Glasgow.

The news worried Andrew’s wife Samantha so much she banned him from browsing the internet.

He said: “She was a little concerned because she Googled the character’s name and saw the wishlist of actors – Brosnan, Costner and so on. Crazy big names.

“I thought, ’Oh my God, the fans are going to go mad when they find out it’s me’ and she told me, ‘Don’t search this again, never look at this again.’

“But people have generally been fine. Anyone who has contacted me has been positive, saying I am just what they imagined.

“That’s going to be the tricky thing. Fans of the book see the characters in their own minds. Sometimes the actors who are chosen to play those characters don’t match up to that. Whether you can satisfy everyone, I don’t know, but there is nothing you can do about it.

“I am just delighted to be in a film of this scale and popularity along with all the other people who are involved in it.”

Fifty Shades of Grey, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, was filmed in Vancouver, where Andrew now lives.

The film is vastly different from anything else he has been a part of but he says he is enjoying watching it unfold.

If all goes well, he will be attached to the project for the full Fifty Shades trilogy.

He said: “I have a very small part in the first film but interest in my website has soared, I’ve had more fan mail and Twitter messages.

“It is not like anything else I have been involved in but it didn’t really surprise me because I knew how crazy passionate this fan base was.

“In the first film at least, I am not in it for very long, it is just establishing Christian Grey’s family and where he is from.

“They’ve said that I’ll be there a little more in the second one and a good bit more in the third but the scripts are not finished so we’ll see.

“I don’t think they are hedging their bets, just waiting to see how Fifty Shades performs at the box office.”

Andrew – real-life dad to Natalie, 12, and 10-year-old Callum – built up a good rapport with his screen kids, played by Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan and singer Rita Ora.

He said: “Rita is high octane, as strong as a cup of coffee, and I absolutely loved her.

“Jamie, I can’t say enough about. He’s a football fan so we chatted about that and he’s a treat of a guy.

“He was completely open from the very beginning, a dream guy to work with.

“I’m sure this film is a very different experience for him but I hope he is enjoying it all.”

The erotic content of Fifty Shades of Grey elevated the books to notoriety, as well as bestseller lists, and is something which Jamie treated with a light touch.

Andrew, meanwhile, is just happy to have kept his clothes on.

He said: “Jamie joked about having to keep his shirt on but he really looked together.

“He was calm and a real delight to work with. He was enjoying himself.

“I’m aware of the content of the books, but there was nothing that I felt uncomfortable with.

“The main thing was I knew they were not going to ask me to get my kit off. Believe me, nobody wants to see that.”

Andrew is more than aware that Fifty Shades of Grey, which arrives in cinemas just in time for Valentine’s Day, is the kind of film which critics will be watching keenly.

But he hopes the books’ vast fan base will help insulate it from too much criticism.

He said: “I think the film might be critic-proof just because the Fifty Shades fan base is so enormous and so loyal.

“I hope fans are pleased with what Sam Taylor-Johnson has done because she put a lot into it.

“I also hope the wider audience can take it for what it is and, if you haven’t read the books, it is still going to be a film that’s worth two hours of your life.”

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