New Full Interview
Actor Jamie Dornan plays the dominant billionaire in “50 Shades of Grey”. In real life, he is crazy about his daughter!
“Me, a sex symbol? I see myself more like an adoring father.” And that is Hollywood’s idol of the moment talking. This Wednesday [Friday in the US and UK], Jamie Dornan will leave anonymity behind, thanks to “50 Shades of Grey”. Thick beard, brown jacket and blue denim shirt, matching his eyes – he does everything he can not to look like his character, Christian Grey.
How would you introduce yourself to the readers of “Matin”, who may discover you on screen?
As an actor, I’m the specialist of knots! I’ve learnt some knots in order to tie serial killer Spector’s victims up in the show “The Fall”, and this was put to good use in the S&M scenes in “50 Shades of Grey”. I grew up in the neighbourhood of Belfast, and I never took acting lessons outside of school. Sofia Coppola gave me my first chance in the movie “Marie Antoinette”, but it’s the TV show “Once Upon a Time” that helped me get noticed in the US.
Hundreds of actors auditioned before you were chosen for erotic thriller “50 Shades of Grey”. How did you prepare for the role?
Weeks of exercise, waxing and using self-tanning cream! [He laughs.] I’m laughing, but it’s the truth. First, I read E L James’ bestseller, and I soon realized I had to work harder at the gym, because Christian Grey is naked in most of the film! The problem is, I only had four weeks to prepare before the first day on set.
Does it require a huge amount of self-confidence to walk bare-bottomed for days on a film set?
You have to fully put yourself into the character. I wasn’t naked all day long, and each scene was shot with only a few members of the crew on set. But I was aware of what I was signing for when I agreed to play the part. If I have the choice, I’d rather not get naked in front of cameras. I am absolutely not an exhibitionist, but it’s also my job to be credible in the role.
Was there anything that was bothering you on a daily basis?
The worst thing was the thing they use nowadays in films to hide your genitals. It felt like all was squeezed into a little bag. And it was all tied up in order to prevent any accident…
You are married to British actress Amelia Warner. Did you ask her permission before playing this billionaire who likes to sexually and physically dominate his partners?
Amelia reads everything that I’m sent. I’m lucky she’s an actress, because she understands what you may have to do for a role. I didn’t have to ask her if she was ok with it. She is the one who told me to go for it and take the part.
Were you already an expert in domination?
I’m not ashamed to say I didn’t know anything about it. We had real experts with us on set. Sometimes it was funny and incredible, because I learnt so many things – even though I had never thought about it in my private life before. [He laughs]
Did you try some of the things you learnt about S&M afterwards?
My real life has nothing to do with a fictional character, believe me. During my free time, I’d rather take care of my 15-month-old daughter.
Isn’t she afraid of the millions of fans who will scream your name, or of the girls who will mistake you for Christian Grey?
I am not Christian Grey! I’m an actor pretending to bring to life a fantasy from modern literature. I’ll be glad if the movie is a hit, and happy to tell what’s next in other films. But I want to do everything I can to show different aspects in roles far from “50 Shades”.
Robert Pattinson, who has been extremely successful thanks to the “Twilight” films, is one of your best friends. What advice did he give you to stay true to yourself while facing celebrity?
Rob and I talk about anything but show business when we’re together. But I’ve witnessed the madness surrounding him enough to know how to walk keeping my head down. I’m lucky I’m 32. I’m not a boy anymore, and I can enjoy what is happening to me without getting a big head. I’m married, and our daughter means everything to me. My family comes first, before Hollywood.
Will you leave London for Hollywood?
It’s funny, each time I hear the word “Hollywood” I think about the town where I grew up, in Northern Ireland. California is a place that inspires me mixed feelings. I’ve spent years in Hollywood, going from one audition to another, without anyone paying attention to me. So the attention from these last months is welcome and makes me glad, but I’m no longer a beginner. I know that I still have to prove myself if I want a long career.
What are your upcoming projects?
I’ve just finished “The 9th Life of Louis Drax”, with French director Alexandre Aja. It was a beautiful experience. He has a fresh approach to cinema and mixes horror and strange while still basing things on reality. I’m playing a doctor who tries to understand the mystery surrounding the life of a young patient who went through a near-death experience.
“The Fall” has quickly become a phenomenon on Netflix, and you just finished the second series…
I love the ambiguity of the characters. I play the serial killer whom the detective, played by Gillian Anderson, is trying to catch. The six episodes of the second series are even more intense than the first ones. The game of cat and mouse between the killer and the female detective is at the centre of the plot.
Will your success in films force you to abandon the show?
Let’s just say that everything is possible. Allan Cubitt, the creator, writer and director of “The Fall”, is confident. He should get a green light for a third season during the next months. As far as I’m concerned, I’m willing to play Spector again – but will he still be alive? I won’t say anything else.
What can we wish for you in 2015?
I’d love to play a role where I don’t have to tie women up. [He laughs.] That’s enough for this year! A comedy, maybe?
Source | Source | English Translation by Emmanuelle via Jamie-Dornan.org