Dornan, who plays Christian Grey, the mysterious billionaire with a dark secret, told me he and co-star Dakota Johnson, who portrays Anastasia Steele, the naive heroine Grey seduces, are contractually committed to do two further films to complete the trilogy based on E. L. James’s bestselling books.
Dornan said the next movie, Fifty Shades Darker, is likely to start filming next spring, though it’s not known if Sam Taylor-Johnson will return as director.
‘The idea was that we honour the trilogy and do all three,’ he told me.
There had been rumours that his wife, Amelia Warner, wanted him not to do the next two projects because of their explicit sexual nature. But Dornan almost spat when I asked him about that.
‘Total b*****ks!’ he said. ‘Of course she would have read the scripts well in advance, and she’s massively supportive of Fifty Shades.’
And what about talk of him and Dakota not getting on?
He laughed at that, too: ‘They wouldn’t have shot the film with us if there was a chemistry problem . . . whatever chemistry means. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a part like this, and they simply wouldn’t have cast us.’
Dornan said he never would have landed the role of Christian if it hadn’t been for hit BBC2 thriller The Fall. ‘I’m just a father and a husband, really,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t have been in the conversation for Fifty Shades without The Fall.
‘It’s the job that changed everything for me,’ he said, adding that he was happy to revisit the role of Paul Spector, the serial killer who entwined his victims in a ritual of sexual depravity before murdering them.
Dornan told me that series three of the show will begin filming towards the end of this year and into next. He added that he and Gillian Anderson, who plays Stella Gibson, the detective who was on Spector’s trail, both wanted to do more.
‘I love playing my character — and Gillian loves hers. She says it’s one of the best she’s ever played,’ the actor said.
He admitted the things Spector gets up to in The Fall are ‘eerie and disturbing’, but said he’s ‘massively intrigued’ by the charismatic killer, despite the fact that he’s ‘so far from who I am’.
Dornan is about to start work on two films that are as far away from Christian Grey as you can get, too. In The Siege Of Jadotville, he plays the commandant of a UN force sent to the Congo to fight French, American and Belgian mercenaries hired to defend uranium and copper interests. And in Anthropoid, he and Cillian Murphy play a pair of Czech soldiers who become assassins.
The actor said he wanted to do varied work because he doesn’t want to be known just for playing Christian Grey. He said he gets recognised in the street more nowadays, but he can handle that.
‘You can court it if you want it,’ he said. ‘But I’m not courting it.’
Thanks to @FiftyShadesAS for scan