There was a period of time when people wouldn’t stop recommending Fifty Shades of Grey to me, and until recently, I thought that period had safely passed. Now, Grey is back in the headlines because Jamie Dornan, the star of the book’s movie, recently revealed that he won’t expose his todger (that’s British for “penis,” tee-hee) on screen. Typically, news like that wouldn’t make even the most minimized Hollywood Reporter headline. But because Fifty Shades of Grey is one hundred percent todger, two percent dialogue, it’s kind of a big deal.
In an interview with The Guardian, Dornan said:
“You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out. You don’t want to make something gratuitous, and ugly, and graphic.”
“Anyone who thinks actors get turned on doing sex scenes in films is mistaken. There’s are dozens of hairy men standing around, moving cables and lighting equipment. That’s not sexy unless you’re into being watched, which I’m not.”
Reading the interview, you kind of feel for the guy (as much as you can ‘feel’ for a millionaire male model celebrity.) It’s clear that Dornan is smart and insightful and trying to make something good out of this movie, which it has zero percent chance of being. While he accuses papers of “intellectual snobbery about the book,” he also admits that he “understands” why papers have “preconceived ideas about what it is.”
“You have to give Erika some credit, because whatever you might think of the prose style, 100 million is a lot of people. Are the literary critics saying those 100 million people aren’t very bright?”
Yep, that’s about the strength of it.
He laughs again.
“OK. Fair enough.”
What do you do when you’re a smart actor stuck in a stupid movie? Make a self-deprecating joke. Accuse a soft enemy of soft snobbery. Whatever you do, don’t ask Miles Teller – just defend it like this.