When my best friend shipped me the Fifty Shades of Grey books and demanded that I read them more than a year ago, I rolled my eyes and reluctantly turned the first page. A week or two later — it’s all a blur at this point — I had finished all three books and had moved on to the next stage of Fifty Shades fandom: Debating who should play the lead role in the film adaptation.
From day one, I was a Matt Bomer supporter through and through. I didn’t care that his hair was too dark — I couldn’t help but picture Christian as a dark brunette for some reason — and I didn’t care that he was gay (he’s an actor). Bomer had the eyes and the overall “prettiness” that Christian was described as having, not to mention the musical ability, and I was sure he’d be a great dancer. Plus, have you seen him in a suit? Next to Bomer, I could understand some of the other arguments — Ian Somerhalder definitely knows how to smolder — but as far as I was concerned, I had my Christian.
And then yesterday, I saw that Charlie Hunnam had been cast in the lead role. I clicked on the story, and before I could get upset by the blond Sons of Anarchy star portraying Mr. Grey, I found myself oddly at ease. Somewhere under the scruff, there was a pretty boy hiding, and I could see him peeking through gorgeous gray eyes. Then I Google Image-searched Hunnam (Catfish-style) to see if I was crazy, and as it turns out, I’m not.
For the first time, I can see a blonde portraying Christian. And although I’ve never watched Sons of Anarchy and I missed Hunnam in Pacific Rim, I’ve heard wonderful things about his acting, and I respect Fifty Shades for casting someone who isn’t such an obvious heartthrob (though he definitely is one). Plus, by going with a lesser-known, not-as-active-in-the-rumor-mill star, I think the movie has a better chance of succeeding by surprising fans a little bit and therefore sidestepping a lot of expectation (though, obviously, not all). Plus, by pulling in a Sons of Anarchy favorite, Fifty Shades of Grey just got the attention of an entirely new audience, one who might not have read the book.
In this case, looking outside the box might be just what the film needed to keep the interest of both book-lovers and unknowing movie-goers.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Are you willing to give Charlie Hunnam a chance?