Some longtime Entertainment Weekly readers may be familiar with my 66-year-old mother, Joyce Bierly. A retired school teacher who saw Magic Mike four times in the theater, she’s popped up from time to time over the years, from awards show live blogs to the pages of EW when I was doing a Stupid Questions interview with Michael Bolton and we phoned her to ask how many buttons he should undo on his shirt for maximum hotness. (See photographic proof below.) Typing that, I now realize it comes as no surprise that she’s read Fifty Shades of Grey. I actually bought us both copies of the book a couple of years ago to read on vacation. I paged through it the first night while she finished up her latest Sherryl Woods novel or something and immediately called the book club off — but she read it anyway. And the two books that followed. In 10 days.
Because I work at Entertainment Weekly, she would occasionally ask me if I knew anything about the casting rumors she was reading about. I didn’t. When Charlie Hunnam’s name came up recently, I told her why that one might actually pan out: He’s done nude scenes before. He can play an extreme badass that you still like, as seen on Sons of Anarchy. The blockbuster Pacific Rim didn’t make him a household name as expected, but this film definitely will. Even though women do watch SOA, Fifty Shades of Grey will introduce him to a lot more of them. And he’s been kicking around long enough that I don’t think anyone in the industry would fault him for gunning for name recognition at this point — whether or not the film gets a better letter grade than Twilight.
So how does my mother — who’s really your mother — feel about the film now that the leads are officially cast? I phoned her. Here are her thoughts:
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