I have never seen Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels (nor do I have any desire to), and neither has Charlie Hunnam. Clearly, we both have excellent taste, but there's actually another reason Hunnam has steered clear of the movies, which were a critically-panned box-office smash. He fears it would be a traumatic experience — and not just because he's terrified to sit through two hours of incredibly unsexy depictions of sex, romance, and BDSM.
You might remember that back in 2013, Hunnam was cast in the role of seductive billionaire Christian Grey, opposite Dakota Johnson's Anastasia Steele. Shortly after, he had to back out of the project due to scheduling conflicts, and was replaced with fellow accented heartbreaker Jamie Dornan. Four years later, the 36-year-old is opening up about how that casting debacle still affects him.
The Brit reveals in the March issue of Elle that he has not seen Fifty Shades, even though he's become friends with the director he was supposed to work with. "I developed a friendship with [director Sam Taylor-Johnson]," Hunnam told the magazine, "but that was a somewhat traumatic experience for me. I didn't want to open that wound."
That wound was still fresh in in 2015, when Hunnam explained to VMan just how upsetting that ordeal was, calling it "the worst professional experience of my life," per Vanity Fair. "[It] was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally. It was heartbreaking." But it also jilted the actor on a personal level because he didn't want to let Taylor-Johnson down. "I called her and we both cried our eyes out on the phone for 20 minutes," he said. "I needed to tell her that this was not going to work."
Hunnam seems to have great loyalty to the people he works with: in the same interview, he explained that the scheduling conflict that caused him to back out was due to a promise he made to his friend Guillermo del Toro. "I’d given Guillermo my word, over a year before, that I was going to do Crimson Peak," he said. "People were saying, ‘Are you crazy?...Guillermo still has got four months to recast, it’s the fourth lead, you can go and do this [instead].’ I said, ‘I can't. He’s my friend.’” What a guy. Hopefully, he can get past his guilt someday — whether or not he ever watches Fifty Shades.