Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Northerner gets role in durty fillum

Jamie Dornan, star of The Fall, is to play Christian Grey in 50 Shades of Grey

Thu, Oct 24, 2013, 22:31


As I predicted a few weeks ago in Reel News, Jamie Dornan, star of BBC’s The Fall, is to take up the whip and spangled mask abandoned recently by Charlie Hunnam. Yes, the Northern Irish heart-throb has won the lead in the adaptation of E L James’s S & M romp 50 Shades of Grey. We were not the only people to raise an eyebrow at Mr Hunnam’s claim that scheduling clashes with his TV series Sons of Anarchy triggered his flight. It’s not as if he didn’t know he was in the show when he signed on for the movie. A few of us think advisors may have suggested that potential humiliation lay ahead. It’s hard to see Sam Taylor-Johnson’s film escaping the silly seat. I mean, really…

Mr Dornan has less to lose. A good-looking fellow (like so many Northerners), he has had modest success to date in the ABC series Once Upon A Time and as the serial killer in the much-discussed BBC thriller The Fall. So, he’s right to have a punt on the thing. It is, after all, almost certain to be a hit. We wish him well.

We will also prepare ourselves for an awful lot of tedious references to his place of birth in features, reviews and interviews (some by me, I suspect). Yes, poor Mr Dornan does, indeed, hail from Holywood, County Down. We’ll never hear the end of that. He’s not the only actor to emerge from that virtual suburb of Belfast. The great Michael Smiley, recently seen to advantage in A Field in England, grew up in the Holywood with one “l”. The two of them will enjoy exchanging groans when discussing all the interviews that began with the same gag.

‘Bout ye, Jamie.