Life After Fifty Shades of Grey: What Does the Future Hold for Charlie Hunnam?

Julie Miller


Charlie HunnamCharlie HunnamThis weekend, the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise suffered a catastrophic casting setback when Charlie Hunnam-the handsome English actor set to play kinky billionaire Christian Grey-suddenly dropped from the project. His graceful reason for doing so, per Universal's official statement: scheduling conflicts related to his prior television commitments. Days after the news broke, however, reports claim that Hunnam was understandably "overwhelmed" by the attention he received after being cast and had cold feet about the prospect of being tied to the character for three films.

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Regardless of what Hunnam's real reasons for fleeing E. L. James's franchise are, we can't say that we blame the actor-especially after examining all of the upbeat possibilities for Hunnam's future now that he is unshackled from Fifty Shades of Grey. Among them:

- Being able to look family members in the eye during future holiday gatherings.
- Interviews during which he is not asked repetitive and demeaning questions about his workout regime, diet, and sex scenes.
- Not having to learn how to say "rosé champagne" and "panties" in an American accent.
- The respect of religious groups, conservatives, and film critics who frown upon down-market S&M depictions, even if they were originally described in New York Times best-sellers.
- The freedom to experiment with carb-rich diets over the next few years.
- The knowledge that he will never have to see his nether regions exposed on a giant screen. A
- n afternoon free to do something more intellectually stimulating than pose for People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" 2014 cover.

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- Weekend nights when he does not have to accept humiliating awards in the shapes of popular snack foods or aquatic equipment for nonsense categories like "Best Onscreen Chemistry," "Hottest Screen Couple," "Sexiest Use of a Neck Accessory," etc.
- The embarrassment of a "good sport" cameo on Saturday Night Live after Fifty Shades of Grey is relentlessly parodied in a recurring future sketch called Fifty Shades of Grabenstein.
- Internet headlines in which his name is not used in bad S&M metaphors.
- An obituary in which he is not immediately identified as the actor who starred E. L. James's mommy-porn adaptations.
- That much more leverage in any argument with Hunnam's future children about self-respect.

(And on a serious note: a more critically appreciated career. IMDB claims that the actor is already committed to two considerably more serious projects-John Hillcoat's Triple Nine, alongside Cate Blanchett and Christoph Waltz, and Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak, opposite Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston.)

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