Charlie Hunnam is finally giving the “heartbreaking” details on what happened behind-the-scenes when he dropped out of Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey,” maintaining that it wasn’t the film’s sexual content that caused him to bow out, but scheduling issues.
The “Sons of Anarchy” star opened up about the ordeal in a new interview with V Man, speaking out on the toll leaving Christian Grey took on him.
“Oh, it was the worst professional experience of my life. It was the most emotionally destructive and difficult thing that I’ve ever had to deal with professionally,” Hunnam told the magazine. “It was heartbreaking.”
Hunnam was announced to play billionaire BDSM heartthrob Grey in 2013, and dropped out shortly after. Irish actor Jamie Dornan was tapped to take his place just a couple of weeks after.
Hunnam said he previously committed to Guillermo del Toro’s “Crimson Peak,” which debuts this October, in addition to shooting the final season of FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”
“I’d given Guillermo my word, over a year before, that I was going to do this film,” the actor explained. “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, I’ve done a film with him, I gave him my word.'”
“I’m pretty mercurial and a very difficult, long-winded decision-maker at the best of times. It was deeply unpleasant and challenging emotionally,” he went on. “I really, really pride myself on being a professional and a man of keeping my word. It means a lot to me, truly.”
Hunnam said he just “didn’t know what to do” in the situation. Out of respect for “Fifty Shades” director Sam Taylor-Johnson, he called her personally to break the news.
“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… There was a lot of personal stuff going on in my life that left me on real emotional shaky ground and mentally weak. I just got myself so f–king overwhelmed and I was sort of having panic attacks about the whole thing.”
Hunnam also denied that he was intimated by the sexual nature of the movie, pointing to his early work on Showtime’s “Queer as Folk” as an example of the contrary. “When I was 18 I was getting f–ked in the ass, completely naked on national TV, you know?” he said.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” got mixed reviews but became a box office hit after its release in February, pulling in more than $569 million worldwide. Sequels “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” are set for February 2017 and February 2018, respectively.