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Jamie Dornan Defends ‘50 Shades’ and Why It Changed His Life

Both the book series and the film adaptations of E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey have received a lot of criticism, and much of that has made it to the ears of actor Jamie Dornan. The 39-year-old played the titular character Christian Grey, a man with certain sexual proclivities he introduces protagonist Anastasia Steele to across three movies. Steele was portrayed by Dakota Johnson, and both actors rocketed to fame after their release.

In a new interview with British GQ, Dornan says that he doesn’t have any reservations about his participation in the series.

“Look, put it this way: It’s done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion. Every working actor would say the same thing. It’s provided — a lot,” he said. “There’s no shame in saying it’s transformed my life and my family’s life financially. I am very, very grateful for this and always will be.”

Dornan also added that “the fans loved it” and he wasn’t surprised that more serious critics did not.

“But I take issue with the whole thing being just a bit of a joke,” he continued. “Everyone involved worked as hard as they could on those films, including myself.”

Dornan is now promoting his new film Belfast, in which he plays a young father across from Outlander‘s Caitriona Balfe. The drama is based on director Kenneth Brannagh’s life growing up in Ireland during the tumult of the late 60s.

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Dornan did say in his interview that he always feels pressure about what projects he choses, knowing his role as Grey will always be compared to his new performances.

“Whether A Private War, Anthropoid or Belfast, or whatever comes next, the line in the press is always, ‘It’s the best thing he’s done since Fifty Shades,” Dornan explained. “As if I am still needing to prove myself. I am still paying penance for that choice to get me back to where I was beforehand.”

“Look, I get it,” he continued, “and to be honest with you, it spurs me on. It lights a fire in me. If that means people saying, ‘Oh, actually he’s not that bad,’ well, so be it.”

Real fans know Dornan is not bad at all.

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