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Here comes Christian Grey!

Daily Mail
Sunday, September 08, 2013

THEIR castings as the leads in the film adaptation of sexy literary sensation Fifty Shades Of Grey have garnered mixed reactions from fans.

But Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson must be feeling good after snagging the hot roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and Dakota even got public support from her biggest fan: mum Melanie Griffith.

Meanwhile, Melanie Griffith took to Twitter on Monday to declare how proud she is of her daughter Dakota.

"My beautiful child Dakota has been chosen to play Anna Steele in 50 Shades Look out world! Here she comes"

And naturally, fans and celebrities alike swarmed to the Internet to either cheer, whinge or just outright joke about the castings.

Much of the backlash is based on Fifty Shades fans' expectations of what the characters should look like based on the description in the novel.

Charlie Hunnam looks nothing like I imagine Christian Grey would look. Urgh. It should've been Matt Bomer or Ian Somerhalder," fan @mambasprincess tweeted.

It's comparable to the complaints that Ben Affleck's casting as Batman received recently:

"And people thought the casting of Ben Affleck for Batman was bad. That is nothing compared to #DakotaJohnson & #CharlieHunnam," wrote @kenzies_key266.

But Fifty Shades producer Dana Brunetti fired back at 'haters' in a neatly worded defense of the casting process.

"There is a lot that goes into casting that isn't just looks. Talent, availability, their desire to do it, chemistry with other actor, etc. So if your favorite wasn't cast, then it is most likely due to something on that list. Keep that in mind while hating and keep perspective," he wrote in two tweets.

Girls showrunner and star Lena Dunham, who knows a little about getting naked in front of the camera herself, just seemed to be disappointed that she was passed over for the film.

The actors no doubt predicted a lot of the noise around the castings, which closes a long and rumour-laden search.

Dakota, 23, previously appeared in The Social Network — in which she shared a love scene with Justin Timberlake — and had small roles in 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement and Beastly.

She is the daughter of Don Johnson, best known for TV shows Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, and ex-wife Melanie.

It's thought producers cast Dakota because they wanted a young, up-and-coming actress to play the role of virginal Anastasia, who embarks on an intense voyage of sexual discovery with her S&M-loving boss Christian.

Charlie, who is 33- years-old, stars in the dark biker thriller Sons Of Anarchy as Jackson 'Jax' Teller and also appeared in Guillermo del Toro's robot epic Pacific Rim.

He gained fame on the UK drama Queer As Folk, on which he played gay teenager Nathan Maloney; the show ran from 1999-2000 and was remade for American audiences by Showtime (under the same title).

The castings close waves of rumours about who would take on the roles — Emma Watson, Imogen Poots, Armie Hammer and Ian Somerhalder, among many others, were at one time tied to a main role on the film.

Producer Michael De Luca tweeted on Monday that Dakota and Charlie showed great promise when they auditioned for the roles together: "Auditions were stunning, incredible chemistry!" he wrote.

The duo had to do a chemistry read, meaning a scene on video, and Charlie also had several tests with various actresses; he seemingly wanted to know who his co-star was before committing to the project, according to The Wrap.

Author Bret Easton Ellis, meanwhile, claims that Robert Pattinson was E.L. James' first choice for the lead role.

He tweeted Monday about an exchange he had with the writer at a party earlier in the summer.

'E.L. James and I were at Rob Pattinson's house when she admitted that Rob was first choice for Christian,' Ellis said on Twitter.

'When E.L. James asked me who I thought should be Christian I said 'James Deen, of course,' and then she shoved me,' he added. 'We were both very wasted.'

Fifty Shades Of Grey will be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy), based off the adapted script by Kelly Marcel (Terra Nova).

The novel is the fastest-selling paperback of all time and has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide.

Controversial for its depictions of sadomasochistic sex and more, Fifty Shades Of Grey marked the rise of 'mummy porn,' or racy reading intended for mainstream, often middle-aged women.

The film is currently slated for release in August 2014.


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