Bad-boy heartthrob – at least onscreen – Charlie Hunnam has said he is heartbroken over missing the chance to star in 50 Shades of Grey as lead character, Christian Grey.
Hunnam, who starred in TV series Sons of Anarchy, pulled out of the lead role in 2013, with reports saying he had quit to avoid being typecast and because of the movie’s sexual content.
However, Hunnam has revealed scheduling issues with Sons of Anarchy and his commitment to director and friend Guillermo de Toro’s movie, Crimson Peak, meant he was unable to take the role.
“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,’” Hunnam said.
“It was deeply unpleasant and challenging emotionally.”
Hunnam said he personally phoned Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed 50 Shades, to tell her his decision.
“I called her and we both cried our eyes out on the phone for 20 minutes,” Hunnam 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 … overwhelmed and I was sort of having panic attacks about the whole thing.”
Actor Jamie Dornan took on the lead role after Hunnam’s departure.