Life in the center of a hotly anticipated (by middle-aged women) fan fiction adaptation about rough sex might not be all it’s cracked up to be. At least that’s the case for Charlie Hunnam, who announced this past weekend that he would no longer be playing Christian Grey in the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey.
Now, the official reason for Hunnam’s exit is the actor’s “immersive TV schedule, which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role.” Makes sense, right? The man’s got motorcycles to ride and slight Shakespearean parallels to act out on Sons of Anarchy. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, there was a far more personal motivation for Hunnam’s departure. It seems being cast in 50 Shades put the actor in a far brighter and more unforgiving spotlight than he intended, so much so that he required a set of bodyguards just to make it into a recent Sons of Anarchy premiere, fielding 50 Shades-related questions all the while. If Hunnam can maintain a high-profile acting career while avoiding that kind of crazy, more power to him (and in all honesty, avoiding 50 Shades might be a better move in the long run anyway).
But this sudden setback may cause 50 Shades of Grey to miss its August 1, 2014 release date, unless the powers that be are able to scrape together a new Christian Grey very soon. 50 Shades began life as a piece of Twilight fan fiction; it might be more fitting to just recast both leads with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart in cheap hairpieces.