Fifty Shades Lead Jamie Dornan; Matt Bomer Might Have Made History?
I recently mentioned that Charlie Hunnam had backed out of the lead role in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. When Hunnam was first chosen to play the lead the fandom heavens opened up and thousands of people protested the choice. Hunnam eventually backed out stating work schedule conflicts. I also read (link below) he was only getting paid $125,000 to play the part, which is significantly lower than most leading men. So far, the new choice of the hour seems to be Jamie Dornan.
Dornan was among the actors shortlisted for the part after Hunnam bowed out almost two weeks ago, with some reports labeling him the frontrunner. Others speculated that “True Blood” star Alexander Skarsgard was the top choice, while Theo James (“Golden Boy,” “Divergent”), Christian Cooke (U.K.’s “Where the Heart Is,” “Magic City”) and Scott Eastwood (“Chicago Fire”) almost emerged as contenders.
According to this article, filming is supposed to begin in November and they are talking about an August 2014 release date. So it looks as if Matt Bomer, the main choice to play Christian with Fifty Shades fandom, is out of the question. There’s never been a set reason why Bomer isn’t playing the lead and it could be he doesn’t want to play the part. Fifty Shades has not only been a bestselling novel that made publishing history for many reasons, it’s also been one of the most hated books in years as a result of some of those reasons. (I liked it; don’t e-mail me)
But that doesn’t seem to have stopped Bomer fans, at least not according to this next article in Variety. The piece goes on to state that Bomer could have made film history had he been chosen to play the part, but I think that’s debatable.
But all those actors primarily work in television. The fact remains that in the year 2013, there is still not a consistent leading gay man or woman on the big screen. Hollywood is still trying to catch up to the BuzzFeed generation, which doesn’t discriminate when it comes to a heartthrob’s sexual orientation. Hopefully, one day soon, a gay actor will crack that glass ceiling.
The reason I think this is debatable is because Matt Bomer would not have made history as a gay man playing a straight lead role. Rock Hudson and hundreds of leading men before Bomer have already proven that gay men can play straight lead roles. The key word here is that Bomer would have made history because he would have been the first OPENLY gay man to play a straight leading role. And as a gay man and an openly gay author I think that calls for debate.
And, if the person who wrote that article in Variety had even been slightly aware of how many women read gay romance…the same type of reader who read Fifty Shades of Grey…they wouldn’t have been surprised at how many fans lobbied for Bomer to play Christian. One more proof of evidence that the mainstream media is highly out of touch with what people are doing these days, as is Hollywood.
As a fan of Fifty Shades the books, I can’t say that I’m disappointed to hear about Dornan playing Christian. I think he’ll not only do the part justice, but I think he has the perfect look for the BDSM parts.