E.L. James' Husband Calls 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Lead Christian Grey 'a Mess' (Video)
In interviews promoting his own book, Niall Leonard says Grey is a "deeply damaged fantasy figure" and admits the series "works for women" but "men not always."
Mr. Fifty Shades of Grey--Niall Leonard, the husband of author E.L. James--says as much as women fantasize about the title character, he's glad he's not anything like him.
"I'm really happy not to be Christian Grey, because that guy's a mess," he told CNN in an interview. See the video below.
"He's a deeply damaged fantasy figure. …You couldn't sustain a story with a guy who was perfect and perfectly happy
In an interview on British TV, Leonard, who styles himself as an ordinary suburban dad, joked, "Perhaps being married to me helped her to fantasize about someone more interesting."
He says James isn't much like the characters in the book either and he only sees her in the emails between Christian Grey and his young lover Anastasia Steele.
"That's very much my wife's amazing ability to flirt via e-mail."
But overall the story doesn't appear to be Leonard's cup of tea. He told CNN, "It works for women. Men, not always."
Leonard accidently let slip a small bit of casting news as well in an interview with British magazine Now, which paraphrased him as saying "'last he heard' Ryan [Gosling] was in the frame to play the manipulative billionaire.”
Leonard is out promoting his own first novel, Crusher, a dark London-set YA crime story thriller about boy trying to prove that he is not guilty of his father’s murder. The novel just went on sale this week.
A TV writer by trade, he was encouraged to finally write a novel after James finished the Fifty Shades trilogy but before it became a hit sensation.
"She had a really good time doing it. I saw she was enjoying it so much and she was writing the story she wanted to be told. I wanted to sit down and write my own story. She said "why don't you?" so that's when I did.
He says that both are deeply "individualistic" writers so they don't critique each others work much. He claims all he did on Fifty Shades was "proofread."
Now that both are full-time writers, they tend to avoid each other during the day. In The Guardian, he described a typical writing day:
"It would be nice to picture us working on opposite sides of the same desk, like Harold Pinter and Antonia Fraser, but in our case it's probably better to stay out of crockery-throwing range. I work in my shed, Erika works at her desk, and we meet up in the kitchen for mealtimes or coffee."
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