'Fifty Shades of Grey': Charlie Hunnam's 'Sons of Anarchy' Co-Stars React to Casting
As Charlie Hunnam gears up to play bad-boy billionaire Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, Jax Teller is riding back onto the small screen for season six of Sons of Anarchy.
Creator Kurt Sutter called the actor "fifty shades of fantastic" while introducing his cast at the show's premiere party on Saturday, receiving big laughs and applause from the audience inside Hollywood's Dolby Theatre.
While few of Hunnam's co-stars would cop to having read EL James' racy novel, all were thrilled to see the star make the leap into big-screen leading-man status.
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"I went through a lot of the process with him," Theo Rossi told The Hollywood Reporter. "I was there every day with him making him answer the texts and the e-mails, going through the process and the chemistry stuff."
Rossi said that although Hunnam was initially hesitant to sign on for another franchise, the project will allow audiences to see a whole new side of the actor.
"I think he's been teed up for this his entire career, and I think that he's going to shock everybody," Rossi said. "I don't care if it's Fifty Shades of Grey or 50 holes on a golf course, he's gonna be great on it. He's one of the hardest workers, he's smart, he's damn sexy, the guy's got it going on. He's an actor's actor. He's not one of those half-assed pretty boys; he can act."
Peter Weller was also among those inside Hunnam's circle who encouraged the actor to take the role, even after he expressed concern that the script was "pulpy."
"I said 'Listen, you go do this. I'm gonna water bomb your house with balloons if you don't,' " he recalled.
Mark Boone Junior suggested that if the film -- the first in a planned franchise -- flops, he'll be happy to step in.
"I'm the backup," he joked to THR. "If the first one goes under, guess who gets the call."
Ron Perlman feigned ignorance on the red carpet, responding with a shocked, "He's doing what!" when informed about Hunnam's new role. Asked if he was surprised about the casting, Perlman said, "Not really. Charlie's on the ascent, and this makes total sense."
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LaMonica Garrett said it was his girlfriend who broke the news to him.
"My girlfriend went crazy," he said with a laugh. "She's running around like, 'Oh my God, did you hear the news?' I'm like, 'No,' thinking, you know, there's a lot going on in Syria right now. 'Did something happen?' She's like, 'No, Charlie got Fifty Shades of Grey!' "
Garrett admittedly didn't realize the magnitude of the project until recently. "I'm a little behind right now, but that's awesome for him. He's a great dude. He's blowing up right now, and it couldn't happen to a better guy."
It's a common response among Hunnam's co-stars, including Kim Coates, who said simply: "He's my brother and I love him."
"When you step into something that huge, that well known by the masses, you've gotta have a lot of balls to pull that off," said Coates, though he didn't let on whether the pun was intentional. "Everyone knows that book. I haven't read any of them, but I'll be there at the premiere to support him 100 percent."
"He's about to be a movie star," he added. "It's just that simple."
Hunnam will hit the big screen alongside Dakota Johnson in August of next year. Speaking with reporters on the red carpet Saturday, Hunnam recalled his first script reading with the actress.
"As soon as we got in the room and started reading with Dakota, I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, because there was a tangible chemistry between us," he said. "It felt kind of exciting and fun and weird and compelling, and so that was it."
For more from Hunnam, click here.
Sons of Anarchy premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 10 p.m. on FX.