There’s no safe word for drama. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy made headlines for its explicit sex scenes, but most of the friction happened off camera — fully clothed.
The tension started before filming even began. Charlie HunnamChristian Grey was his lead role. Many fans of EL James‘ books were vocal about their displeasure with the choice, taking to social media to offer alternate casting options. (Ian Somerhalder Matt BomerThese discussions were frequent.
“Not sure about the #50ShadesOfGrey casting, not seeing it,” Patti StangerTweeted September 2013. “I always thought it was [a Ryan Gosling] part hands down. Oh well!”
However, just one month later, the Sons of AnarchyThe departure of the alum was due to scheduling conflicts. “The filmmakers of Fifty Shades of Grey and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey,” Universal Pictures said in a statement at the time.
When Jamie DornanThe replaced Crimson PeakAlthough fans were less upset about his casting in October 2013, there was still much controversy. Some viewers were shocked to see the first teaser in 2014. Today viewers took issue with the fact that the R-rated erotic thriller premiered its trailer on a morning show that’s usually family-friendly.
After the premiere of the movie in February 2015, it was met with criticism from all sides. BDSM fans argued that Fifty Shades was an inaccurate — and at times offensive — depiction of their lifestyle, while some viewers slammed the movie for seeming to glorify emotional abuse. Others, however, thought it was a terrible movie.
Despite all that conflict, however, the trilogy’s two leads don’t regret participating in the series. “Look, put it this way: it’s done no harm to my career to be part of a movie franchise that has made more than $1 billion,” Dornan told British GQOctober 2021. “Every working actor would say the same thing. It’s provided — a lot.”
Dakota Johnson, for her part, said she’s still “proud” of the films, though she admitted that making them wasn’t always easy. “There were a lot of different disagreements,” the Lost Daughter star told Vanity FairIn June 2022. “I’m proud of what we made ultimately and everything turns out the way it’s supposed to, but it was tricky.”
Continue scrolling to see all the photos Fifty ShadesDrama over the years.