Jamie Dornan went into hiding after the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, the actor revealed this week during an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
The first Fifty Shades film, released in 2015, was met with harsh reviews. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson was nominated for worst director at that year’s Razzie Awards, and the movie now holds 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Up until the release of the film, Dornan had enjoyed critical success, particularly for his role as a serial killer in The Fall.
“[I was] coming off the back of career-altering reviews for The Fall and BAFTA nominations and all the madness The Fall brought to ridicule,” Dornan said.
“I think I hid,” he said. “[My family] went down to Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s place. They weren’t there. They let us have their place in the country, and we sort of hid there for a while and shut ourselves off from the world a bit.”
Though the film was panned, Fifty Shades of Grey became a box office phenomenon, launching production on the franchise’s two sequels, for which Dornan was contractually obligated to return.
“It made so much money so like, films two and three were greenlit overnight,” the actor said. “It was a strange thing because there’s a bit of ridicule here, and I’m now contracted to do two more, knowing that there will be much more damnation to come.”
Nevertheless, Dornan doesn’t regret the films: “I’ve just had very glowing reviews for recent work. And there won’t be any that don’t mention Fifty Shades in them … A lot of reviews are like: ‘He’s great, but lest we forget when he wasn’t great here,’” he said. “Regret that I did them? No.”
In December, Dornan told The Independent that he was happy taking a break from high-profile roles for now.
“There’s never going to be anything like Fifty Shades again,” he said. “It felt very much like its own thing, particularly because it focused in and around sex. But there are obviously other jobs that bring insane scrutiny, like superhero stuff, or fucking James Bond — any of that stuff. I’ve done pretty well to avoid that sort of shit so far.”
Dornan added, “I’m not saying I’d never do anything super high-profile again, or a big [intellectual property] with all eyes on it … I probably will. But I’m also really happy with where I’m at right now. I can live a pretty normal life for the most part. I can sit on the Tube and I’m fine. I’m an ambitious person, and I have a fire under me, but in the last 10 years or so, I’ve realized I don’t want big peaks all the time. That doesn’t interest me. I’m happy to keep ticking over as I am, then one day just disappear and play golf for the rest of my life.”