Film Comment: Who should play Fifty Shades’ Christian Grey?


Whether you think it is brilliant popular fiction, a guilty pleasure, or just gutter trash, E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy is a publishing phenomenon. Even before it became an explosive success in the UK, (it’s now the fastest selling adult paperback of all time) Hollywood studios were fighting to secure the rights to a film adaptation of the first novel in the series, Fifty Shades of Grey. Universal Pictures was the victor, and the big screen version of James’s tale of sex and submission is fast becoming one of the most anticipated upcoming movie releases, and it hasn’t even gone into production yet.

The question on everybody’s mind is: who shall play Christian Grey – the heartstoppingly handsome love interest to English student Anastasia Steele. He is a billionaire and into BDSM. Whatever actor lands the role of Grey will have to prepare themselves for many explicit sex scenes. The three books contains graphic depictions of sex (including oral and anal, whipping, spanking and a lot of other stuff), so part of the fun of wondering who will play him is, one has to admit, the imagining of certain hot actors involved in such activities. So here is my list who I would like to see play the most lusted-after fictional character since Jane Austen invent Mr Darcy.

Chace Crawford

I can’t understand why more people aren’t singling this rising star out as a possible candidate for the role of Christian Grey. He’s utterly gorgeous and his role of Nate Archibald in Gossip Girl has shown he can be both cute and vulnerable and more than a little bit naughty. A particular scene in the third season of the show comes to mind when his then girlfriend Serena produces a pair of handcuffs from her bag and he expresses hope that they are part of her birthday present to him. Well, if he were to play Christian Grey, he’ll be in store for a lot more than that.


Theo James

Another rising star in the TV world, only on our side of the Atlantic this time. Theo James has had roles in Bedlam, Downton Abbey and a cluster of high profile films including The Inbetweeners Movie and Underworld: Awakening. In 2009 he showed us his sensual side in Kay Mellor’s 2009 two-part film A Passionate Woman. To be honest, although his onscreen sex scenes to date have been steamy affairs, they have all been a little too clothed. The role of Christian Grey would sort that out.


Ian Somerhalder

The most popular choice, according to Entertainmentwise. Somerhalder’s one of the two sickeningly handsome lads on The Vampire Diaries. As is the case with Chace Crawford, Somerhalder has been restricted for too long with a TV show that is not allowed to actually show much sex. They hint at it, but much of the bed-bouncing happens offscreen. My only reservation about Somerhalder is that he may look a little too….evil. No offence to the man himself; he’s a good looking guy. But there’s something about his smile. It’s a little creepy.

Oliver Cheshire

Lacking in acting experience, I know, but this striking British model has expressed a desire to go into acting and I (and many other people, I’m sure) would pay good money to see him make his debut as Mr Grey. Of course, I’m only going on his appearance here. But my goodness, his appearance is very persuasive. His cheekbones could give you papercuts.

Zac Efron

Now this would certainly put an end to the days of High School Musical. Who knows, this could be the start of something new. We could see it as Efron breaking free. He proved he can be flexible with his body during some of the more energetic dance routines, so maybe it’s time to put his fine frame through its paces again. And I don’t care what anyone says, I think he is an excellent actor, and the role of Grey may allow him to explore the psychology of a character in more complex ways.

There are, of course, many other potentials, as well as hundreds of unknown actors that haven’t yet broken into the acting world. Some other suggestions being thrown around on websites and blogs include Ryan Gosling (too old), Christian Bale (way, way too old – and not hot enough) and Alexander Skarsgård (also too old, but their certainly is something Grey-ish about him). If the casting directors at Universal are listening, I have one thing to say: please, please don’t cast Robert Pattinson in the role. He’s not a bad actor, but he isn’t right for the role. It would be like Twilight 6, especially since E.L. James has admitted the Fifty Shades trilogy originally started life as Bella/Edward fan fiction. The public need a fresh, new brooding romantic interest. R-Pattz has had his go, but it’s time for someone else to occupy the fantasies of women and gay men the world over. When the casting announcement does come (it could be next week, it could be next year), it’s definitely going to cause a stir.

Fifty Shades of Grey is available in paperback, published by Arrow. The film is yet to be given a release date. 



About Author


Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.


  1. avatar

    I just can’t bare to think that this is being made into a film. I for one sincerely hope that they decide to cut the tampon scene. And for some reason I always imagined Christian Bale in the role, but that’s just because they have the same name (and I evidently have no imagination).

  2. avatar
    thebookisalwaysbetter on

    Alex Pettifyr, or however it’s spelled. I think Alex has done a good job in his roles thus far and he certainly is a looker. Theo James could also pull it off, for sure. This is a good story and if it does come to the screen I hope they make it hot but tasteful. There’s no reason 50 can’t tell the story with some steamy scenes without the lorn elements. Read the book and use your imagination. There isn’t enough of that happening these days. Not everything needs to be spilled onto the silver screen in such graphic detail. Besides, I seriously doubt anything can meet the ex
    meet the expectations nor imagination of the reader in this case, nor should it; some things should be left to our own imaginings. I certainly agree, however that R. Patts is not right for this role.

Leave A Reply