Charlie Hunnam has admitted that the reason he backed out of 50 Shades of Grey was he took on too many high-profile projects at once.
He became overwhelmed and had to drop at least one project. Specifically, he says, he had a “nervous breakdown.”
“I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place if I didn’t want to do it,” he explains. “It was a really, really difficult time in my life.”
He adds, he was interested in working with director Sam Taylor-Johnson. Although Charlie had limited availability and existing commitments. They met, however, “And then I just fell in love, creatively.”
Charlie continued, “I started talking about this thing and I just got so excited. I fell in love with the character (what) and started seeing him and becoming intoxicated, which is the way I work: I find a character I love and I start thinking about it all the time.”
However, Sons of Anarchy ran over schedule and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak in Toronto had already been scheduled around the FX show.
Once he started looking at the logistics of it, he revealed, “I was going to finish ‘Sons’ at like 11 p.m. Friday night, get on the plane Saturday morning to Vancouver for ‘Fifty,’ missing the whole first week of rehearsal and start shooting Monday morning. And I was going to shoot that film, wrap that on the Wednesday and the following Monday I was going to start shooting ‘Crimson Peak’ in Toronto.”
He admitted, “I just had like … frankly, something of a nervous breakdown.”
Charlie was also overwhelmed by the media backlash to his casting and the press intrusion it all caused. “I just said, ‘I can’t … I can’t …,'” he recalls. “To fail on such a grand scale – because ‘Fifty’s going to be massive, it’s going to be huge. I really didn’t want to fail on such a grand scale and I just couldn’t transition from Jax Teller to Christian Grey in 48 hours. I bit off more than I could chew and it was painful. I loved the character and I wanted to do it.”
As he said recently, it was “heartbreaking” to backout of the commitment so soon (days) before shooting began. “It was just a s**t situation,” he concludes. “I was really, really, sorry to do it. It was one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.”
Here is the trailer for the 50 Shades of Grey movie starring Charlie’s replacement, Jamie Dornan, and co-star Dakota Johnson.