“Sons of Anarchy” star and almost “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Charlie Hunnam has revealed that it was “a nervous breakdown” that really led to his departure from the upcoming adaptation of the best-selling E.L. James novel.
The actor, who would have played Christian Grey opposite Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele, told Moviefone that the Focus Features drama would have been one project too many, since he already committed to shooting Guillermo del Toro‘s “Crimson Peak” during his hiatus from FX series “Sons.”
“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,” Hunnam explained. “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. I just had like … frankly, something of a nervous breakdown.”
The passionate response from fans and the attention the media was giving “Fifty Shades” also contributed to his decision to back out of the role just weeks after being cast.
“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,” Hunnam said. “I bit off more than I could chew and it was painful. I loved the character and I wanted to do it.”
Hunnam said in July that the experience was “pretty heartbreaking,” because he was genuinely excited to work with director Sam Taylor-Johnson, and reiterated the same disappointment about the “shit situation” in his latest commentary on his departure.
“I was really, really, sorry to do it,” Hunnam said. “It was one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.”
Hunnam will return to the small screen as biker Jax Teller on Tuesday when the seventh and final season of “Sons” premieres on FX.