Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category
  Emily   February 04, 2015   0 Comments

It is a flawless LA morning, the sun already high enough to fill a sixth-floor suite of the legendary Chateau Marmont hotel. Yet despite the glow streaming through the windows, Jamie Dornan seems worried. The Northern Irish actor (who is also one of the highest-paid male models in the world) has the expression of a man about to leap out of a plane. It is the first day of a press junket marathon for the movie release of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, the sure-to-be-divisive adaptation of the global erotic phenomenon. And the film’s relatively unknown star senses he might be thrown to the lions.

At 32, Dornan has only just begun his ascent to the A list. As a brooding serial killer in BBC crime drama ‘The Fall’, he established himself as an acting force to be reckoned with, but with ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, Dornan has been thrust at hyperspeed into the limelight. Playing the lead character of Christian Grey, he’s gone from being a torso to swoon over in the occasional Calvin Klein ad to being an icon woven for ever into the silky fabric of female fantasy.

In case you’ve been living in an Amish village, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a romantic novel with lots of sex – lots of rough, masochistic sex. When it was published in 2011, it was just what the reading public had been breathlessly waiting for. With the book garnering legions of fans, the movie has been hotly debated. And under the unexpected direction of artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, it’s predicted to be either sheer genius or pure junk.

At the centre of the debate is Dornan: gorgeous, mysterious, not yet that famous – and cast at astonishingly short notice. The question is: will ‘Fifty Shades’ make him man of the moment or the critics’ whipping boy?

This isn’t your everyday Hollywood starring role.
‘No. People are… well, let’s just say if you’re into it, it seems you’re really into it.’

And if they hate it, they’ll hate you?
‘I think for this series of books particularly, people have very strong opinions about who their Christian Grey is and who their Anastasia Steele is. Some people will be happy enough with the film. And some will be rabidly disappointed.’

How did you land the part? People must have fantasised about all kinds of big stars playing Christian Grey.
‘It was very peculiar. I auditioned, then they cast someone else [English actor Charlie Hunnam] and I moved on. But then it came around again. From the day I got cast to the day we started shooting was only a month. Which is insane.’

Wow, that must have been intense.
‘I hope I never have to go into a job like that again. My wife was very heavily pregnant at the time. We had our daughter three days before we started filming. In a way, I didn’t have enough time to overthink things. I just had to grin and bear it and be like: Right, this is happening. It’s quite a big deal. I have to make sure I’m as ready as I can be in the allotted time.’
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  Emily   January 07, 2015   0 Comments

The star of the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey – and number three in GQ’s Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015 – talks to GQ about S&M and describes what it’s like to film a sex scene. Read this exclusive preview and see two photos from February’s issue of British GQ.

On his character in Fifty Shades of Grey
“In the course of researching this character, I have seen the reality very closely. I can tell you from an alarmingly first-hand perspective it’s not altogether sexy. But I’ve been in a dungeon with a lukewarm beer while a dominant has had some fun with his submissive and it was very playful and jovial and not at all dark and serious. There was a lot of laughter…”

On filming the sex scenes
“Your dignity is intact as much as it’s all tucked away in a little flesh-coloured bag… As a guy you put all your essentials in a little bag and you tie it up like a little bag of grapes and it’s tucked away. Its quite a peculiar thing to do every day.”

On S&M
“I’m an extremely liberal person, I don’t give a f***. If people are into that they’re into that. By the way, if people make such a hoo-hah about the violence against women aspect of it, it’s far more common for men to be the submissive. And it’s consensual! There’s weirder shit than that. I think plane spotting is far weirder than S&M. That I really don’t get. I can understand why people are into S&M, but standing outside Heathrow Terminal 5 waiting for Ryanair to come in?”

Reflecting on his life
“I feel good that I have my life in order. I’m not addicted to anything that I’m aware of. I’m not 21. I’m married to the most understanding person I’ve ever met. I have a baby. I think those are good things that stand me in decent stead going into whatever it is.”


  Emily   November 12, 2014   0 Comments

Holywood-born hunk Jamie Dornan has had one eventful year. He’s tied the knot, become a dad for the first time, and finished filming what is tipped to be next year’s movie blockbuster, Fifty Shades of Grey.

And of course, there was The Fall.

“You know, when I first auditioned for it, I was so relieved,” the actor, 32, told Sunday Life.

“The first thing I said to Allan [Cubitt] was, this is so lovely to read something set in this part of the world that doesn’t involve the Troubles directly or sectarianism, or any of those crap things that hold this country back.

“Not that it’s some kind of love story or altogether positive, but it’s just refreshing that it wasn’t about that. And you know, why not set it here?

“There’s no definitive need for it to be set in Belfast, but it’s a great backdrop, and it’s been said so many times — Belfast is like a character in the show. And I totally agree with that.

“Am I proud? Yeah, I’m definitely proud.”

And so he should be.

Not only is the award-winning Belfast-based drama the BBC’s most successful in over two decades — it also catapulted the former underwear model to huge acting fame.

So when it came to taking on the killer role for a second time, it was never in doubt — despite his hectic showbiz schedule.

Speaking to Sunday Life on set of the new series of The Fall, Jamie said: “There’s been a bit of juggling around but my goal has always been to be here.

“I’ve had about a week off in a year, and I think I’ve aged rapidly, but that’s fine!”
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  Emily   November 08, 2014   0 Comments

Jamie Dornan reveals that, after a couple of very high-profile roles which see him playing dark, dominating troubles characters, he is conscious of being typecast.

Jamie, star of BBC thriller ‘The Fall’ and the forthcoming ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, tells HuffPostUK:

“It does make you slightly conscious. No actor wants to be typecast, you want to be clever and pick things that show you’re not a one-trick pony, and that’s my plan.”

Jamie is just off a flight from LA – I mean, literally, still wearing ear plugs from the aeroplane – when I sit down with him in London, yet surprisingly fresh, sharp and happy to joke about being typecast as a sexy sociopath.

With his return next week in ‘The Fall’ where he plays family man Paul Spector, who just happens to be a serial killer when night falls, and the forthcoming ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ film, where he will be the dominating but irresistible Christian Grey, it seems that Jamie has quickly cornered the market in these troubled, tantalising types… is he worried he’ll never get offered anything else?

“I just don’t know how many sexy sociopath roles there are available to be typecast,” he wonders with a brush of the beard, “so I’m not too worried about that.

Prior to the first series of ‘The Fall’, Jamie’s acting CV barely went into double figures. But, with record audiences for BBC2, and Jamie happily holding his own against cool veteran Gillian Anderson, producers came calling, and his profile has now swung into orbit, with ‘Fifty Shades’ many book fans champing at the bit for his appearance on screen with Dakota Johnson.

Despite this, the actor remains committed to ‘The Fall’, whose second series finds Paul Spector having to return from his Scottish hideout to tie up some loose ends, and Gillian’s DI Stella Gibson continuing to hunt him down. Despite his star in the ascendant, it sounds as though he’d be happy for a third outing, should that come calling…

He says, “We’re all immensely proud of the first series, and the scripts are so good for the second. When you’re onto something as good as that, you want to complete it, honour it, see it through to the end, whenever that may be.”

How easy is it to put on the solitary armour of Paul Spector for this jokey, amiable man, I wonder?

“I found it almost worrying easy,” he smiles, with a suitable glint in his eye, before giving all the credit to his co-stars and crew for being “like one big family, that make it easier to slip back in”.

“Oddly enough, considering the content and the severity, it’s a pretty fun set,” he adds. “You work and when the camera’s rolling it’s very serious, but you have to have moments of fun, light relief.

“I think almost specially because of the content. It’s not healthy to stay in that mindset. I can get very silly. I like to have fun and make jokes that aren’t funny to anyone but me.”

‘The Fall’ returns to BBC2 next Thursday 13 November.


  Emily   November 08, 2014   0 Comments

Jamie Dornan was left “shaking” when told the plot outline for the new series of The Fall

The 32-year-old hunk , who plays murderer Paul Spector in the BBC Two crime drama, says the second series will be even more exhilarating than the first as police detective Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is hot on his heels.

He said: “When I got the breakdown for the second series, I was shaking.

“The scale of it has grown, there are twists and turns and there are moments which I can’t say too much about.”

Dornan – who will hit cinema screens in February 2015 as Christian Grey in the movie adaptation of the best-selling erotic novel ifty Shades of Grey – also revealed his serial killer character’s plans may start to crumble in the new series, creating an interesting relationship between Spector and Gibson.

He told ShortList magazine: “Cracks start to appear and Stella gets a bit of a foot in. That’s what makes it great television, and it’s probably explored slightly more in the second series. It’s what I love the most about him.”

The former model added that he thinks people are drawn to the character because they also see his vulnerable side.

He said: “Obviously what he’s doing is horrific – pure evil – but we get to see a human, relatable side to him at work and with his family which makes it more chilling to watch.

“You are literally thinking that it could be your next door neighbour. And I’ve had people say, ‘He’s a sick b*****d, but I kind of wanted him to get away with it.’ “


  Emily   November 04, 2014   0 Comments

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan are sitting side by side in a restaurant booth in south London. Both have been enjoying high-profile moments in their careers in the past few months, Anderson playing Blanche Dubois in an acclaimed production of A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic and Dornan at the centre of the hype surrounding the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, in which he will star as sadomasochistic businessman Christian Grey.

Back in 2013, though, in the Belfast-set BBC Two murder drama The Fall, the pair were hunter and hunted, lead detective and serial killer, locked in a struggle of converging obsessions – his with having absolute power over young, dark-haired, professional women, and hers with stopping him from killing again. Here in real life, with the second series soon to begin on BBC Two (a chilling trailer was released in July), they’re finishing each other’s sentences and answering questions for one another with an easy rapport.

I ask Anderson what it is about her character, the Met’s DSI Stella Gibson – seconded to Belfast – that would make a fellow officer in the show say to her: “You have no idea what effect you have on men.”
“I’m not sure I’ve ever asked myself that question,” she says, laughing.
“Go up in that corner and ask yourself, then come back and tell us…” says the 32-year-old Dornan, who plays family man and murderer Paul Spector, “ ’cause I wanna know.”

She thinks for a moment, “Um… I remember thinking that was a shocking thing for me to hear, as Stella. I think she wouldn’t be interested in men finding her attractive; she’s only interested in the ones she finds attractive enough to find her attractive enough to satisfy her fleeting needs. I don’t think that she gives a s—.”

Her fleeting needs. Gibson’s sex life was just one aspect of The Fall that got people talking. In the opening episode, Gibson pressed her hotel room number on a hunky cop she had just met, for a night of sex, then admonished him afterwards for failing to keep his emotions in check. Later, she was informed that he had been killed by a gunman in front of his marital home. “Anything else?” she replied.
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  Emily   November 04, 2014   0 Comments

Just like its resident serial killer Paul Spector, last year’s The Fall crept up on us and wouldn’t let us go.

Indeed, while many detective dramas leave viewers in the dark, The Fall introduced us to the psychopathic Spector from the outset, which meant the audience have always known more than the investigative team, led by Gillian Anderson’s brilliantly aloof DSI Stella Gibson.

And perhaps that’s why the series proved so powerful. We saw the psychopath at work, his manipulation of both family and work colleagues. And despite the nightmares it induced, the drama became BBC Two’s biggest in years.

Now it’s back, picking up 10 days after the last series ended with the revelation that Spector’s last victim had regained consciousness, tracking the psychological impact of the killings on the police team, the victims’ families and on the city of Belfast as a whole.

“People have an appetite for this kind of drama and a morbid fascination with death,” muses Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan who plays the disturbingly handsome killer.

“And what’s particularly interesting in The Fall is knowing who the killer is from the start,” adds the former Calvin Klein model.

“I think there’s a slightly different tone with the second series, which is going to surprise people,” continues 32-year-old Dornan, who’s soon to be seen in Fifty Shades of Grey.

“We set out a lot of things in the first, where it was more about the act [of killing], and maybe the second series is more about what activates the act and the hunt [for Spector].”

“Definitely the hunt,” agrees Anderson, 46, who recently earned rave reviews for her role in a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

“The team continues with the information they have and are following leads. There are more characters because the team is larger, and there’s an interesting dynamic in having people in different aspects of the investigation working simultaneously.”
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  Emily   November 04, 2014   0 Comments

Gillian Anderson glides into the room, not a hair out of place, a padded jacket covering the suit and silk blouse favoured by her television alter-ego Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson.

The old Masserene Barracks in Antrim have been transformed into studio spaces for season two of crime thriller The Fall and today the tables have been turned on Anderson, as she faces interrogation from a roomful of reporters.

The Fall sees Anderson play a glacial detective, seconded to Belfast from the Metropolitan Police, to sniff out a serial killer stalking the city streets for his female prey. It’s a psychological spine-chiller that examines the lives of two hunters within one story.

Written by Allan Cubitt, the mini-series, shot entirely in Northern Ireland, became BBC2’s biggest drama launch in eight years when it aired in May 2013. It was well received by critics and audience alike and won a number of accolades, including three Iftas and a Bafta nod for lead actor Jamie Dornan.

Anderson and Dornan are back again for season two, having eventually managed to co-ordinate their increasingly hectic work schedules. Most of the cast from season one also return, with the addition of a new face to the police team, DS Tom Anderson, played by Co Armagh man Colin Morgan.

The London-based, Chicago-born actress has long been a sex symbol since her portrayal of Special Agent Dana Scully in US hit Nineties series The X Files, so it’s interesting to hear her describe how playing Gibson has changed her.

“In terms of how I feel as a female in the wider world, there is a level of self respect and maturity,” she explains.

“Also in how she takes care of herself, in the small ways, like how she takes care of her clothes and does herself up. In the first season, I started to pay more attention to myself and honour myself as a woman more.

“So it’s in how she treats herself mostly that she’s changed me. I have always been very opinionated and I don’t take b******* so I don’t feel she’s exacerbated that for me. She changed me more in terms of my femininity.”

In previous interviews Anderson has stated how she “became” Gibson the moment she slipped into her signature blouse and let the on-set hairdresser work her magic. Producer Julian Stevens says of her: “she turned up on set with her hair done and in costume and was Stella Gibson straight away”.

Anderson admits Gibson has got under her skin, more so than any other character she has played.

“When I was in London and The Fall was in the process of airing, it was not so much as there’s Gillian Anderson, but there’s Stella Gibson,” she says. “It was very different from other experiences I’ve had.”

She describes the character of Gibson as something of an enigma to viewers, an “unknowable” entity who gives a little bit more away about herself and her past in season two.

“We do learn more about her in the second series,” she says. “There are definitely some small reveals she gives and also we learn more about her in how she responds to situations.

“Anything that Stella is that we haven’t seen yet is the result of the past and not present. There are aspects of her nature which are dark, and if you look back to the first season, they are there as well.”

Season one of The Fall ended with a cliffhanger – Jamie Dornan’s serial killer Paul Spector, a family man and grief counsellor by day, is still at large, but his last victim has regained consciousness. Anderson says season two feels “more like a hunt”, with the net closing in. And viewers will see a different side to Gibson.
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  Emily   November 02, 2014   0 Comments

The photo shoot done, Jamie Dornan is ushered away to a quiet corner of the studio by his publicist, who needs to brief him for five minutes on his international press schedule. Requests, requests. They do not concern the new series of The Fall, his sophisticated and critically acclaimed crime drama that starts again on BBC2 this month. They relate to the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, which is not being released until February yet is already bulging over the 32-year-old actor like a heavy nimbus cloud.

We shall come to that. For now I watch him as he finds himself standing next to a vaulting horse. As he listens to his publicist, he takes hold of its sides and raises himself up, his 6ft frame forming a gravity-defying diagonal behind him in the air. Seeing this impressive gymnastic feat, the photographer stops packing away his camera and starts clicking again.

When the photographs are done, we walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch, and Dornan tells me it was just as well the photographer didn’t ask him to do a second take, because “I would have been crying in the corner if he had.” He broke his shoulder a few years ago, and “stupidly I put off having surgery on it until last year”.

He doesn’t realise he is doing these exercises half the time, he adds. In fact, he thinks he is “probably quite irritating to live with” because he has a condition which means his adrenaline levels are abnormally high, so he is always dropping to the floor at home and doing press-ups. “I’m quite hyper, and my wife [he married the singer-songwriter Amelia Warner last year] would prefer it if I sat down and read a book.”

In contradiction to this professed hyperactivity, Dornan has a languid delivery, with a crackly County Down lilt. His manner is composed, too. And he is open and self-deprecating, punctuating his conversation with an easy laugh. He even seems to wear his good looks lightly, behind a five-day beard. It’s sickening.

And it gets worse. With his spatchcocked chicken he orders a regular Coke. Really? Not diet? “Yeah, really.” He claims he doesn’t need to watch what he drinks and eats. Seems to stay in shape naturally. In fact he usually drinks beer, and opens a bottle of wine every night after helping his wife put their 11-month-old daughter to bed. And he eats “any old crap. I could eat 10 packs of Hula Hoops a day and not think about it.”

Dornan also claims that he doesn’t need to spend hours each day in the gym (do we believe him?), and that he feels insecure about his appearance.

And at this point we need a little context. For almost a decade, you see, Jamie Dornan was one of the highest-paid male models in the world. Dubbed the “Golden Torso” by the New York Times, he was photographed by Bruce Weber and contracted to Dior, Armani and Calvin Klein; for one memorable billboard campaign, he and Kate Moss posed together wearing nothing but their tight Calvin Klein jeans.

Did he feel objectified when he was a model? “At times, yeah; on the whole, no. I got lucky with that gig because quite early on I could be picky about what I did, where I did it. And because I was on contracts, I was working maybe 10 days a year and getting paid really well for it.”

He says “working”. Actually what he had to do most of the time was “lean against a wall while looking depressed”.
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  Emily   October 24, 2014   0 Comments