There was no DENYING it! We all had to have the books, those books … no matter what the cost, or potential embarrassment! We had to own them and when we did get them, we wanted to be alone with them! There was something there and even though it was extremely painful to ignore how badly written the books were, women around the world were obsessed with Christian Grey! Yes, I was one of them! What was it that drew us into Christian Grey’s world of sadism and dominance? Was it his power? Was it his billionaire-status? Was it his hard-to-get-and-keep attitude? No! It was only Christian Grey; the strikingly attractive, sex-appealing and psychotic sex god! That was it right there! A little bit of romance coupled with A LOT of sexiness from beginning to end! Something we women were, for once, PERMITTED to read … and without shame!
I admit, I was an enthusiastic slave to Christian Grey. As I continued to read through the books, I found myself discarding the love story while pushing the romance bit aside and drivelled shamelessly at the mere thought of this man; this-larger-than-life Christian Grey, the sex god! I had fantasized about him to a point where I already KNEW what he looked like, what colour his eyes were, the colour and style of his hair and his beautiful, athletic, flawless and masculine physique. I KNEW all about the kind of clothes he wore and I day-dreamed about his captivating and oh-so-beautiful smile. This was the kind of man that I would freely hand any whip or handcuffs to! He could keep me tied up all day and all night, with my permission! I was immobilized and weak in the presence of Fifty Shades of Grey. It made way for a whole new imaginative world of red rooms, whips, beads and cuffs and I had secretly dreamed of transforming into Ana, HIS Ana.
Fifty Shades Darker disappointingly began to lose its appeal to me, however, the sexiness was still there, so I was grinning and bearing it! The writing had begun to haunt me as I was beginning to focus more on that than the actual “story.” Fifty Shades Freed lost me entirely as I depressingly concluded that Christian, the sex god was a bit of a wimp. A love-sick puppy who had lost all his super sex-powers, BUT there was hope … the prospect of the movies was at long last, in sight! That was something ENORMOUS to look forward to! I would finally get to feast my eyes on Christian Grey! The story-line no longer seemed that important to me and I could live with the author’s “writing style”; I was really in it for the man himself! But, weren’t we all?
As casting for the Fifty Shades movie began, my girlfriends and I all excitedly speculated as to WHO would be cast in the role of Christian Grey, the love god. The one that would be the source of our quivering legs and our hammering hearts by merely existing? The eyes that could eagerly and brazenly undress us? We dribbled like teenagers from the 80’s as we discussed all the potential Christian Greys! We were shamelessly hooked as the books were shelved and discarded as mere preludes to what was to become GREAT films! My list of Christian Grey possibilities was endless. Would it be Jensen Ackles? Oh no, he was far too sweet and adorable, besides, he was the world’s greatest supernatural hunter! I could hardly imagine him inflicting ANY kind of pain on ANY natural kind of woman. Johnny Depp perhaps? Nope, my mind kept returning to the inebriated pirate while I could barely imagine him gripping a whip without breaking out in a drunken fit of laughter. And, OF COURSE, Channing Tatum came to mind. What a hunk! Wait … no, he turned out to be an enormous patsy in the Dear John film starring alongside Amanda Seyfried. What about Taylor Lautner? He’s a boy! A child! And a werewolf! BUT!!! What about Ian Somerhalder who plays the role of Damon Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries? Yes! We all became silent, and we slobbered! We all agreed that he was tall, strong and beautiful! In a manly kind of way, he was BEAUTIFUL! He oozes sex appeal while he proudly owns the most magnificent, arctic blue come-to-bed eyes! Oh boy … yes, those eyes! We ALL unanimously settled on Ian Somerhalder as Christian Grey. He was cast on the spot!
It was now time to move on to Ana. We sat uncomfortably while we discussed opinions and casting options! We were not kind at all! After all, Ana would be the much-hated-threat living out our fantasies! She would have to be uniquely distinct … untainted, beautiful and endearing! We considered Scarlett Johansson, but she was JUST too darn sensual. Emma Watson, in our minds, was too Harry “Potterish”; too young, too proper and too “teacherish”. We LOVED the idea of casting Kristin Kreuk, but her role in Beauty and the Beast seemed to have changed our initial “impression” of her. So, we finally settled on Lily Collins, daughter of musician, Phil Collins. She was flawlessly beautiful and there was a certain incorruptibility about her! Ana too, was cast there and then, in my living room and after many glasses of wine.
We anxiously waited for Erika Mitchell (E.L. James) to announce her cast selection and when they were finally cast, we held our breaths in anticipation! There we sat; six or seven women who were behaving like teenagers in eagerness of her long-awaited announcement. Once the actors were publicly identified, we guzzled and our moods just dropped. We glared at one another in disbelief, while I profusely shook my head in disagreement. This can NOT be right! This will just NEVER work! It was as though a witch-switch had been flipped inside of me and I completely lost everything lady-like about me! In my mind, she was making the BIGGEST mistake of her life ever! Of our lives! She was ruining EVERYTHING!
Don’t get me wrong, Jamie Dornan is probably a really pleasant guy. I am sure he is a GREAT actor for roles like Michael Landon’s character in The Little House on The Prairie. Or the role of Eric Camden (the dad) in 7th Heaven. Or even, Danny Tanner (also the dad) in Full House. Yep, he reminds me of a really cool dad! But a sex god? Oh, the thought reduced me to tears! He is skinny’ish, a tad bit scrawny, but at the same time, he is decent looking, just not “Christian-Grey-looking.”
Out of curiosity and HOPING to prove myself wrong, I watched Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker, and I still cannot tell you what colour Jamie Dornan’s eyes are. I could not find the sensuality or sexual attraction that E.L. James found in him; that I imagined and visualized through the books. There was NO WAY AT ALL that I would sinfully be lured into his bed by a simple glare or nudge from him! If he had come at me with a whip or handcuffs, I probably would have beat the living daylights out of him and ran … for my life! This was one of my life’s BIGGEST let-downs AND I am POSITIVE it was a disappointment for thousands of other women out there.
What can I say about Dakota Johnson? She is pretty’ish, an OKAY body and has famous parents. Yep, that’s about it. She is NOT Ana. Dakota too, I am sure, is probably a great person, and I feel ruthless in saying this, but perhaps a role in Star Wars or Modern Family would be more suitable for her? Something Sci-Fi, or nerdy, or wife-ish?
With the trailer launch of Fifty Shades Freed, I probably will return to the big screen and agonizingly watch the final instalment of the Fifty Shades franchise. Once again, I will do my VERY best to be lured into the movie. I will attempt with all my might to discard flashing and immoral images of Ian Somerhalder as I watch and fantasize about all the could-have-been’s and the what-if’s. I will do all I can to keep calm and supress any rage and resentment that I may feel towards E.L. James for corrupting what once had endless possibilities. What I won’t do, is agree that her casting choices were spot on!