Northern Ireland

Jamie Dornan admits he hid away following critical savaging of Fifty Shades of Grey

Mr Dornan, his wife and first born child retreated to a rural hideaway provided by film director

Irish premiere Belfast
Jamie Dornan with his wife, musician Amelia Warner (Brian Lawless/PA)

Actor Jamie Dornan retreated with his wife and daughter to a rural hideaway after the release of Fifty Shades of Grey was savaged by critics.

Mr Dornan was offered the home by the film’s director Sam Taylor amid the criticism, enabling him to keep away from the limelight until the reactions died down.

But the 41-year-old The Tourist star told BBC Radio Four’s Desert Island Discs that Fifty Shades, an erotic drama that grossed close to £500 million at the box office worldwide, continues to be mentioned in reviews of his later work.

Fifty Shades Of Grey poster
Fifty Shades Of Grey poster (Universal Studios)

Mr Dornan, in his interview with Lauren Laverne, also speaks about losing his mother to cancer when a teenager and remembers the loss of four fellow Methodist College pupils who died in a car crash in Donegal in August 1999.

In the interview, the Holywood native describes how he and his wife, the musician Amelia Warner and their first born, Dulcie, made use of a rural retreat following the 2015 film release.

Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan star in the hit drama The Fall. Picture by BBC
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan star in the hit drama The Fall. Picture by BBC

“I was coming off the back of career-altering reviews for The Fall and Bafta nominations and all of this sort of madness … and then I was brought to just ridicule, almost,” Mr Dornan said, adding its box office success somewhat lessened the pain of the critical reception.

“They [the Taylor-Johnsons] let us have their place in the country and we hid there for a while and just shut ourselves from the world for a bit and then came out the other side,” he said.

“It was a strange thing because then you are like: ‘Well, there is a bit of ridicule here, yet I’m now contractually doing two more of them’ – and knowing there would be more of that damnation to come,” Dornan said.

“And even now, when I’ve just had very glowing reviews for recent work, there wouldn’t be many of them that don’t mention Fifty Shades. A lot of reviews are like: ‘He’s great, but lest we forget, here’s when he wasn’t great.’ Give us a chance!”

But the actor said he does not regret taking the role of Christian Grey in the trilogy.

Mr Dornan also tells the radio programme of being thankful to his late father Jim, a noted obstetrician, for wise words after his mother Lorna was diagnosed with what turned out to be terminal cancer when he was just 14.

“My dad, I remember him saying ‘you can’t let this be the thing that defines us’ and I’m really grateful for those words,” he said.

“He was trying to say that you can live a fulfilled, positive and happy life still, now that doesn’t lessen the impact of losing mum or anything but I guess it was just dad giving us the okay to see happiness in our future.”