BAFTA-nominated Irish actor Jamie Dornan portrays the tormented billionaire Christian Grey in Universal Pictures’ explosive erotic thriller Fifty Shades Freed (now playing in Philippine cinemas).
The climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling Fifty Shades phenomenon, Freed brings to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally.
In Fifty Shades Freed, believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian (Dornan) and Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.
It was crucial for author E L James to start Freed where Christian and Ana have to face up to the realities of what it is like to be married and how, when you marry someone so quickly, things don’t always go according to plan. “I knew the only thing I could do was to have Ana pregnant and to see Christian’s reaction, which is not great,” E L James says. “I knew that’s where I wanted the story to go. That’s why I started writing the third book—to see him absolutely terrified, furious, when she announces that she’s pregnant. He goes completely ballistic, because he’s a scared child himself.”
Dornan was fascinated by the swirl of personal challenges and dark intrigue facing the couple in Fifty Shades Freed. He says: “Christian’s reaction to Ana being pregnant is not positive. It’s the exact way that you don’t want your partner to respond when you say you’re pregnant. He feels like he is in no position to be a father. Where they are in their life and the kind of relationship he wants to have with her, a baby’s just the last thing that he wants—it would not fit into his structure. Emotionally he feels that having had such an awful early childhood, why—when his birth parents were so awful—why would he be any better? That terrifies him.”
Terrifying on another level is the threat Christian begins to perceive behind the series of unfortunate events that have begun to take place. Dornan explains: “Once he realizes that both the helicopter and the computer server were sabotaged, he knows that Jack Hyde was involved. He knows him to be a man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. In that way, he is very similar to Christian.”
When it came to working with Johnson and Dornan, director James Foley takes a moment to reflect on the work they have put into the series. “At this point, they are referencing something that they know; they’re not making believe. Somehow, Dakota plugged into the psychology and the emotion of Ana, and Jamie relaxes even further into the role; in Freed, you see him find Christian Grey in himself.”
Producer Michael De Luca agrees with his director: “What Jamie and Dakota have been required to do in this series is to accompany this rarified space few performers ever encounter. Not only were they charged with bringing to life two of the most beloved characters of the past century, they had to discover the nuances of Christian and Ana under the relentless eye of the public. They’ve handled themselves with grace, charm, compassion and levity—all while plumbing the depths of their characters. I speak for everyone involved in the production when I say that no two actors could have done it better.”
Fifty Shades Freed is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.