My relationship with the who-should-play-Christian-Grey timeline goes as follows: I wanted Matt Bomer the entire time I read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy … right up until Charlie Hunnam was announced. Then I inexplicably got very excited for Hunnam’s portrayal of the troubled billionaire. And now that Hunnam has dropped out of the film, I’m left feeling 50 shades of empty and confused. Do I want Matt Bomer again? Or do I want someone like Hunnam, with a lesser-known face (or one that’s usually covered in hair)?
Before I could make sense of any of it, I read that Oliver Stone told The Wall Street Journal that Leonardo DiCaprio was his choice for the coveted role. At first, my thoughts reflected my feelings about Ben Affleck being Batman: No, thank you. But after some soul searching and many Google Images, I can’t help but think DiCaprio would make one intriguing Christian Grey. It’s definitely a film I would see, and here’s why it would work:
He’s got those eyes. If you want to be literal about it, DiCaprio does have some gorgeous blue-gray eyes. And he almost has that copper hair E L James wrote of so fondly. I’ll be the first to admit that his heartthrob phase is behind him, but at the end of the day, DiCaprio is still quite pretty. Plus, he’s always stayed in good shape, and getting Christian’s abs is just a matter of a good personal trainer and a few months of dieting.
He’s good at dark-and-twisted. Christian Grey is a tortured soul. His journey is a dark one, and his obsessions all stem from a very raw, emotional place. And if DiCaprio can do anything, it’s play a character that is so layered and broken down and yet puts up this playboy front for the crowd (Gatsby, anyone?).
He can be scary. Let’s keep it real here: Christian Grey can be one scary dude, whether he’s defending Anastasia or punishing her, and that aggressive side of a character is another element DiCaprio is darn good at – even when the veins aren’t popping out of his forehead.
He would give the film a certain credibility. No one can deny that seeing DiCaprio’s name on the Fifty Shades of Grey poster would add an additional level of credibility to the film, both in that the standard of acting would automatically increase, and DiCaprio’s acceptance would mean that the role intrigued him. And to be honest, I can see how it would. The books might be considered soft porn to some, but Christian really is a fascinating character, if you’re able to look past the exterior.
He would expand the film’s audience. Much like I argued that Hunnam would bring in a new Sons of Anarchy audience, DiCaprio’s universal appeal would reach out to many more than just those who read the books.
He’s a great romantic lead. Christian has many sides as a character, and one of those is extremely romantic. And if Titanic taught us something (other than to stay away from icebergs), it’s that DiCaprio is very good at being the romantic leading man, even one with a twisted mind.
I know he’s a bit old, but this is Hollywood, people. And have you seen him in a suit?
Although I by no means expect this casting to happen, it certainly expanded my views on who could play Christian. What about you? Are you still waiting on Matt Bomer, or are you ready to accept the next twist thrown at you?