Tuesday 16 July 2019

US Diary - Jamie Dornan has fifty shades of anxiety

Orla Healy

Jamie Dornan says he isn't worried about how Fifty Shades of Grey fans will react to his portrayal of Christian Grey when the movie based on the best-selling book hits the big screen next month. He is, he says, absolutely terrified.

"I almost don't want to put this out there into the ether, but I fear I'll get murdered, like John Lennon, by one of those mad fans at the premiere. Because a lot of people are very angry that I'm playing this character. And I'm a father now, and a husband.

"I don't want to die yet," the 32-year-old jokes in an interview with Details magazine. "And when I do get murdered," he goes on, "people will say, 'God, isn't it haunting how he did that interview in Details magazine and predicted his own death on the red carpet?'"

The 32-year-old should have stuck with his instincts and kept that titbit to himself. His comments have offended everyone from John Lennon fans (who, understandably, didn't react well to someone making fun of their idol's murder) to the gazillion devotees of EL James' mommie-porn who, naturally, have taken serious umbrage at being cast as deranged.

Dornan landed the part of the S&M-addicted billionaire after Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam dropped out - officially due to scheduling conflicts though intense fan pressure to replace him with Matt Bomer, Robert Pattinson or Ian Somerhalder might have swayed that move.

Dornan didn't help his likeability ratings Stateside when he also let rip at the suggestion - yes, shocking for the male lead in an erotic drama - that he might be in the running to become Hollywood's new sex symbol.

"What does that even mean?" he asks, according to the magazine, with a derisive snort. "When I think of sex symbols, I think of posters my two sisters had on their bedroom walls. What was he called? Luke Perry? Even then, the label was more definitive. There are so fucking many young actors in that bracket now that it's a bit of a hollow crown. You'd be hard pressed to find an actor who isn't a sex symbol somewhere."


Neeson's next dream gig

Liam Neeson, whose latest film Taken 3 is expected to topple The Hobbit from its top box-office slot Stateside this weekend, knows exactly what he wants to do with his particular set of skills next: slip back into his Jedi gear and be a part of JJ Abrams's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The dream, Neeson told Yahoo Movies, has a few holes. For starters: "I don't know how he would return, unless you went back in time or he becomes a hologram or something. He's a Jedi, anything could happen, it's Star Wars world!"

If Neeson get his wish, he has one caveat. "I had a couple of worries about that lightsaber," he said, referring to the crossguard version as debuted in the first trailer for the December 2015 release. "I thought, if it comes anywhere close to you, it's like having a jet of burning fluid hitting your clothes and hitting your skin, but I'm sure they've thought that out."

His character, he pointed out, would never use anything as dodgy. "He'd use the nice green one, still," he said. "I still have it. I keep it polished." May the force be with him.

Streep's neat put-down

Meryl Streep sure knows how to deliver a put-down. The actress (65) who usually stays well above the fray in celebrity squawking matches, couldn't resist stepping in last week when fellow Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe nominee Jessica Chastain (37)decided to have a go at Russell Crowe over his recent comments about ageism against women in Hollywood.

In an interview with Australian Women's Weekly, Crowe reportedly said he didn't think older actresses are unfairly targeted in the movie industry. "I think you'll find that the woman who is saying that [the roles have dried up]," he told the magazine, "is the woman who at 40, 45, 48, still wants to play the ingenue, and can't understand why she's not being cast as the 21-year-old."

Chastain was quick to brand Crowe as naive. "Russell keeps getting his foot stuck in his mouth," she told reporters at the National Board of Review Awards Gala last week. "There are some incredible actresses in their 50s and 60s that are not getting opportunities in film, and for someone to say there are plenty of roles for women that age, is not someone who's going to the movie theatre."

Streep, named by Crowe (along with Helen Miren) as an actress who could back up his point, did exactly that at a press gig for her movie (Into The Woods) which will feature prominently at tonight's Gold Globe awards.

"I read what he said - all of what he said . . . [his statements] have been misappropriated . . . what he was talking about," Streep told reporters. "He was talking about himself. The journalist asked him, 'Why don't you do another Gladiator, you know, everybody loved that.' He said, 'I'm too old. I can't be the gladiator anymore. I'm playing parts that are appropriate to my age."

As for Crowe's comments denying that actresses have a hard time being cast as they get older Streep suggested he was simply "proving a point" and, to much laughter, "talking about himself . . . as most actors do." Literally waving off any further discussion, Streep wrapped up her defence by admitting: "I agree with him. It's good to live within the place that you are."

Tonight, Streep and Chastain will square off against Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game); popular favourite Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and critics' choice Emma Stone (Birdman).

Birthday blow-out

Hip-hop heiress Blue Ivy Carter celebrated her third birthday last Wednesday exactly the same way as millions of kids her age do: with a Frozen-themed party.

Unlike other kids, however, the daughter of Jay-Z and Beyonce received a snowflake ice sculpture engraved with the words: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLUE" and a large metallic balloon in the shape of the number "three" instead of a cake - a photo of which her mom shared on Instagram with her 23 million followers.

Sunday Independent

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