The casting of the taboo romance movie, Fifty Shades of Grey was way more complicated than most movies because the fans are so die-hard. From teenagers to senior citizens, it seems no one can stop talking about Christian and Anastasia.
The casting for the film was very public and very difficult for producers who wanted to make the fans happy, but also make the right artistic choices. Charlie Hunnam was first cast as the title character, but fans were reportedly very disappointed. Feeling the pressure, Hunnam dropped out of the project, but not for the reason everyone expected. He told Men’s Health,
“I was going to finish playing a psychopath who’d just lost his wife [in Sons of Anarchy], and five days later I’d be on set playing Christian Grey. I was like, 'This is going to be a ... disaster.' It was the opposite of how I’ve tried to ground my career, not stretch myself too thin, and always do my homework. There’s a tendency in this Hollywood machinery to take on too much. You end up not being able to give everything you want.”
When Jamie Dornan was re-cast as Christian Grey, casting directors felt a great deal of pressure to cast the right female heroine of the story. So, that’s why everyone was surprised when Dakota Johnson was cast. Dakota Johnson is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and is best known for her roles in absolutely nothing. She was in The Social Network and 21 Jump Street, but hasn't really broken out. But with the disappointment of fans and the bad acting in the trailer, it looks like Fifty Shades could make Johnson’s career more grey than anything else. So, who would have done a better job? A lot of actresses. Here are twelve other actresses that were also considered, who could have portrayed a better Anastasia Steele.
12 Ashley Benson
Ashley Benson apparently really wanted to play Anastasia Steele. She told Celebuzz “I've read every book. I want to play Anastasia.” However, the Pretty Little Liars star was actually the fan favorite to play Kate, Anastasia’s best friend, but the actress didn't really see it that way. She related way more to the naughty brunette character, saying, "Kate is awesome. I like all the characters but Anastasia? I love her so much!" But, no one got their wish because, Eloise Mumford was ultimately cast as Kate.
11 Felicity Jones
Another British actress, Felicity Jones, recognized from films such as, Like Crazy and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was also on the top of the list to play Anastasia Steele. And the reasons why she didn't play her are still sort of unknown. In January 2013, Jones told The Telegraph that she had no idea what was going on with the film, “I've no idea because there's no director and there's no script. It's a complete unknown.” But later in the year, there were rumors that she was offered the role, but had to decline because she didn't want to do the full-frontal nudity.
10 Analeigh Tipton
Analeigh Tipton, best known for roles in The Green Hornet, Crazy, Stupid, Love and Warm Bodies was another fan favorite to play Anastasia Steele. Many agreed that she certainly had the right look for the part. She was also very interested in the part and told Pop Sugar “I have heard that [I’m up for the part], which I think is pretty neat. Do I have an interest? Yes, yeah. Well, I mean, because it’s a role that seems pretty brave and that kind of piques my interest, to see how bold I can get.”
9 Alexis Bledel
If there was a number one fan favorite to play Anastasia, it surely was none other than Alexis Bledel, who is best known for Gilmore Girls. In fact, fans even started a Change.org petition to have the actress cast, as well as hunky actor Matt Bomer, from White Collar play the ever so famous, Christian Grey. Although juvenilely written, probably by someone who isn't old enough to even see an R-rated movie, the passion for this film about passion is still there,
Matt Bomer is the PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF CHRISTIAN GREY AND ALEXIS BLEDEL IS THE PERFECT ACTRESS TO REPRESENT ANASTASIA STEELE and if THEY ARE NOT, NOBODY WILL BE And I read the whole trilogy and I can assure that Matt is the perfect actor for this movie and Alexis too. So please PLEASE, all of the GREYsessed and Bomerettes in the world NEED those actors. They always will be for us the Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. WE CAN DO ANYTHING GUYS, ANYTHING.
There were over 90,000 signatures on the petition, but it still wasn't enough to convince casting directors and producers to choose Bledel or Bomer. Bummer.
8 Sarah Hyland
Apparently, Modern Family and modern sex don’t often mix, which is probably why Sarah Hyland, Hayley Dunphy from the popular show, Modern Family, didn't end up getting the famous part. While many gossip sites suggest that Hyland was in the running to play Anastasia Steele, as well as Mia Grey, but the truth is that she probably wasn't. Although Sarah Hyland is certainly beautiful and funny; these qualities don't exactly describe Fifty Shades of Grey or any of the characters in it. It’s just hard to see her in that role.
7 Lily Collins
Lily Collins and Dakota Johnson have one big thing in common. Both of them come from very famous families. Lily’s father is singer Phil Collins, who let’s face it, had a much better music career than Don Johnson ever did. Collins is best known for her role as Snow White in Mirror Mirror, which is probably just a little more innocent than what producers were looking for as Anastasia Steele, but her beautiful hair and blue eyes would have probably enabled Collins' to give Anastasia a much better look.
6 Daveigh Chase
Daveigh Chase is beautiful and has a super cool name. The actress is perhaps best known for her role on HBO’s show, Big Love. And she has an innocent, ethereal quality that Dakota Johnson, just doesn't seem to have, but Chase probably didn't get cast because she’s still very girl-like and young looking (she's 24 but many would say she looks younger than 18). While Chase has the acting chops to play Steele, she just doesn't have that post grad look that Johnson does. Chase might be 24, but doesn't even look old enough to get into an R rated movie.
5 Lucy Hale
Lucy Hale gained most of her fame and recognition as Aria from the popular drama, Pretty Little Liars. Apparently Hale was seriously considered to play Anastasia Steele, but the material reportedly made the actress a little bit uncomfortable. Hale’s audition probably just didn't go as well as many fans would have hoped. She said, “It was a two-page monologue of exactly what you would think it would …it was sort of one of those things where you just had to go for it or you’re just gonna look lame — hopefully, I didn't look lame.” Maybe she did.
4 Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley is so brilliant and many people thought that she would have made an awesome Anastasia, but she reportedly didn't even want to audition for the risque part. “I didn't want to audition for it," she said, "It’s because I had already done Divergent and I knew there was no way I wanted to do multiple franchises at the same time, because that’s crazy, so I didn't see the point in it.” Would she have been comfortable portraying the submissive, weak Ana? Anyhow, we're sure that her fans would have seen the point in doing multiple franchises at a time.
3 Elizabeth Olsen
Sister of popular twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, Elizabeth Olsen would have brought so much integrity to the role of Anastasia, but she felt the whole thing was just kind of beneath her, kind of insinuating that it was more of an erotic movie than anything else. She said,
“It’s such a taboo for women to actually discuss sexuality without the help of Cosmopolitan. All of a sudden, this book has become a sensation because the women reading it haven’t had access to this kind of thing before. I was talking to a guy who was making a joke about it, saying, ‘Clearly these women just need to watch p**n.’ In a way, he’s right.”
2 Emma Watson
Let's face it, Emma Watson has already established herself as an excellent actress, partaking in the eight highly successful Harry Potter films, not to mention her other roles in films such as, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Noah. It is absolutely clear that she can do anything, which is exactly why she would never act in a movie like Fifty Shades of Grey. To get her point across, she Tweeted,
“Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life.”
And if she didn't made herself clear in the first Tweet, she then send out a second Tweet (just to make sure).
“Good. Well that’s that sorted then :)”
Well, it is sorted then.
1 Kristen Stewart
Many people think that Kristen Stewart would have made a perfect Anastasia Steele, simply because Fifty Shades was based on Twilight fan fiction. But apparently, Stewart didn't really want the role. Twilight co-star, Rob Pattinson was actually in the running to play Christian Grey, but she reportedly told him not to take the part, insisting it would be “career suicide.” If it really was career suicide for Pattinson to be a part of the film, she probably felt it was mass murder for her to be a part of the project.
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