Sitting down for a chat with The Observer about what will undeniably be his breakout movie role, the married father-of-one revealed there will be no full-frontal nude shots of his billionaire character Christian Grey.
‘You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out,’ he explained, adding: ‘You don’t want to make something gratuitous and ugly and graphic. There were contracts in place that said that viewers wouldn’t be seeing my, um…’ he hesitated as he grappled with finding a suitable description.
When the interviewer offered up the word ‘Todger’, the 32-year-old replied: ‘Yeah, my todger.’
He goes on to explain of director Sam Taylor-Johnson’s approach to the copious sex scenes and nudity: ‘Sam is a very bright woman, so there might be some suggestive elements to it, but I haven’t seen it at this stage, so it is hard for me to say. I’m aware of what we shot, and it wasn’t as if we shot a film without any action.’
While the former model is used to showing off his amazingly ripped physique, having fronted campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein underwear among others, there’s a fine line between showing skin for artistic purposes as opposed to just for gratuitous ogling.
The same goes for the recently-released teaser trailer for the film, which will hit cinemas on February 13 next year and has also received mixed reviews.
‘I am never going to please all 100 million people who read the book,’ he states matter-of-factly. ‘I’ll be lucky if half that number is happy with me playing Christian Grey. I know there are campaigns of hate against me already.’
In the adaptation’s defence, he wants to make one thing crystal clear: ‘The film is not the book.’
He continues: ‘Sam Taylor-Johnson is an artist as well as an award-winning film director. Look at her track record. And look at the film studios behind it. Universal. Focus. All I can say is, wait until you see it before passing judgement.’