Fifty Shades of Grey star Charlie Hunnam says he's ready to embrace the role of Christian Grey, and that there's tangible chemistry with his co-star.
At the FX premiere of Sons of Anarchy Season 6, Hunnam, 33, discussed for the first time how he landed the role of Christian, and why he wanted it.
"As soon as we got in the room and started reading with Dakota, I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, because there was a tangible chemistry between us."
"It felt kind of exciting and fun and weird and compelling, and so that was it."
That would be his co-star Dakota Johnson, 23, who will portray Anastasia Steele, Christian's lover in the much-anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey movie.
Before Dakota, Hunnam spoke with director Sam Taylor-Johnson about her thoughts on the role, after which he "felt really intrigued and excited about it."
"I went and read the first book to get a clearer idea of who this character was, and felt even more excited about the prospect of bringing him to life."
At first he was cautious about the commitment - there will likely be three Fifty Shades films - given that he's been locked into a TV show since 2008.
After filmmakers pushed back the shooting schedule to give Hunnam more time to prepare, and the reading with his future co-star, the actor committed.
The casting of Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam hasn't exactly thrilled many readers, but 50 Shades producers say their chemistry will surprise people.
As for whether the racy material gives him pause?
"My first job was on a Channel 4 miniseries called Queer as Folk," the English actor said, noting that "It was incredibly explicit sexual scenes with a man."
"If could do it when I was 18 with a guy, I can certainly do it at 33 with a lady."
He also said his longtime girlfriend, jewelry designer Morgana McNelis, helped him make the decision to take on the role despite the sexual nature.
"It's very hard to be with an actor ... she's required to share parts of me she wouldn't really want to share. With the nature of this role, that's going to be times 10."
"[McNelis] loved the books ... she read them all and loved them and she was really excited about the potential of the opportunity for me."
"If anything, I think it will bring us closer together."
Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey: