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Ever since British actor Charlie Hunnam snagged the lead role in 50 Shades of Grey, fans of the mega-popular book series have been debating whether he was the right choice. One angry group of fans even started a petition to get White Collar star Matt Bomer cast instead.
But Charlie, who gave his first post-casting interview to Entertainment Tonight, hasn't let the negativity get to him.
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"I had anticipated it," he says about the fans' passionate responses. "These books were a global phenomenon." The book trilogy by E.L. James was inspired by another super successful publishing phenomenon - Twilight! The star of the Twilight movies, Robert Pattinson, was reportedly considered for the role of Christian Grey.
But 33-year-old Charlie, who's currently starring in the movie Pacific Rim, doesn't spend much time on social media. "I isolate myself, [so I] haven't been too aware," he says of the internet reactions to his casting.
Fans Petition '50 Shades' Casting
Even though some fans didn't agree with his hiring, Charlie is determined to do the best job he can playing Christian. "[I am] so excited to be entrusted with this empowered character," he says.
He's also looking forward to working with co-star Dakota Johnson, who plays his love interest Anastasia Steele. She was the only actress Charlie screen tested with, and their chemistry is sure to be off the charts.
For more from Charlie's interview, tune into Entertainment Tonight Monday night, September 9, 2013.