Stephen Amell is the actor behind superhero Oliver Queen on The CW’s show Arrow, which was recently renewed for a second season. When he’s not busy filming, he likes to keep in touch with his fans on Facebook and keep them up to date on his life and career.
One of the questions that Amell has been asked a lot, perhaps due to the fact that he plays a handsome billionaire playboy in Arrow, is whether he’d be interested in playing the role of another handsome billionaire playboy – one with a large collection of sex toys and disciplinary devices. Namely, the sexual sadist Christian Grey in Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
The novel infamously originated as a Twilight fan-fiction and, although it has sold over 65 million copies worldwide, has been largely dismissed by literary critics and condemned for its “stereotyped and indefensible” portrayal of a dominant-submissive sexual relationship by members of the BDSM community.
Apparently this hasn’t discouraged Amell from taking an interest in the project. In one of a series of video responses to frequently asked questions, the actor confirmed that he has been approached for the role:
“I get questions about Christian Grey all the time. That project is a long way off. I know this because I had a meeting about it. Long way off. I mean, not that long, but not close. I wouldn’t call it long. But I wouldn’t call it close.”
Amell did not reveal details about the meeting, or give much indication of how much interest he has in the role, and therefore it’s likely that he’s just one of several actors that are in line to play Christian Grey. The real question here is not whether Stephen Amell is right for the role, but whether the role is right for Stephen Amell.
When rumors arose that Emma Watson was attached to play protagonist Anastasia Steele, she was simultaneously amused and affronted by the idea that anyone would ever believe such a rumor, asking her Twitter followers, “Who here actually thinks I would do 50 Shades of Grey as a movie? Like really. For real. In real life.”
There’s no denying that the film carries a certain stigma, though it’s less to do with the abundance of sexual content (screenwriter Kelly Marcel has described her script as “raunchy” and insists that the final film will be NC-17) than with the book’s reputation as nothing more than an unusually kinky bodice-ripper, with little substance or complexity and an abundance of dodgy writing. I don’t envy the actor who ends up having to say, “Feel it, baby,” with a straight face.
I could be wrong, of course, and may be forced to eat my words if Fifty Shades of Grey turns out to be the next Shame or Secretary. If that happens, you’ll be sure to find my inner goddess “down on bended knee with her hands clasped in supplication.”
Fifty Shades of Grey‘s theatrical release is … well, not a long way off. But not close. We’ll keep you up to date on any further news.