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Marcia Gay Harden talks shame-reading 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' Jamie Dornan singing between takes

Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, who’ll star as Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey in the adaptation of E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, is clearly the person you want sitting next to you at a dinner party. She knows how to keep a conversation lively, as Jessica Shaw and Tim Stack  discovered Monday when Harden, who’s now starring on ABC’s comedy Trophy Wife, popped by Entertainment Weekly Radio’s TV Editors Hour. In addition to explaining why she wanted to hate her Trophy Wife co-star Malin Akerman but couldn’t, she also dishes on her first time reading Fifty Shades of Grey: “When I was cast in it, I hadn’t read it yet, so I did download it and I did shame-read it, and I don’t know why, because I’m like, ‘Hello, you’re gonna know I’m in it anyway, so I have to read it for research.'” (Her prep also included some online research that she prefers not to elaborate on, she joked.)

As for shooting the movie, which will hit theaters in February 2015, it wasn’t too scandalous — for her. “I play Mama Grey, so it’s like, unless you’re in the red playroom with a toy in your hand and flesh in your face, it’s sort of like any other movie that you could do. I throw the dinner parties. ‘Hello, let’s sit down to dinner,'” she said. “But the story is so intriguing, and I think so many people have read it, and it is erotic. … I like looking and thinking, ‘Why did we anthropologically select for erotic pleasure in pain?’ It’s really interesting to me. And E L James has the answer.”

Harden also revealed one fun fact about Jamie Dornan, the Irish actor cast as her infamous son Christian: “Behind the scenes, he’ll jump into an Irish ditty, or he was singing a lot of Rita Ora,” she offered. Ora plays Mia Grey in the film. “He’s like [in Irish brogue], ‘Oh, you got that in brain now.’ We’re like, ‘Come back to America, because you got a scene in a minute.’ ‘But it’s in my brain!’ He’s sweet.”

Listen to the interview below. READ FULL STORY

'Fifty Shades of Grey' casts Anastasia's stepfather

Dylan Neal, who plays Dr. Ivo on The CW’s Arrow, will be Anastasia Steele’s stepdad in Fifty Shades of Grey. Universal quickly confirmed a Deadline report that the 44-year-old Canadian will portray Bob Adams, the relatively new and well-grounded fourth husband of Jennifer Ehle’s Carla.

Neal will get right to work, beginning filming this week in Vancouver.

Neal also currently stars in Cedar Grove, The Hallmark Channel series with Andie MacDowell that begins shooting its second season this spring.

In Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of E L James’ steamy best-seller, Jamie Dornan will star as Christian Grey, opposite Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. Joining them in the cast are Eloise Mumford as Kate, Anastasia’s best friend and roommate; Luke Grimes as Christian’s brother, Elliot; Marcia Gay Harden as Christian’s adoptive mother, Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey; Rita Ora as Christian’s sister, Mia; Victor Rasuk as Anastasia’s close friend, José; and Max Martini as Christian Grey’s bodyguard and head of his security team, Jason Taylor.

The sexy short film that helped 'Fifty Shades of Grey' director land the job

Director Sam Taylor-Johnson says it’s the love story at the center of Fifty Shades of Grey that drew her to the project. But for readers familiar with the sexually elicit trilogy, which begins filming in Vancouver next week, Fifty Shades of Grey is no traditional love story.

As it turns out Taylor-Johnson is no traditional director. For those of you unfamiliar with Taylor-Johnson, the 46-year-old mother of four daughters is a British visual artist and photographer who once posed with her ex-boyfriend, artist Henry Bond, in a re-creation of the famous naked John Lennon-Yoko Ono photograph. She won acclaim for her 2009 series of photos of famous Hollywood men crying. (The series, which featured portraits of Paul Newman, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Gosling, and many others, can be seen here.) She’s also well-known for marrying Kick-Ass lead Aaron Taylor, who is 20 years her junior.

Taylor-Johnson spent years making music videos (R.E.M.) and short films, including one called Death Valley that featured a man masturbating in the desert. But it was the short film Love You More, which author E L James called “sweet and sexy and fun,” that became her calling card for landing the Fifty Shades job.

Charlie Hunnam drops out of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Sons of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam will no longer play Christian Grey in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey. According to a statement from the studios behind the film, “The filmmakers of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and Charlie Hunnam have agreed to find another male lead given Hunnam’s immersive TV schedule which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role of Christian Grey.”

The season 6 finale of FX’s Sons of Anarchy began shooting Oct. 11, one day before Universal Pictures and Focus Features made the announcement. Fifty Shades of Grey is due to hit theaters Aug. 1, 2014.

Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James responded briefly on Twitter: “I wish Charlie all the best. x,” she wrote. (It’s unclear whether her tweet 17 minutes before that one was related: “Okay girls and boys – hold on to your hats – it’s about to get serious…”)

Hunnam recently spoke to EW about the film for the Sons of Anarchy cover story now on newsstands: “There are so many fans of that book and I know that on the surface, I’m probably not what everybody imagined,” the actor admitted. “Because reading is so personal and people bring a character to life in their imagination, they feel ownership over that character. That’s daunting if I allowed myself to think about it too much. I’m taking it very seriously and intend to explore the nature of who this character is, what motivates him — and also dress up nice and look good in those suits.”

This penultimate season of FX’s tense biker drama has yet to deliver an episode that wasn’t super-sized. The Oct. 15 episode will again run 90 minutes.

'Fifty Shades of Grey': Charlie Hunnam, Dakota Johnson roped into latest casting rumors


The guessing game of who will star in the adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey — the erotic novel by E L James that has sold over 70 million copies worldwide — continues!

The film, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, is slated to hit theaters in August of next year, but so far the only news we’ve gotten are the names of actors who aren’t going to appear in the movie. (For a list of all the actors who have denied rumors they’ll star in the film — from Emma Watson to Sam’s husband, Aaron Johnson-Taylor, please click here.) The latest names being bandied about for the roles of Anastasia “Ana” Steel and Christian Grey? Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam.

Dakota, 23, is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. She’s appeared in The Social Network (memorably with Justin Timberlake), 21 Jump Street, The Five-Year Engagement, and the Fox show Ben and Kate. Hunnam, 33,  most recently starred in this summer’s Pacific Rim, as well as Undeclared and Sons of Anarchy.

However, a source at Universal cautions that they aren’t close to making any casting offers at this time, which means the game is far from over. Fifty Shades of Grey is slated to hit theaters in August 2014.

'Atonement' director Joe Wright a contender for coveted 'Fifty Shades of Grey' gig -- Report

British director Joe Wright has emerged as a favorite to direct the adaptation of E L  James’ sex-soaked bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, according to the Hollywood Reporter. (Universal had no comment on the report.) Wright, 40, has ties with Universal and Focus Features, who ponied up $5 million for the movie rights, having directed four films for Focus: Anna Karenina, Hanna, Pride and Prejudice, and perhaps most promisingly for Fifty Shades fans, the Oscar-nominated Atonement. In the most stirring scene of the 2007 film, doomed lovers Keira Knightley and James McAvoy emit tremendous heat pressed up against the library shelf. It’s sparks like these that fans of tentative Anastasia Steele and her pathologically intense lover Christian Grey are hungry for in the adaptation. Watch the beginning of the scene below: READ FULL STORY

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