To quote Ryan Seacrest, E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey adaptation will be 'the next biggest project in all of movies'. Millions of women have already devoured the three books in the series, and one lucky casting agent in Hollywood now has the no-pressure job of putting a face to domineering whips-and-chains-loving billionaire Christian Grey and his virginal conquest, Anastasia Steele.
Given the material's erotica-heavy content — (hint: the silk tie on the cover of the book is just one of the devices he uses to tie her up) — it's actually surprising that so many actors are volunteering to play Christian and risk being identified with the character for the rest of their foreseeable career (more on that later). Here's a taste of the level of perfection that the potential Christians would have to live up to, as described by Anastasia in the first book:
So young — and attractive, very attractive. He’s tall, dressed in a fine gray suit, white shirt, and black tie with unruly dark copper-colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes that regard me shrewdly.
He smiles, revealing perfect white teeth. I stop breathing. He really is beautiful. No one should be this good-looking.
My memories of him did not do him justice. He’s not merely good-looking — he’s the epitome of male beauty, breathtaking.
On that note, Moviepilot's Fifty Shades-obsessed female contingent has compiled the Top 5 picks of actors who should play mysterious, controlling and tormented Christian Grey. Here they are in all their beautiful glory:
The sexy In Time actor has emerged as a favorite contender for the role of Christian in various online polls, and we definitely agree. He may be a bit older than Christian's 27 years (Bomer is 35), but just look at that perfect face! And those eyes! His 'clear blue piercing beautiful eyes' are in fact listed as his trade mark in IMDb, but they actually look gray in this photo. Hmmm... Bottom line is that we would gladly submit to some spanking from this guy, which makes him a perfect choice. The only thing that could play against Bomer is the fact that he's openly gay, and Hollywood may be reluctant to make him the object of millions of women's sexual fantasies.
The Smolderholder seems to be officially in the running for the coveted male lead if his interview on the Ryan Seacrest show is any indication. Not only is he being considered, but he sounds like he'd give his left nut to land the part. Somerhalder is best known for his TV work on Lost and The Vampire Diaries, and this could definitely be his chance at movie stardom. We love him as Christian because he's got this delicious naughtiness about him. His expression says: 'What I could do to you, Miss Steele...' On the downside, at 5 foot 9, Somerhalder isn't exactly imposing, but that can be arranged by casting a petite Ana. He's got our vote!
We wouldn't really have thought of Colin Egglesfield if it weren't for the support he's been receiving on various forums (no doubt from the legions of All My Children fans). At 39, he's not exactly an obvious choice, but damn does he look good for his age. Michael Fassbender, for all his charisma, looks 50 by comparison. Egglesfield oozes masculinity and has a striking commanding quality. He looks like someone who can get his way with a single look, and that's Christian in a nutshell.
Hunky Henry Cavill was an Immortal, a Tudor, and come June 2013, you can call him Superman in Man of Steel. He has a gorgeous smile (complete with those perfect white teeth Ana mentions), and you wouldn't suspect he's hiding a deep, dark, kinky secret. Cavill is also 29, which is much closer to Christian's age in the book, and Immortals confirmed everything we needed to know about his, um, godly body. Picture Christian's pants hugging those hips...
Eric Winter is, for lack of a better word, a cutie-patootie. The second soap opera alum on our list (he had a four-year run on Days of Our Lives) has boyish good looks, but it's the combination of vulnerable and that shrewd expression in his eyes that really won us over. In the first book, Anastasia is always mentioning Christian's 'amused, secret smile... as if he's enjoying some private joke'... Exhibit A: Eric Winter!
We're definitely glad that we're not the ones doing the choosing... Some of you may also be disappointed that Robert Pattinson didn't make the list, but casting him would be a seriously terrible idea. First of all, the gym-averse R-Pattz doesn't match Christian's lean but muscular physique. More importantly, he'll always be Edward Cullen and he has enough Twihards swooning over him without turning him into an S&M sex freak. Fifty Shades may be Twilight fan fiction at the core, but it's a completely different story and Christian Grey is not Edward Cullen.
True Blood's Alexander Skarsgård has been wanting to sink his fangs into the project ever since he heard that Christian has a sex chamber, but we're not loving the idea. He's just not who we pictured, too blond, too Viking-like. Ditto for Chris Pine, who's also circling the film, apparently. Sorry Chris, but you're just too... blah. Stick to the Starfleet.
It will be exciting to see who Universal decides on, and whether it's someone from this very list. One thing's for sure: someone's career is about to be made, much to the squirming delight of women everywhere.