"Fifty Shades of Grey" author E.L. James caused a stir earlier this month when she announced that Dakota Johnson and "Sons of Anarchy" star Charlie Hunnam had been cast as Anastasia "Ana" Steele and Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of the best-selling novel.
Some outraged fans started a petition on Change.org insisting Alexis Bledel and Matt Bomer be cast in the film as Anastasia and Christian instead. The petition currently has over 76,000 signatures at the time of this writing.
Hunnam recently talked to OTRC.com correspondent Chi-Lan Lieu at the season 6 premiere of "Sons of Anarchy" on Sept. 7 about being cast in the film. Hunnam said while he realizes he may not satisfy "everyone's vision" of Christian, he thinks he can bring the character "to life in a really fun and exciting way."
"You know, I wasn't familiar with the material. I obviously knew of it, but I hadn't read the books myself and I was approached by the director, Samantha Taylor-Johnson, and she talked to me at great length about her intention and what she hoped to do with this film and it just got me really, really excited when I read the book," Hunnam explained about how he was cast in the role. "As the process progressed and it became clear that they wanted me to do it, it was just really exciting and a great honor to be entrusted with bringing this character to life."
"I mean, he's such a -- you know, he became part of the zeitgeist. He's such a loved, you know, character that's it's a real honor to be entrusted with him," he added.
Hunnam admitted he felt a little pressure taking on the part of the 27-year-old billionaire businessman who is into S&M sex and begins a contractual relationship with Steele, a graduating college senior, in which she agrees to become his submissive partner.
"I mean of course, a little bit of pressure. With literature and properties that are so well known, everybody has their own vision, you know, literature is so subjective, so that you come into it you create, as a reader, as an audience member, the character in one's own mind," he said, "So I'm never going to satisfy everyone's vision of who this guy is, but I do know and feel really confident that I have a strong take on who he is, who I think he is and can bring him to life in a really fun and exciting way."
Hunnam currently plays Jax on the FX biker series "Sons of Anarchy," which is set to kick off its sixth season on Sept. 10 on FX.
Reporting by Chi-Lan Lieu, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).