In Defense of Charlie Hunnam

Die-hard Fifty Shades of Grey fans have started a petition on change.org to remove Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson as the leads in the highly anticipated film adaptation of the novel. It's starting to feel like we're looking at the "Batfleck" controversy all over again ... which means everyone should just get used to the idea of Hunnam as Christian Grey now. It's not that bad! And here's why.

Fans who had their hearts set on Matt Bomer or Ian Somerhalder are among those with the fiercest opinions and complaints. Something about the British actor worked for producers, maybe even the fact that you probably don't really know who he is. Keep in mind that no one really knew Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson before they were cast as the leads in Twilight, there'd be no Fifty Shades adaptation without their lead.

Physical discrepancies between the characters described in the novels and the actors chosen to fill their on-screen roles seem to be the main target of angst. Hunnam's sandy-brown hair and blue eyes really aren't any farther off from the copper hair and gray eyes of Christian Grey than the dark hair and blue eyes on Bomer and Somerhalder. As far as being really tall, muscular, and attractive — Charlie Hunnam has that covered. He's 6'1" and in case you haven't seen him as Jax on Sons of Anarchy, he's in impressively good shape and looks really good in leather, just saying.

For those of us who live under a rock, Hunnam's first role was on the British television show Queer as Folk where he played a homosexual teenager. Since then, he's gone on to secure roles in Nicholas Nickleby, Cold Mountain, this year's Pacific Rim, and that lead role the popular FX show Sons of Anarchy.

So, he's not entirely unknown and his body of work demonstrates that he's capable of the depth required to broach the difficult subject matter of Fifty Shades. Specifically in his character Jax on Sons, who is the product of one of the most dysfunctional upbringings on television and whose character regularly engages in illegal, life-threatening activities, is entrenched in family drama, and continues to try to be a good father. The guy has confident, tortured, and dysfunctional down pat, all of which will be important if he's taking on Grey.

Hunnam was a great choice by producers. He doesn't come with a stigma, he physically fits the bill, and he's proven he's got the acting chops to take on the sex-infused, blush-inducing role. Personally, I'm more inclined to buy a movie ticket now that he's attached to this spectacle than before.

Naturally, the casting of such a highly-anticipated adaptation is going to step on fans' toes but really, people, this isn't the VMAs. Fans don't get to vote on who gets cast in major films, no matter how in love they think they are with the protagonist.