Just in case you've been locked in a Red Room of Pain for the past year and haven't heard, Fifty Shades of Grey, the film based on the bestselling novel trilogy, is making its official debut this Valentine's Day. Judging by the numbers of copies the book has sold (over 100 million), it's safe to say that this movie will have a lot of people talking after opening weekend. But right now, unless you've been treated to an early screening to the film à la Kim Kardashian, all you have for now is early reviews and speculation about what it will be like. Since the book is so sex-focused, one question fans might have is whether the actor who plays Christian Grey, Jamie Dornan, will be naked in Fifty Shades of Grey .
While there will definitely be plenty of sexy time and many sightings of a shirtless Christian in the movie, Dornan has confirmed that there will not be any full-frontal nudity on his part. (There will be butt shots, for those wondering.) Interestingly enough, his costar Dakota Johnson will go full-frontal for the film, and there has been no shortage of information on her, ahem, appearance downtown. Hmm. This begs the question as to why a film so popular with a female audience would take this route. Dornan has not completely explained the decision, but he has discussed the embarrassment of filming the sex scenes as well as why the film is not quite as graphic as the book. It will still likely leave fans with some questions.
He described the process of filming the sex scenes while hiding his private parts to GQ UK magazine as such: "Your dignity is intact as much as it's all tucked away in a little flesh-coloured bag... As a guy you put all your essentials in a little bag and you tie it up like a little bag of grapes and it's tucked away. It's quite a peculiar thing to do every day."
When asked how graphic the film was, he was quoted saying to The Guardian, "You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out. You don’t want to make something gratuitous, and ugly, and graphic." That's fair. But his statement begs the question of whether he (or possibly the filmmakers) considers it "gratuitous, and ugly, and graphic" for a male in a sex-themed movie to go full-frontal. If so, why is the same not true for his female costar? Is this a sign that it is seen as more acceptable for a woman to go completely nude in movies, simply because it's more ubiquitous? After all, who can forget all the fuss made about Ben Affleck's brief full-frontal moment in last year's Gone Girl? It's hard to imagine the same type of analyzation paid to a woman in that position.
That being said, it seems Dornan's personal focus is more on the importance of the love over the sex in the story, showing that he doesn't think any of the sexy material should take away from the romance at hand. In a recent interview with E! Online, he said,
I think it's sexy. I think it's erotic, but we stayed true to the love story above all, which is so important. Of course it's erotic, but you don't get a series of three books like that — a story that's spanned over three books — purely out of erotica.
He does have a point about the importance of substance in the story for it to be successful. Perhaps filmmakers thought that an added sexual element might distract from the story? There's no way to know for sure, but either way, here's hoping that the film actually delivers said story — with or without the male full-frontal.