The star of the Fifty Shades franchise talks sex and love with Michele Manelis.
After three movies about S&M, you must be quite an expert by now?
I did some extensive research before the first movie. I went to watch a dominant with his submissive to experience first-hand what that was like and what the energy of the room was like. I think people feel it's sadistic but what I saw was the opposite of that. They were having so much fun and laughing a lot. I am a very open-minded person and if that is what floats your boat, then more power to you. It didn't do it for me, personally.
Did you know much about sex toys? Did you take classes?
I didn't know a great deal about them but we had a "kink adviser" on the set. He was able to fill me in about a lot of the apparatus so I would look like I knew what I was doing. I had some interesting sessions with him. It was an eye-opening experience learning a lot of that stuff.
What makes you feel sexy?
Well, I never feel sexy, I just don't. Usually, if I am naked in any way I feel awkward and exposed. In those moments, I think to myself, "I should have stayed at school longer".
What's your idea of a wild night?
I deal with two kids under 4, so the wild nights are few and far between. But in my 20s I moved to London and there were nights in Surrey where you'd just stumble around in these old speakeasy bars. Then the night would just get progressively sillier and sillier until your body couldn't take it any more, and you got a cab. There would be drinking and stuff but I am not really into the whole stripper scene. That wouldn't be on my wild agenda.
What's the biggest misconception about you?
I don't know what people's perceptions are of me because I am not on social media. I think that really helps. When on social media you start to get an understanding about what it is that people think about you and often you don't like it. So I don't think it's very healthy to know about it. My ethos in life is if my wife and my kids and my best friends and my family still like me, that's all I really care about. They are the only people I need.
What don't people know about you?
That I am obsessed with sport. I am a frustrated sportsman like a lot of actors are. They wanted to play sports professionally and weren't quite good enough and ended up acting. I think I speak for a lot of actors when I say that.
Rugby when I was a kid. But I am obsessed with golf. I played golf this morning before I came here to talk with you just to try to calm my mind. But it had the opposite effect. I played terribly.
With two young daughters who will be adolescents in a few years, what will you tell them about the Fifty Shades franchise?
They are going to know that I am an actor and that I am going to do all kinds of weird and wonderful roles. For different reasons, they are not going to watch The Fall for a long time and they will probably never watch Fifty Shades and I wouldn't blame them. But hopefully my kids are smart enough to know that it's make-believe and it's just a job. In some people's eyes, it's a controversial job and at times it might be embarrassing for them that Daddy did that job. But I don't waste my life worrying about shit like that, to be honest.
How does the red room look in your house?
It's not red and it doesn't exist. No, it's funny. I am making myself a wee office in my house at the moment and I was picking colours the other day and there was this red that I really liked and I was just going to have one wall of it. The handyman said to me, "Are you sure you want to have a red colour, given those movies you did?" And until he said that it hadn't crossed my mind. So I chose green instead. So no, we don't have any need for a red room. But we do have a green room.
Fifty Shades Freed, starring Jamie Dornan, is out now.