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Role Model: Hanging Out With Jamie Dornan
By SP_COP on February 13, 2015 | From
Role Model: Hanging Out With Jamie Dornan If his portrayal of a serial killer in The Fall failed to dislodge Jamie Dornan from his place in women's hearts, how will he fare as the star of Fifty Shades of Grey? In the November 2014 issue of Vogue, he talked to Charlotte Sinclair about the impending pandemonium.

A fortnight before I'm due to interview the actor Jamie Dornan, the emails begin to ping into my inbox. "Oh my God. Can I come and watch?" says one. "He's the most handsome man on the planet," says another. The most succinct message reads: "Lucky bitch."

This is not standard practice. Nor is the arrival, on the day itself, of several more Vogue editors than are officially required to "observe" the shoot. The focus of all this *** is a rather unassuming presence. Dornan turns up in jeans and T-shirt, unshaven and quiet, politely shaking hands with each member of the crew. His frame is slighter, more compact than one might imagine, especially if you're basing your knowledge of Dornan on his excellent work as the body of Calvin Klein underwear. His face is set with delicate features and dark eyes, and he is boyish, not burly, though the impression is undermined by his deep Belfast accent and the pensive, watchful mood that he seems to inhabit like his very own cloud. Though he could just be tired.

He is, of course, extremely beautiful; you can't help but stare. At the photographer's request he lies down in a patch of long summer grass and frowns. It is a patented Dornan expression, a brow-puckered gaze that implies depth to all that surface beauty, a look familiar to anyone who saw his work in campaigns for Dior and Armani. Before he quit the fashion industry a few years ago, that frown made Dornan one of the most successful male models on record.

But this is not why we're here - as Dornan is at pains to emphasise, giving short shrift to the suggestion of a Vogue editor that he might, perhaps, peel off his top? Last year Dornan surprised everyone - not least himself - by being cast as the lead in the hit BBC series The Fall as Paul Spector, a bereavement counsellor, husband and father, who spends his evenings creeping into Belfast bedrooms and murdering defenceless women, a role he reprises for the show's second season, debuting this month. As Spector, Dornan is the sleekest predator imaginable, all honed muscle tone and knicker-sniffing depravity, and the perfect foil to Gillian Anderson's superbly alluring whip-smart detective Stella Gibson. For Dornan, it was a career-defining role, delivering him a Bafta nomination - and into the big time. Earlier this year he was cast as Christian Grey, in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. "The Fall changed my life - that's not an overstatement," he says.

As Spector, Dornan was a revelation, not least for the way he made most women viewers feel, a conflicted state of mind that might best be summed up as: is it OK to fancy a serial killer? (Lena Dunham tweeted: "I'm a monstrous @JamieDornan1 fan. Wasn't allowed to be attracted to him on The Fall bc he played a sexmurderer. 50 Shades is my big chance. Wait, Christian Grey isn't a murderer right?") Gillian Anderson says Dornan's attractiveness "makes what Spector does even more disturbing. Do his actions suddenly become less horrific or even perversely desirable because he is?" Even she was not immune to Dornan's charms: "He's very, very funny and has a very good singing voice and seems to be, in real life, a doting father and husband and friend. I mean! I tried really hard to find something wrong with him."

Not that Dornan can speak to his own fanciability, or is remotely comfortable doing so. We are at a café around the corner from the shoot location, seated side by side at a counter by the window, which means that, for most of the interview, Dornan stares straight ahead through the glass. He is a fidget, jiggling and moving his legs, rubbing his forearms, and although he laughs easily and is never less than affable, he is a cautious conversationalist, measuring his words and leaving epic pauses in his sentences that I have to actively resist rushing into....
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