Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam

Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam

Online protests regarding who is portraying Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of E. L. James’s novel Fifty Shades of Grey, haven’t got Charlie Hunnam’s spirits down. The hunky Sons of Anarchy star, set to play the lead role, Christian Grey, recently spoke with the Associated Press concerning his feelings about the graphic sex scenes required of his character.

“You know what, I had such a baptism of fire with regards to sexuality on camera at the beginning of my career,” Hunnam said. “I starred in the British Channel Four miniseries ‘Queer as Folk,’ where I played a young, gay character, and there were some incredible, explicit sex scenes on that show…. Now I am 16 years older and more mature so I don’t anticipate them being too much of a problem. It’s like anything else, just an exciting challenge.”

The daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, Dakota Johnson, is set to play Anastasia Steele. Apparently a chemistry test between the co-stars–which included not just words–revealed a rather convincing chemistry to those involved in the casting process. Consequently, it’s been reported the role’s exciting challenge is not being met with as much enthusiasm by Hunnam’s girlfriend of seven years, Morgana McNelis.

Hunnam has maintained a relationship with the jewelry designer since 2007. The couple recently announced that they were leaving Los Angeles, to live on a peaceful ranch just outside the city with their two cats, Mavis and George, as well as donkeys, ducks and chickens.

“Of course, it’s difficult being with an actor, you know?” Hunnam said. “She is required to share certain parts of me with the world that she wouldn’t necessarily choose to do, but we have a great relationship, and she loves me and wants to be with me and we’ve been together a long time now, and I think she understands and has come to terms with the fact that there are certain elements of me that she is going to have to share. This is an extreme example of that, but thankfully we do have seven and a half years of history together, so it won’t be a big problem.”

The film is set for release in August 2014 and is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson.

Hunnam and McNelis are certainly not the first couple to be faced with these issues. The nature of an actor’s job has the potential to wreak havoc on his or her personal life in any number of ways. How about you? Has a steamy role ever interfered in your relationship with a significant other? Did you ever turn down a role because it might cause damage to the one you love? Or do you believe true love requires your partner to stand by you, and visa versa, in the pursuit of your dreams–even if means participating in scenes that would make Hugh Hefner blush? Please share!

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