Jamie Dornan is an actor, model, and musician from Northern Ireland. His big claim to fame is his role in the film series, '50 Shades of Grey', where he plays the main character, Christian Grey, alongside actress, Dakota Johnson. Since taking on the role he has been deemed the 'Sexiest Man Alive' by Glamour magazine.
Dornan was born in Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland, to mother, Lorna Dornan and father, Jim Dornan. His mother passed away from cancer when Dornan was 16 years old and his father is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. He has two older sisters, Liesa, who works at Disney in London, and Jessica who is a fashion designer in England.
Dornan attended the boarding school Methodist College Belfast – a grammar school – for his entire schooling career. It was here that he thrived in rugby and drama. He went on to study at Teeside University. He dropped out of this university however and moved to London in order to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
Dornan’s earliest moment in the spotlight was when he performed in the folk band, Sons of Jim. The band released one EP entitled My Burning Sun, in 2006 and they were the supporting act for Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall. The band broke up in 2008.
In 2003, Dornan went on to get his first modelling contract with Abercrombie & Fitch. This lead him to a number of other modelling gigs with big names such as Hugo Boss, Armani and Calvin Klein. It was within this industry that he was able to work alongside models Kate Moss and Eva Mendes. He proved so successful that The New York Times gave him the title of The Golden Torso.
Three years after his entrance into the modelling world, in 2006, Dornan got his first acting role – a Sofia Coppola film called Marie Antoinette. In 2008, he was given a bigger role starring as the lead in the film Beyond the Grave and in 2009, he appeared in the film Shadows in the Sun alongside the talented Jean Simmons.
In 2011, Dornan began acting in several TV shows. His first TV appearance was on ABC’s Once Upon a Time and then in 2013 the Northern Irish drama show, The Fall, alongside actress Gillian Anderson. Later in 2013, Dornan returned to the big screen for his popular role as Christian Grey in the film 50 Shades of Grey.
50 Shades of Grey is a film adaption of the novel by the same name, written by E.L James. Initially, Charlie Hunnam was to play the part of Christian Grey but the filming scheduling conflicted with his appearance on the TV show Sons of Anarchy. For that reason, Dornan took the lead role. The film was released on February 13, 2015 and really rocketed Dornan into the spotlight.
In 2014, Dornan played the role of Dr. Allan Pascal in the supernatural film 9th Life of Louis Drax which was based on the book of the same name. In 2015, it was confirmed that Dornan would be staring as Christian Grey for the second and third instalment of 50 Shades of Grey, namely Fifty Shades Darker, released in 2017, and Fifty Shades Freed, coming out in 2018. In March 2016, The Fall aired its third season in which Dornan’s character was killed off.
Dornan has received a number of awards for his outstanding (and not-so-outstanding) acting abilities. In 2014, he won the Breakthrough Award at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards as well as the Best Lead Actor – Television and Rising Star at the Irish Film and Television Awards. In 2016, he won the Worst Actor and the Worst Screen Combo (with Dakota Johnson) at the Golden Raspberry Awards – a ceremony that recognises the worst in film.
Dornan’s sex appeal increased ten-fold after his appearance in the film 50 Shades. Most men and women know him for his role as the successful yet troubled Christian Grey and adore him for his good looks. In fact, Dornan won third place in People’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2015.
After all of his success on-screen, many female stars, such as Lindsay Lohan, Kate Moss and Keira Knightly, have come out to admit that they’ve had sexual relations with the star. He also made the news in 2015 due to his uncanny resemblance to a gay porn star.
The film 50 Shades of Grey also caused a global conversation about the “normalising” of sexual violence towards women as well as the fact that the book and the film did not accurately capture the essence of a real BDSM relationship.
In 2003, Dornan began dating Pirates of the Caribbean star, Kiera Knightly. At that time, Dornan was still modelling for a living but recalls the media attention that the pair got by saying, “It was a strange environment to find yourself in, being hounded and followed”. Their relationship lasted two years.
Shortly after, in 2006, Dornan briefly dated Sienna Miller, followed by Lindsay Lohan. Later in 2006, the star began spending a lot of time with model, Kate Moss and while many believed that the pair were dating, Dornan denies the allegation by saying, “It’s a nice thought of course, but somehow I just don’t think I’m cool enough or rock star enough. Given her taste in men, I’m really not her type.”
In 2007, a rumour circulated that Dornan was seeing The O.C’s, Mischa Barton as the pair has been spotted at various locations together. However, later that year, Dornan met his now-wife, Amelia Warner, an English singer and actress. They married in 2013, and had their first child, a daughter named Dulcie, in 2014. In February 2016, the pair welcomed their second baby girl into the world.
Dornan is inactive on all social media due to online abuse.
Written by: Helena Lorimer