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Fifty Shades of Grey

Jamie Dornan's take on the Fifty Shades' fanbase proved my personal experience of it

‘It was a little bit bulletproof.’

AGAINST ALL MY better judgement, I went along to a screening of the first installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey film franchise back in 2015.

50 Giphy Giphy

I hadn’t read the book, but I was suitably intrigued by the furore over E.L. James’ contribution to the literary world, so I decided I may as well head along for a laugh.

I was less than 40 minutes into the film when I genuinely considered leaving the cinema early.

Everything about it made me uncomfortable; the premise, the acting, not to mention the bizarre level of whooping emanating from gaggles of women dotted around the theatre.

Whatever they were getting out of it was clearly lost on me, and I felt like I had wandered into the centre of one enormous in-joke.

In fact, it didn’t seem to matter what type of scene was playing out on screen, these people were wholly invested, regardless of anything else.

While I might have felt a vague sense of embarrassment for having bought into the hype, the dozens upon dozens of people around me felt nothing of the sort.

They had truly bought in, and made no qualms about it.

And it’s this blind loyalty that Jamie Dornan thinks provided the franchise with some form of immunity against the disdain shown to it by the industry.

Death and Nightingales screening - London Ian West / PA Images Ian West / PA Images / PA Images

Speaking to Deadline recently, the Irish actor argued that the film was essentially ‘bulletproof’ when it came to criticism, due to the devotion shown by its original fanbase.

It was a little bit bulletproof in terms of how it was going to be received from the likes of yourself and other critics.

“I think it had such a strong fan base so passionately supportive of it that I almost think it being received as not great fuelled them,” he elaborated.

Indeed, Jamie’s of the opinion that the more contempt the film was shown, the more steadfast the fanbase became.

I feel like they almost got off on that because it was such a strong example of movies that are made for the fans and these people who have devoured these books, and these characters mean so much to them.

Indeed, during the screening I attended, there was a definite air of defiance in the theatre; a less than subtle divide between die-hard fans and Fifty Shades ‘tourists’, so to speak.

But what about you? Did you have a similar experience?

Poll Results:

I never saw the films. (664)
I'm one of the die-hard fans Jamie's talking about. (535)
I went out of curiosity, and didn't understand the popularity. (278)
 I was curious, and was then won over. (261)

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