‘Fifty Shades': Casting Christian And Ana (Part 5)

by John Mitchell

They are two of the most whispered about roles in Hollywood…which is pretty much as it should be given the subject matter we’re talking here.

We speak, of course, about the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in the buzzed-about “Fifty Shades of Grey” film adaptation and who will play them. Who has the perfect mix of inquisitive innocence to take on Anastasia? What leading man has a smirk charismatic enough to play a billionaire business mogul with a particularly kinky side?

The answer to me is obvious! It’s Lily Collins for Anastasia and Chris Pine for Christian, all the way.

Chris as Christian
Chris is clean-cut, unquestionably handsome and can fill out a well-cut suit, traits that would serve him well as Christian on a purely superficial level. He’s also charismatic in a way that made people care about “Star Trek” again and is too often underrated as an actor, as the early good reviews for his upcoming “People Like Us” prove. “People Like Us” aside, he almost always sticks to action films—his two upcoming films are the in-post-production “Star Trek” sequel and the in-development revamp of the Jack Ryan franchise—so it would be nice to see him tackle something a little darker and more character driven.

For all its literary faults as a novel, if the script for this thing turns out to be any good, “Fifty Shades” could prove a showcase for his range. For all his sex appeal he still really isn’t a sex symbol and he is too often cast as the good guy. Showing a little skin and playing a darker figure could open the door to roles that he wouldn’t normally be considered for.

Lily as Ana
Characters don’t come much more innocent than Snow White, and while “Mirror Mirror” was a misfire, Lily acquitted herself fine in the part. The actress exudes the innocence of youth but is herself 23, nearly the same age as the character in the book (22), and safely of age to play the tricky role of Anastasia. With her big eyes, dark hair and good girl demeanor, she’s a fine fit for the good-natured and shy Ana.

She’s also an actress on the rise. With the big budget “Mirror” behind her, Lily is working on her craft in a series of smaller dramas like “The English Teacher” co-starring Julianne Moore, “Writers” opposite Logan Lerman and Jennifer Connelly and the Shakespearean modernization “Rosaline.” Lily is also, and we don’t mean this as an insult, the very opposite of edgy. Taking on this role could add a bit of edge to otherwise by-the-books resume, which (like Chris) could open up a world of other parts to her.