After months of speculation, “Fifty Shades of Grey” fans finally have their Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele… even if the casting of actors Charlie Hunnam, 33, and Dakota Johnson, 23, came as a bit of a surprise.
Rough Childhood: Charlie, the younger of two boys, grew up in Newcastle, a rough part of the UK that he refers to as the “Detroit” of England. When he moved to a small town at age 12, the other boys wanted to fight him to prove they could beat up the “Newcastle kid.” He told Stumped Magazine, “I ended up having a horrible childhood, a horrible time in school.”
Hollywood Royalty: Dakota’s famous family includes mom Melanie Griffith, dad Don Johnson, stepdad Antonio Banderas, grandmother Tippi Hedren and grandfather Peter Griffith. She also has six siblings. On her mom’s side, Stella Banderas and Alexander Bauer, and on her father’s side, Jesse, Deacon, Jasper and Grace Johnson.
Getting Started: A British children’s show producer supposedly discovered 15-year-old Hunnam in a shoe store and cast him in his first project, “Byker Grove." A few years later, he landed the role of Nathan in the British drama “Queer as Folk.”
Model Child: Johnson first stepped into the spotlight when she was 12, appearing on the cover of Teen Vogue along with other celebrity kids. At 18, she signed with IMG Models and went on to work campaigns for Mango, Uniqlo and Oliver Peoples.
Across the Pond: Hunnam moved to L.A. in the late ‘90s and landed jobs on the "Dawson’s Creek" spinoff “Young Americans” and Judd Apatow’s short-lived comedy, “Undeclared.” Larger projects followed like “Cold Mountain” and “Children of Men,” along with a leading role in “Green Street Hooligans.”
Making a Name: Johnson has been slowly building her acting resume. Who can forget Justin Timberlake’s one-night stand in “Social Network” (the girl in the Stanford panties) or badass cop Fugazy in “21 Jump Street”? When Dakota finally landed a starring role on “Ben and Kate” in 2012, it didn’t last long. The comedy was canceled after one season.
Total Anarchy: In 2008, Charlie landed the lead role in the FX drama “Sons of Anarchy” as Jackson “Jax” Teller. Jax is a husband, father of two, and the leader of the Sons of Anarchy outlaw motorcycle gang.
New Beginnings: Dakota is open about her past stints in rehab. She reportedly spent 30 days at Visions Teen Treatment Center in Malibu for drug and alcohol addiction in 2007, before receiving outpatient help in Brentwood.
Young Love: In 1999, Hunnam met Katharine Towne at a “Dawson’s Creek” audition. The pair rushed down the aisle after knowing each other for just three weeks. The couple did not have any children together, and divorced after three years.
CharKota: Fans might be hoping for a real life romance between Charlie and Dakota, but it isn’t likely. While Johnson has been linked with a musician boyfriend for years, Hunnam is definitely taken. The Brit has been dating jewelry designer Morgana McNelis for six years.