In a new interview with MovieFone, Charlie sticks by his original story, saying he quit because of scheduling issues, but adds that the role gave him “something of a nervous breakdown.”
Hunnam, who was cast as kinky billionaire Christian Grey, says he was scared of failing on such a grand scale.
The 34-year-old explained how it all transpired. "I wouldn't have signed up in the first place if I didn't want to do it. It was a really, really difficult time in my life."
“I fell in love with the character and started seeing him and becoming intoxicated, which is the way I work: I find a character I love and I start thinking about it all the time,” the “Sons of Anarchy” star said.
"I was going to finish [filming] ‘Sons’ at like 11 p.m. Friday night, get on the plane Saturday morning to Vancouver for ‘Fifty,’ missing the whole first week of rehearsal and start shooting Monday morning. And I was going to shoot that film, wrap that on the Wednesday and the following Monday I was going to start shooting ‘Crimson Peak’ in Toronto. I just had like... frankly, something of a nervous breakdown."
Two months after landing the coveted role, he quit. "I just said, 'I can't... I can't...' To fail on such a grand scale — because ‘Fifty's’ going to be massive, it's going to be huge. I really didn't want to fail on such a grand scale and I just couldn't transition from Jax Teller to Christian Grey in 48 hours. I bit off more than I could chew and it was painful. I loved the character and I wanted to do it."
Eventually, Jamie Dornan took his place opposite Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele in the film.
“Fifty Shades” opens in theaters Feb. 14, 2015.