Who is Bret Easton Ellis? He’s the author of the best selling novels Less Than Zero and American Psycho and he went on a twitter blast today against White Collar star, Matt Bomer, saying he would NOT be a good choice to play Christian Grey, the central character of the erotic best-selling novel by E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey. It is the first part of a trilogy (Book Two: Fifty Shades Darker and Book Three: Fifthy Shades Freed) and has sold over 40 million copies combined worldwide, outselling the Harry Potter franchise. Fifty Shades has been sweeping the world since 2011 and has taken off recently in the States, inspiring women to race to the bookstores of all kinds to rouse their their curiosity and libido, and it is the next book-to-movie adaptation that’s being fast-tracked in Hollywood.
While no one has been cast yet, speculation has been soaring with Bomer, The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder, and True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard as the names volleyed around by fans. The latter two have expressed interest in playing Christian. Meanwhile, Bomer has yet to comment one way or the other. Actresses to play Anastasia Steele have ranged from Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, and Elizabeth Olsen but not Kristen Stewart.
Ellis lobbied hard to write the screenplay but was taken out of the running by the film’s producers. THR is reporting that Veena Sud, Dan Fogelman, Karen Croner, and Kelly Marcel are in the running. While campaigning to write the screenplay, Ellis publicly suggested Somerhalder, Ryan Gosling, Alex Pettyfer and porn star James Deen, who is currently the star of his latest film, The Canyons with Lindsay Lohan. Scarlett Johansson, Kristen Stewart and Lena Dunham were the top of his list of those who could play Ana and David Cronenberg was his ideal director. Since being eliminated, he also chimed in his opinion of the idea that Bomer could play Christian over 15 tweets which have been gathered in the paragraph below.
Okay. Let’s finalize this. Matt Bomer is totally hot and a very good actor. He is NOT right for Christian Grey and it complicates the role. Fifty Shades of Grey: Matt Bomer: I don’t care how good an actor you are but being married to another man complicates things for playing CG. Fifty Shades of Grey: Matt Bomer is NOT about discrimination. It’s about an intensely straight actor wanting absolutely to screw Ana Steele. Fifty Shades of Grey: the most popular book on the planet having Matt Bomer–a gay actor–play Christian Grey is absolutely ludicrous. Why? Jesus, the homophobia over Matt Bomer not being Christian Grey is so unsettling and aesthetically retarded. He’s NOT right for Christian G. Okay I’ll say it. Matt Bomer isn’t right for Christian Grey because he is openly gay. He’s great for other roles but this is too big a game. And I think if Matt Bomer wants the role which I doubt the international press tour will be an embarrassing fiasco. He’s not CG. Never… I am NOT discriminating Matt Bomer because of his sexuality. Fifty Shades of Grey demands an actor that is genuinely into women. Get it?!? I actually think it’s cool that women want Matt Bomer as Christian Grey. It means that we’ve moved beyond stereotypes and that gay is hot…I think Matt Bomer is incredibly handsome and a good actor but I think he comes off totally gay in White Collar. And that is why no to CG…Look, all actors are GAY: they put on make up and pretend to be someone else. That’s just a fact. Rock and roll. Deal with it. Scientology? Would anyone watch Brokeback Mountain if it stayed true to the original story where both characters are hideously ugly? No. Homo beauty WIN? Hollywood is the most homophobic place in the entire world. Why Brokeback Mountain was a hit was because it starred two beautiful actors instead of two real ugly characters from the story. Producers. Final word: there is no way in hell that the makers of “Fifty Shades of Grey” will hire an openly gay actor to play Christian Grey. Period.
First let’s get one thing straight, Ellis is right about Hollywood being homophobic. Many actors stay in the closet long in their careers for fear that they’ll be discriminated because of their sexuality. That being said, times are changing and in pockets, Hollywood is slowly becoming a friendlier place where actors can feel comfortable coming out and know there are plenty of roles for them to play regardless of the sexual orientation of the character. Roles are becoming more diverse and the list of actors who have been brave enough to come out publicly, have been applauded for doing so and from the outside looking in, their careers appear to be secure for the meantime, but one would have to sit down and speak with each individual to see if that truly is the case. I wouldn’t be so quick to say that Bomer wouldn’t be considered.
Ellis tried to compliment Bomer in his backhanded tweets, but then said this project is “Too big a game” for Bomer. I say, give him an equal chance to audition. Why rule out him immediately if he looks the part and can act the part? Let’s give credit to whomever will be the writer of the film if they keep the character edgy and masculine, and then the ability of the actor will help determine how memorable that portrayal is. There is a subplot in Fifty Shades where Christian’s mother is surprised to see her son is having sex with Ana because she had never seen him with women before, believing he was gay. Perhaps that is why Bomer is being considered, because he could play up that aspect of Christian’s character? Needless to say, it would be interesting to be a fly in the room where the producers and castings are discussing. Does Bomer being openly gay really complicate the viewer? Would he have been more acceptable to play Christian had he never come out?
Who knows why Ellis felt the need to divulge such feelings, especially in such a manner? Maybe he is just drumming up more publicity for The Canyons, or maybe it’s just him being bitter about being passed over. It’s been said that he compared Grey to his main character in American Psycho, Patrick Bateman. One could see why he’s not being chosen as the screenwriter. Twitter can be both useful and cringe-worthy, but here’s the big question, do you think Bomer could be convincing as Christian Grey? On USA’s White Collar, Bomer plays Neal Caffrey, a razor sharp, stylish white collar crook who is straight and has several on-screen romances with some lovely leading ladies. There’s a bit of a bad boy in his character and that along with his good looks is partly why he has so many fans. Many White Collar fans can attest to Bomer’s acting skills and are completely sold on his performance from the show. Others may not. We’re certainly fans of Bomer and White Collar, but the question might be better framed, is Bomer right for this particular role?
So as the debate rages on, the Fifty Shades of Grey film moves forward. Would Bomer, if he’s interested, be truly given the chance to play Christian Grey or at least audition for the part? Or will being gay be a roadblock not only for the film’s producers but for the millions of readers (a large portion of which are women), wanting to see the story acted out on the big screen? Knowing Hollywood and how they think about the Benjamins, Universal is most likely debating–if Bomer is even being considered–whether or not straight women would go to see him play Christian Grey?
Answer our two polls below and share your thoughts below on if Bomer deserves a shot to play Christian Grey and if not him, then who?