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Jamie Dornan the new Christian Grey in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie (poll)

Updated: 2013-10-24T04:33:09Z

By LISA GUTIERREZ

The Kansas City Star

Variety had the scoop Wednesday night: Irish-born actor Jamie Dornan will replace Charlie Hunnam in the part of Christian Grey in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie.

Fans will recognize the 31-year-old native of Northern Ireland as Sheriff Graham Humbert in ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.” He stars as a psychopathic killer in the hit BBC drama series “The Fall” with former "X-Files" actress Gillian Anderson.

Dornan was reportedly a frontrunner to replace Hunnam ever since the “Sons of Anarchy” star dropped out of the project on Oct. 14.

Dornan’s acting resume might not be lengthy, but here’s one previous job that should qualify him to play the kinky billionaire: He used to model Calvin Klein underwear.

He also dated Keira Knightley for two years. He and his wife, British musician Amelia Warner, announced in June that they are expecting their first child.

The Hollywood Reporter says that negotiations are underway to sign him for the role opposite Dakota Johnson, who will play Anastasia Steele. He reportedly tested against Johnson on Friday.

The film’s distributor, Focus Features, didn’t comment on various media reports of the hiring Wednesday night. “Fifty Shades” author E.L. James was silent, too.

"I feel like everyone has an idea of what these characters look like and sound like, so to present the world with fresh faces – where no pre-conceived notions or baggage come with it – is best," the movie’s producer, Mike De Luca, told The Los Angeles Times earlier this week.

"It's like casting Superman or James Bond. A fresh face is appropriate."

Agreed.

Let the swooning begin.

To reach Lisa Gutierrez, call 816-234-4987 or send email to lgutierrez@kcstar.com.

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