Jamie Dornan: From the Fall to Fifty Shades

Updated On: November 07, 2023


Jamie Dornan is an Irish actor, model and musician. Although his fame is largely due to the Fifty Shades trilogy, Jamie has had a long career with more than one hit in film and television.

His acting talent has certainly allowed him to play a variety of different roles, from drama to action, comedy or romance even though he began his career as a model for big brand names.

Jamie Dornan at the BAFTAs. (

Jamie Dornan Beginnings

Jamie Dornan was born on the 1st of May 1982, in Hollywood, County Down, Northern Ireland. He grew up in the suburbs of Belfast, with his two older sisters: Liesa, who works for Disney in London, and Jessica, a fashion designer based in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. His father, Jim Dornan, is an obstetrician and gynecologist who had also considered becoming an actor.

Dornan was 16 when his mother, Lorna, died from pancreatic cancer. He attended Methodist College Belfast, where he played rugby there and participated in the Drama Department, after that he attended Teesside University but dropped out and moved to London to train as an actor. He began his career as a model in 2001. The Irish actor actually used to be an underwear model for many campaigns for Hugo Boss, Dior Homme, and Calvin Klein Levi’s Jeans with Lily Aldridge the American model.

He once said in an interview that he dislikes his physique and that he still feels like the skinny guy he was growing up.

In 2006, Dornan was dubbed the “male Kate Moss” by GQ and in 2015 was ranked one of the “25 Biggest Male Models of All Time” by Vogue. In 2018, he became the new face of “Boss The Scent” for Hugo Boss alongside Dutch model Birgit Kos. He was a member of folk band Sons of Jim from 2006 until 2008 and they did have some great hits, but unfortunately, the group disbanded.

Jamie Dornan Personal Life:

Dornan was in a relationship with actress Keira Knightley from 2003 to 2005, and if you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know her, let us remind you of some of her movies like: Pirates of the Caribbean and Pride & Prejudice. They met on the set of an Asprey photoshoot in 2003.

He is also is very good friends with fashion journalist Hadley Freeman as well as actors Andrew Garfield and Eddie Redmayne. They were all looking for acting jobs around the same time.

He met his wife for the first Amelia Warner in 2010 through mutual friends at a party in Hollywood, California. He has three children with Amelia Warner: a daughter named Dulcie, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on 21 November 2013; a second daughter, Elva, born in the UK on 16 February 2016, and a third daughter, likely born in the UK in February or March of 2019.  He lives in a property in The Cotswolds, England, with his wife and children, and he also own another property in Notting Hill, London, England. He suffers from asthma. In his free time he enjoys golfing and reading.

Jamie Dornan Movies:

Dornan began acting in 2006, and he earned popularity for playing Sheriff Graham Humbert in the series Once Upon a Time (2011–2013) and the serial killer Paul Spector in the crime drama series The Fall (2013–2016).

Marie Antoinette (2006):

It was the first appearance for Dornan as Count Axel Fersen in this historical drama film. The film is based on the life of Queen Marie Antoinette in the years leading up to the French Revolution. It won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, and was released in the United States on 20 October 2006.

Shadow in the Sun (2009):

The movie talks about a mysterious stranger who brings together a family that has lost its way.  Hannah (Jean Simmons) is suffering from a chronic illness, smoking cannabis for respite, and has formed an unlikely friendship with a much younger man, Joe (Jamie Dornan). She lives happy with her poetry, garden and friend Joe but when Hannah’s son Robert (James Wilby) arrives with his teenage daughter Kate (Ophelia Lovibond) and younger son, Sam (Toby Marlow), he is discomfited by his mother’s arrangements.

Flying Home (2014):

The film stars are Jamie Dornan, Numan Acar and Anthony Head. The film talks about a New York businessman who must choose between the deal of his career and the love of his life.

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015):

An American erotic romantic drama film, the film is based on E. L. James’ 2011 novel of the same name. The film premiered at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival on February 11, 2015 and was released on February 13, 2015. The film received negative reviews, but it made a huge success in the box-office, gaining over 570 million dollars worldwide which made the movie break enormous box office records. The leads in the movie are: Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who begins a sadomasochistic relationship with young business magnate Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan. The movie won many awards in the 36th Golden Raspberry Awards, winning five of six nominations, including Worst Picture (tied with Fantastic Four) and both leading roles. In contrast, Ellie Goulding’s single “Love Me like You Do” was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, while The Weeknd’s single “Earned It” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It is the first film in the Fifty Shades film trilogy and was followed by two sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, released in 2017 and 2018.

Anthropoid (2016):

A Czech-British-French epic war film the movie talks about the story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Exile Czechoslovak soldiers on 27 May 1942.  It was released 12 August 2016 in the United States and 9 September 2016 in the United Kingdom.

The Siege of Jadotville (2016):

The film is based on Declan Power’s book, The Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle (2005), about an Irish Army unit’s role in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo in September 1961. The film is a historical drama war, staring Jamie Dornan, Mark Strong, Mikael Persbrandt, Jason O’Mara, Danny Sapani, Michael McElhatton and Guillaume Canet. The film first premiered at the 2016 Galway Film Festival, and won three Irish Film & Television Awards, including Best Director.

The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2016):

A Canadian American supernatural thriller film, which is based on Liz Jensen’s best-selling novel of the same title, the film talks about a psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality. The film was released in the United States and United Kingdom on September 2, 2016. The stars are Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon, Aiden Longworth, Oliver Platt, Molly Parker, Julian Wadham, Jane McGregor, Barbara Hershey, and Aaron Paul.

Fifty Shades Darker (2017):

An American erotic romantic drama film, based on E. L. James’s 2012 novel of the same name, the second film in the Fifty Shades film trilogy and the sequel to the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey. The film was released in the United States on February 10, 2017. Although the film received negative reviews for its screenplay, acting and narrative it gained over $380 million worldwide against its $55 million budget. its stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, with Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Kim Basinger, and Marcia Gay Harden in supporting roles.

Fifty Shades Freed (2018):

It is the third and final installment in the Fifty Shades film trilogy, following Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) and Fifty Shades Darker (2017). The film continues the sequel as film stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, as they get married, and must deal with Ana’s former boss (Eric Johnson), who begins to stalk them. The film was released in the United States on February 9, 2018, gaining over $370 million worldwide against a production budget of $55 million. It is the lowest grossing film of the trilogy.

Untogether (2018):

An American drama film, it was first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23, 2018. The film stars are it stars Jamie Dornan, Ben Mendelsohn, Lola Kirke and Jemima Kirke. The movie talks about the affair between Andrea (Jemima Kirke), a former teen miracle turned heroin addict who is trying to be a writer now that she’s sober, and Nick (Dornan), a writer who has found success with his memoir of wartime bravery, which sees him showered in wealth and women. Meanwhile, Andrea’s little sister, Tara (Lola Kirke), finds her solid relationship with her older boyfriend, Martin (Mendelsohn), shaken when she is drawn to a charismatic rabbi, David (Crystal), with an even larger age gap.

A Private War (2018):

The film is based on the 2012 article “Marie Colvin’s Private War” in Vanity Fair by Marie Brenner. The film is an American biographical drama. The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in the United States on November 2, 2018. The movie received positive reviews from critics especially on Rosamund Pike performance. At the 76th Golden Globe Awards, the film earned nominations for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama (Pike) and Best Original Song Requiem for A Private War. The film talks about Marie Colvin is an American journalist for The Sunday Times, visiting the most dangerous countries and documenting their civil wars.

In 2001, while trekking with the Tamil Tigers, Colvin and her crew are ambushed by the Sri Lankan Army. Despite her attempt to surrender, an RPG fires in her direction, wounding her to the point that she loses her left eye. Afterwards, Colvin is forced to wear an eyepatch.

Robin Hood (2018):

An action adventure film, it is a quasi-contemporary retelling of the Robin Hood legend and follows his training by John to steal from the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film stars Taron Egerton, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn, Eve Hewson, Tim Minchin, and Jamie Dornan. The film was released on November 21, 2018, and received negative reviews from critics, who pecked the direction, narrative and wasting of the cast. The film gained 85 million dollars against a budget of 100 million dollars.

Endings, Beginnings (2019):

A romantic drama film, the film is semi-improvised and loosely based on the screenplay. The film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Synchronic (2019):

A science-fiction horror film, the film talks about Two New Orleans paramedics’ lives are ripped apart after encountering a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects. The stars are Jamie Dornan, Anthony Mackie and Ally Ioannides, the film premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2020):

Its an upcoming comedy movie, and directed by Josh Greenbaum. The story talks about two best friends who leave their small Midwestern town for the first time to go on vacation in Vista Del Mar, Florida, where they soon find themselves tangled up in adventure, love, and a villain’s evil plot to kill everyone in town. The stars are Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., and Wendi McLendon-Covey. The movie is supposed to be released on July 31, 2020.

Trolls World Tour (2020):

It’s an upcoming American computer-animated musical comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. The voice casts are Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Bloom, James Corden, Jamie Dornan, Kelly Clarkson, Ozzy Osbourne, and Sam Rockwell. It is the sequel to the 2016 film Trolls, the film will be released in the United States on April 17, 2020. Four years after the events of the first film, Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) discover that they are but one of six different Troll tribes scattered over six different lands.

Jamie Dornan Series:

Once Upon a Time (2011):

An American fairytale drama television series, that started on October 23, 2011, and ended up on May 18, 2018. The first six seasons were set in the seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, with the character of Emma Swan as the lead, while the seventh and final season takes place in Seattle, Washington, in the neighborhood of Hyperion Heights, with a new main narrative led by Henry Mills, Emma Swan’s son. Once Upon a Time was created by Lost and Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

The Fall (2013 – 2016):

A British-Irish crime drama television series filmed and set in Northern Ireland, the stars are Gillian Anderson as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, and features Jamie Dornan as serial killer Paul Spector. The series premiered in the Republic of Ireland on 12 May 2013, and in the United Kingdom on BBC Two on 13 May 2013.

My Dinner with Hervé (2018):

An American television drama film, based on the later days of actor Hervé Villechaize. It was premiered on October 20, 2018, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of Dinklage and Dornan. The film stars Peter Dinklage as Villechaize, Jamie Dornan as a struggling journalist, and Andy García as Villechaize’s Fantasy Island co-star Ricardo Montalbán.

Death and Nightingales (2018):

The series was set in the countryside of Ireland in 1885, the stars are Ann Skelly, Jamie Dornan and Matthew Rhys. The story talks about a young woman Beth Winters (Ann Skelly), and her struggle to control her own destiny. On her 23rd birthday she decides to escape from her life and difficult relationship with her landowner stepfather, Billy (Matthew Rhys), with the aid of the charming Liam Ward (Jamie Dornan). It’s a historical drama miniseries, based on the 1992 novel of the same name. The series premiered in the Republic of Ireland on 26 November 2018, and two days later in the United Kingdom.

Jamie Dornan’s Awards and Nominations:

In 2014, in the British Academy Television Awards Dornan was nominated for the Best Actor due to his role in the series The Fall. In the British Independent Film Awards, he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 2016, in his role for the movie Anthropoid. In the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, he has won the Breakthrough Award due to his role in the movie The Fall in 2014, after one year in 2015 he was nominated for the Best Actor for the series The Fall. In the Czech Lion Awards, he was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor for his role in the movie Anthropoid.

In the Irish Film and Television Awards in 2014, Jamie Dornan won Best Lead Actor in television and Rising Star. In 2015, he was nominated for Best Actor in a Lead Role Drama in the same festival. Also in 2017, he was nominated for the Best Actor for his role in the movie The Siege of Jadotville. In the National Television Awards, he was nominated for the Drama Performance in 2016 and 2017 in his role in the series The Fall. In 2018, in People’s Choice Awards he won The Drama Movie Star of 2018 for his role in Fifty Shades Freed.

Things you don’t know about Jamie Dornan:

  1. He had only four weeks to whip his body into shape for his movie Fifty Shades of Grey. He had to work fast and had to go through extensive training sections. Dornan had already a great body to be cast as Christian Grey, that’s why it didn’t take him time to prepare for the movie.
  2. He is a big fan of Manchester United and a season ticket holder, he is a sporty man he also played rugby when he lived in hometown of Northern Ireland. And in his free time, he says he likes to play golf. No wonder he looks so great. Jamie Dornan once said, “Because I used to play a lot of sport, I’ve always been in decent enough shape”
  3. Dornan admitted back in 2015 that he has a strong appreciation for rom-coms. “Think when romantic comedies are done well, it’s a great genre,” He said in a Popsugar interview. He also admitted that he loves Pretty Woman and When Harry Met Sally.
  4. He is related to Greer Garson, the old Hollywood actress who starred in movies such as Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Madame Curie, Random Harvest, and Mrs. Miniver. Basically, Garson was his grandmother’s first cousin. That makes Greer Garson and Jamie Dornan first cousins. It’s hard to believe because she’s such a salient actress but it’s true. They really are first cousins.
  5. In the movies Fifty Shades of Grey, Jamie Dornan plays the clean-shaven Christian Grey who always looks immaculate in his suits and ties. But in real life hates being without a beard, He says being without one actually makes him feel uncomfortable. “I feel uncomfortable without it,” He says in an interview with the Guardian. “I find myself moving differently. I don’t like myself without a beard.”
  6. Jamie Dornan lived before with actor Eddie Redmayne whose most recently famous starring role was Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Redmayne was also in movies such as Les Miserables, The Theory of Everything, and The Danish Girl. He and Jamie Dornan used to live together before Dornan met his wife. You rarely hear of two famous actors who are not in a romantic relationship living together.

Jamie Dornan has managed to become one of Ireland’s most well-established and highest-earning actors in Hollywood. With blockbuster hits such as the Fifty Shades trilogy and TV sensations like the Fall, he has managed to make a name for himself in a cut-throat business that is the entertainment industry. His upcoming films are highly anticipated and we hope that he continues to create a path for himself and remain in the audience’s mind for years and years to come.`

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