2. Ian Somerhalder
Why? Far and away the fan favourite at this current moment, Somerhalder certainly has the right look, with those piercing eyes a reasonable fit for Mr Grey’s own smouldering set. But why exactly is Somerhalder so favoured for the role? Well, it all boils down to that vulnerability factor that really sells a romantic male lead (even when he’s pure filth).
Fifty Shades is essentially the ultimate expression of that fundamental nurturing instinct in women that seeks to “train” men, and to change even the baddest of bad boys – as an impenetrable, dark figure is eventually changed over time to feel and love, and abandon everything that once made him an individual and initially attractive to Ana. Strange compulsion that, but it will require a certain sensitivity in the actor who is eventually chosen to play Christian.
There is no sense casting someone completely cold who would bring an insular feel to the character, because his evolution through the second two books of the series would not feel particularly convincing. And Somerhalder’s big piercing blue eyes could certainly offer a glimpse into a softer centre than his usually firm expression and strong bone structure otherwise suggests.
Thanks to his turn in Vampire Diaries, it’s fairly obvious that Somerhalder could do the guarded side of the character, as well as handling his brooding darkness. And fan response might just be enough to land him the role.