Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam Reuters

Charlie Hunnam has spoken out for the first time since being cast as Christian Grey in the film version of EL James's best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey.

The 33-year-old actor who was at the premiere of Sons of Anarchy's sixth season at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, talked about his first meeting with Dakota Johnson.

"As soon as we got in the room and started reading with Dakota, I knew that I definitely wanted to do it, because there was a tangible chemistry between us," he told The Hollywood Reporter, "It felt kind of exciting and fun and weird and compelling, and so that was it."

He also admitted that he is comfortable with shooting intimate scenes in the film.

"My first job was on a Channel 4 miniseries called Queer as Folk. It was incredibly explicit sexual scenes with a man," Hunnam said, "I mean I'm 16 and 17 years wiser now. So if I could do it when I was 18 with a guy, I can certainly do it at 33 with a lady."

Hunnam, who has been dating jewellery designer Morgana McNelis since 2007, revealed that she helped him make the decision to take on the role.

"It's very hard to be with an actor. She's required to share parts of me that she wouldn't really want to share. With the nature of this role, that's going to be times 10," he said, adding, "She read them and loved them and was really excited about the potential of the opportunity for me. If anything, I think it will make us closer."

Meanwhile, it was previously revealed that the Fifty Shades of Grey film will release in the United States on 1 July next year. British visual artist and film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson will be directing a script written by Kelly Marcel. Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca (producers of Oscar-winning The Social Network) will work behind the scenes.