Jamie Dornan is a Northern Irish actor who shot to international fame for playing Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades films. Dornan started his career as a model, appearing in campaigns for Dior, Calvin Klein, and Hugo Boss. He switched to acting in 2005 and gained acclaim for his role in Once Upon a Time.
Dornan earned a BAFTA nomination for playing serial killer Paul Spector in 2013. His performance won him the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Actor in Television. Jamie recently demonstrated his acting range by turning in a widely praised musical and comedic performance in 2021’s Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
Keep reading to discover some truths about Amelia Warner.
Amelia gave up on acting due to her frustration with casting directors
Amelia was born on 4th June 1982 in Merseyside, Liverpool to Alun Lewis and Annette Ekblom. She spent most of her childhood with her mother in London after her parents split up. She attended the Masonic School for Girls and later proceeded to the College of Fine Arts.
Amelia was interested in acting, and she tried her best to be good at it. Consequently, her school life suffered due to her dedication to acting. She moved to a college in Belsize Park to complete her studies. Her acting journey took off when an agent discovered her while she and her friends acted out a play in Convent Garden.
Her efforts eventually won her a place at the London Royal Court Theatre’s Youth program. Her first role came in the drama series Casualty in 1996. She went on to star in a BBC adaptation of Lorna Doone in 2000. She also starred in the sexual film, Quills, alongside Michael Caine, Joaquin Phoenix, and Kate Winslet.
It looked like her career was on the up, but she decided to quit acting to pursue a career as a singer. Amelia told The Telegraph;
“It wasn’t fulfilling. You have no control, there is no responsibility, you go to the audition, and you either get the part or you don’t – that’s as much choice as you have. Then a year later you see the end product and you can be in a completely different film from the one you thought you were making. It started to get really frustrating.”
Amelia also didn’t want the life of a movie star. She wanted to make good films, but she didn’t want to be a superstar. Early on in her career, she revealed;
“I want to stay below the radar and make good films. I have to be careful, I don’t want my life to change. I really don’t want to be a movie star.”
Amelia became a musician because it gave her greater control over her art
Amelia wanted to have greater control over what she did, and so she decided to become a singer. She told The Telegraph; “At least with music, you can write a song and it exists in the world, even if no one hears it. That’s lovely.”
People got to hear Amelia’s music because it featured a lot in advertisements. She wrote and performed her first song Beasts under the stage name Slow Moving Millie. The song featured in a Virgin Media television commercial. Her second single, Rewind City, also featured in an advertisement for Orange UK.
Amelia signed with Island Records in 2011, and soon after she released a cover version of The Smiths’ song, Please, Please, Please, Let me Get What I Want. The song was the soundtrack to the John Lewis 2011 Christmas advertisement.
She released her first studio album, Renditions, on 12th December 2011. Her first EP, Arms, topped the iTunes classical music charts. Amelia’s second EP, Visitors, also peaked at number 1 on the iTunes classical charts.
She talked to The Independent about her inspiration while making Visitors; “Visitors is about an imaginary house where all these women once lived…I had a vision of the big old house and a clear idea of each of these women and I enjoyed crafting their individual tales and telling their stories and representing their characters through music.”
She created the soundtrack for Jamie’s 2020 film Wild Mountain Thyme
For a while, Amelia made songs for advertisements. Her cover of The Smiths’ song Please, Please, Please, Let me Get What I Want, gave her the publicity she needed to succeed as an artist. The song featured on the John Lewis 2011 Christmas advertisement, and it received mixed reactions. Amelia told The Telegraph;
“I haven’t been spat at by Smiths fans in the street. I’ve had a few people being furious at me on Twitter, saying, ‘How dare you?’ But I haven’t done anything to the original. I think you’ll find it still exists.”
Her role in the commercial set her up for roles in films. She created the soundtrack for the film, Mum’s List. She then went on to create the soundtrack for the movie Mary Shelley starring Elle Fanning, Ben Hardy, and Tom Sturridge.
She did a great job with the film, and she is now recognized as one of the top female composers in the music industry. She even won the Breakthrough Composer of the Year award at the IFMCA Awards in 2018. Amelia found her true passion in music. She confessed in an interview with Hunger TV;
“Music has always been really, really important to me. And kind of my biggest passion. And writing is something I’ve always done.”
In 2020, Jamie and Warner worked together on Wild Mountain Thyme. Amelia came in after filming to compose the film’s music. Jamie told E! Online that Amelia came in to ‘sprinkle some stardust’ on the film and ‘make me more watchable.”
He also described Amelia’s work as amazing and stated that he enjoyed working with her. “I will never forget the moment when I found out she was doing it and the joy of getting to inadvertently work together,” Jamie told The Times Herald. “I believe her work to be very beautiful and I am so proud of her for it. It was so cool that we got this opportunity.”
Warner and Jamie started dating in 2010 and were married in 2013
Amelia and Jamie met at a party in 2007. They got to know each other, and they started their relationship in 2010. The couple then moved in together in Notting Hill, got engaged in 2012, and were married in 2013. Dornan told Belfast Telegraph that he felt an instant connection with Amelia;
“I was smitten with her from the start, I really was. I’m more in love with her today than I was at the start.”
The couple is now married and they seem to be enjoying life together. Amelia and Dornan are rather secretive about their personal lives, but Dornan told the Irish Mirror that married life can be tough at times;
“We get frustrated at times, usually when travelling with the kids, but we’d never let anything boil and become a thing.”
He also told the Irish Mirror that he regularly tells his wife that he loves her; “We know couples who are plate-throwers, but that’s just not us. I’m glad it’s not us – plates are expensive…Certainly there’s never a day that I don’t tell her I love her.”
She is considering using a photo of her children as an album cover
Amelia and Dornan’s marriage has yielded three beautiful daughters. The couple welcomed their latest addition to the family in March 2019. Amelia loves being the mother of the three girls. She posted an Instagram photo on mother’s day with the caption;
“So proud of these three glorious girls, it’s an honour being their mummy…feeling incredibly lucky today.”
After their first child was born, Amelia had to learn how to cope with raising a child and maintaining her career. She told The Independent; “Then we had our first daughter. I took a year off. Once you have a baby, it slightly changes your perception. I knew I wanted to be in music but I wanted to be happy.”
Amelia told The Independent that couple now manages to raise the kids without affecting their careers; “The children are so little, they don’t really know where they are. So travelling with them isn’t a problem. They are so flexible at that age. They are just happy to be with us.”
On 26th April 2021, Amelia posted a photo of her three daughters looking at the sea. “Potential album cover?” Warner captioned the post. The photo of Alberta sandwiched between her older sisters Elva and Dulcie would make an excellent album cover.
Dornan hasn’t ruled out welcoming other children with Amelia. He told Jimmy Kimmel that he feels like three kids are enough, but he wouldn’t mind more if Warner agrees. “But then, alternatively, I feel like we make really great kids,” Dornan said. Maybe we’ll just – if my wife’s willing – do it until we can’t do it anymore.”
Fifty Shades’ filming almost ruined Dornan’s appearance for his children’s births
Amelia was around 30 weeks pregnant with Dulcie when the couple moved to Vancouver, where Dornan would film the first Fifty Shades film. Jamie told OK! Magazine that most people would have objected to the move and the film but Amelia took it in her stride.
“That’s a tough pitch, but my wife is an incredible person,” Jamie said. Dornan talked to Jimmy Kimmel about the sacrifices Amelia made when he was out filming Fifty Shades:
“The first [child] we had in Canada, and I started filming three days after she was born. The second one we had in London, and I flew to Canada ten days later and started filming the second [movie].”
Thankfully, Dornan never missed any of his children’s births. “I think for this one, I’m going to have more control,” Jamie said when Amelia was pregnant with Alberta. “I’m trying to take proper time off for a few months as well.”
Fifty Shades brought unwelcome attention to Amelia and her family. There were some unsavory stories written about Dornan and Amelia, but the couple largely managed to avoid negative press. Warner told the Belfast Telegraph:
“It doesn’t impact out life much in a day-to-day way. Nothing has really changed in our lives since Fifty Shades. The biggest change for us was having kids. We now live in the Cotswolds, rather than London. We are very removed from all the hype. I don’t see that stuff in the papers.”
Warner recently launched a clothing brand selling thermal, waterproof boiler suits
Warner’s Instagram bio states that she is ‘often found swimming in freezing cold water.’ Amelia’s confidence in cold water might arise from having Wylding boiler suit waiting for her when she exits the water. Amelia launched Wylding on 30th June 2021. She wrote on Instagram:
“Today is the launch of our thermal boiler suits which we developed as the perfect piece for pre/post swim. They are waterproof, lightweight and warm so perfect for any outdoor activity whether it be SUP, blustery beach walks, camping or just pottering around in the garden. And of course, the perfect thing to slip on after a bracing cold swim. I am so proud of what we have created.”
She hasn’t watched any Fifty Shades movies and has no desire to benefit from them
Amelia’s husband plays the lead role of Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades franchise. In the franchise, Jamie is Dakota Johnson’s sexual partner. According to IMDb, the films in the franchise are ‘Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior, and graphic nudity, and for language.’
Amelia didn’t have any issue with Jamie playing the role of Christian Grey, and she even accompanied him to the movie premieres. However, Jamie told USA Today that Amelia couldn’t bring herself to watch the movies;
“She doesn’t want to watch this. She’s well aware that it’s pretend, but it’s probably not that comfortable to watch. There’s quite a long shot of my butt. I wasn’t hugely comfortable with it when I watched it. That’s my bum. Still my bum. Wow.”
The Fifty Shades movies gave Jamie a lot of publicity. However, Amelia doesn’t want to use this publicity to promote her music. She wants to achieve success on her merit. She told The Independent; “It’s hard to navigate my career around it and I don’t want to exploit the situation, but I’m trying to find my way.”
She once got fake married to ladies’ man Colin Farrell
In 2002, she was in a relationship with Colin Farrell, and the couple got married. The marriage ended four months later, and Amelia later revealed that it was a fake marriage. She told The Sun;
“We didn’t actually get married – it’s not actually true. I think we’ve been too polite to deny it. We had a ceremony on a beach in Tahiti that was by no means legal and we knew it wasn’t.”