On the Town with Shinan: Shooting 'Fifty Shades' in the wake of 'Gone Girl' and Ryan Reynolds' baby name

By Shinan Govani


A very heavy-duty reshoot was on in the west coast, and it was time to shave, time to snog and time to bring out the socks.

Jamie Dornan – who plays the wily, irresistible Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey – was the first star to zip into Vancouver this week to film some last-hurrah footage related to the flick. On arrival at the airport, the actor looked more like an extra from the show Girls, with his ample face-scruff and casual garb, and agenda item number one was clearly to morph into the clean-cut seducer that he's meant to play. Spotted just one day after arriving: hipster whiskers gone, GQ suit on.

Meanwhile, the film's director, the arty Sam Taylor-Johnson, had her ankle strategy in place, one would presume. Talking about her process, while she makes the much-anticipated kink-fest that is her new movie, she revealed recently that she makes a point of changing her socks at the same time every day, mid-afternoon. Sam got the tip from a fellow director, James L. Brooks, the man behind such films asTerms of Endearment. Asking for his movie-set advice, as she's just revealed in Harper's Bazaar, he told her, “The most important advice I can give you is that you should change your socks at three o'clock where you look like you're doing something, but it gives you some thought space.”

The director amply absorbed the advice and, hopefully, for the rabid fanbase thatFifty Shadesboasts, it will all bode well. At the top of Sam's to-do list, while things got going again in the Canadian city that's sub'ing in for Seattle in the film? (The principle photography happened earlier this year) A long smooching scene between Jamie and his leading lady, Dakota Johnson. That shoot went down in Stanley Park, near Beaver Lake, and it was long. And languorous. And temperature-raising.

For anybody counting – and plenty were – the stars were also spotted doing their thing in footage shot at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the University of British Colombia and an office tower on West Georgia Street.

Behind the scenes, by the way? There is much speculation about the financial prospects of Fifty Shades of Grey, coming, as it is, on the heels of Gone Girl. Though a wildly different genre, that movie is also a provocative story about a relationship, based on a mega-bestseller of its own. Gone Girl debuted to a sturdy $37.5 million in its first weekend, stayed #1 for two weeks, and drew an audience that was relatively balanced (40-percent male according to the trades.) Can Fifty Shades repeat that formula? What Gone Girl had going for it was guy-friendly director David Fincher, not to mention a proven star like Ben Affleck. Fifty Shades can't exactly tout that, but there is no proving its popularity, and its release date on Valentine's Day may just help

One top executive was quoted as saying this week that the V-Day opening will, indeed, tip the scales for less willing dudes: “If a woman really insists, the guy will go.”

In Toronto, meanwhile:

Operation Charm was in motion on Bloor Street, on Friday, when Ryan Reynolds hosted a luncheon for a cause very close to his heart. In town to be inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame (Oct. 18), the hunk had arranged to mix in a little charity: an intimate affair for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He sits on its board and has been fiercely committed to Parkinson's Disease research ever since his own father, Jim Reynolds, was diagnosed with the disease.

“Sweet.” “Funny.” These just some of the adjectives being flung about Ryan at the event, held inside the cafe at Holt Renfrew. There, he ably mixed with people like TV personality George Stroumboulopoulos and young socialites like Amy Burstyn-Fritz. And when the conversation turned, at one point, to his forthcoming baby with wife Blake Lively, Ryan admitted that he was really excited, and joked that he was going to name the baby “Excalibur.”

At least we think he was joking.

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