Jamie Dornan is leaving Christian Grey behind. The actor is taking on a dramatic new role in Sacha Gervasi’s My Dinner with Hervé. The HBO film revolves around Gervasi’s interview with French actor Hervé Villechaize, who played Tattoo on the television series Fantasy Island, and ultimately killed himself.
“It’s just a very surreal story,” Gervasi shared with Ryan, revealing that 25 years ago he interviewed the actor while a junior reporter out of London. Gervasi recalled that he didn’t intend for the interview to be exciting and after beginning to wrap it up, Villechaize pulled a knife on him and told him he was ready to "cut the bulls--t." They then spent three days together in LA.
“He just spilled his guts,” Gervasi continued. “He looked me in the eye [at the end] and he had such pain and such hurt in his eyes and he said ‘Tell them I regret nothing’ and he walked off. … I didn’t quite put it all together … until I got a call from Kathy, his girlfriend who I had met, … and she said that Hervé had killed himself that morning.”
The story then became a fascinating one that Gervais turned into his pet project. He, however, created a new character for himself.
“Jamie is playing a separate character called Danny Tate because the film is dramatized based on the real facts of the story,” he explained of the Fifty Shades of Grey star, who auditioned for the role on the spot.
“Luckily, when I got the script, the character was already called Danny,” Jamie added. “That kind of took the pressure off a little bit … He just sort of sprung it on me … the first time [we talked]. … I did a Skype with Sasha and I thought it was going to be general 'Nice to meet you, let’s talk a little about the project' and then he just side-barred me and was like ‘Let’s start reading the scenes.’”
My Dinner with Hervé premieres on HBO on October 20. Watch back the full interview above for more.