Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, who’ll star as Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey in the adaptation of E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, is clearly the person you want sitting next to you at a dinner party. She knows how to keep a conversation lively, as Jessica Shaw and Tim Stack discovered Monday when Harden, who’s now starring on ABC’s comedy Trophy Wife, popped by Entertainment Weekly Radio’s TV Editors Hour. In addition to explaining why she wanted to hate her Trophy Wife co-star Malin Akerman but couldn’t, she also dishes on her first time reading Fifty Shades of Grey: “When I was cast in it, I hadn’t read it yet, so I did download it and I did shame-read it, and I don’t know why, because I’m like, ‘Hello, you’re gonna know I’m in it anyway, so I have to read it for research.'” (Her prep also included some online research that she prefers not to elaborate on, she joked.)
As for shooting the movie, which will hit theaters in February 2015, it wasn’t too scandalous — for her. “I play Mama Grey, so it’s like, unless you’re in the red playroom with a toy in your hand and flesh in your face, it’s sort of like any other movie that you could do. I throw the dinner parties. ‘Hello, let’s sit down to dinner,'” she said. “But the story is so intriguing, and I think so many people have read it, and it is erotic. … I like looking and thinking, ‘Why did we anthropologically select for erotic pleasure in pain?’ It’s really interesting to me. And E L James has the answer.”
Harden also revealed one fun fact about Jamie Dornan, the Irish actor cast as her infamous son Christian: “Behind the scenes, he’ll jump into an Irish ditty, or he was singing a lot of Rita Ora,” she offered. Ora plays Mia Grey in the film. “He’s like [in Irish brogue], ‘Oh, you got that in brain now.’ We’re like, ‘Come back to America, because you got a scene in a minute.’ ‘But it’s in my brain!’ He’s sweet.”
Listen to the interview below.
The TV Editors Hour airs Monday through Friday at noon ET on Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM 105).