Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan)
The role: A man with a complicated past, Christian is described as the ”epitome of male beauty” in the book. A successful businessman, he has a dark side in the world of BDSM. When he meets the shy Anastasia Steele, her inexperience sexually and his physical attraction to her makes him develop feelings that he isn’t fully prepared to deal with.
The actor: The Irish model and actor landed the coveted title role after Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam dropped out. Perhaps best known for his work as a Calvin Klein underwear model, Dornan has had small roles in films like Marie Antoinette and on TV in Once Upon a Time, but this is obviously his biggest role to date. Learn more about Jamie Dornan here.
Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson)
The role: Highly studious and focused, Anastasia is a senior English literature major in college at the beginning of the trilogy. She is utterly attracted to Christian but at first is frightened by his highly sexual lifestyle. Though reluctant at first, Ana enters Christian’s dark world and is able to explore different sides and passions until it all becomes too much for her to handle.
The actor: The former Miss Golden Globe is the daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. She starred on the short-lived Fox comedy Ben and Kate and had small roles in The Social Network, 21 Jump Street, and The Five-Year Engagement.
Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey (Marcia Gay Harden)
The role: Grace is the adoptive mother of Christian and his siblings. She is a pediatrician and was the doctor who treated Christian after his biological mother committed suicide.
The actor: Harden won the Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in 2000 for Pollock and a Tony Award in 2009 for God of Carnage. Currently starring on ABC’s Trophy Wife, Harden’s extensive list of film roles includes The First Wives Club, Mystic River, and Into the Wild.
José Rodriguez (Victor Rasuk)
The role: Anastasia and José consider themselves kindred spirits, friends since freshman year of college. José’s romantic interests in Anastasia pose a threat to Christian, even though she only sees him as a friend and not a romantic rival. Because of this, José and Christian have a tense relationship throughout the series.
The actor: Rasuk’s breakout role came as the title character of 2002’s Raising Victor Vargas. He went on to costar with Heath Ledger in Lords of Dogtown, and was seen in Stop-Loss, Che, Jobs, and How to Make it in America. He has a role in the Godzilla film scheduled for release in 2014.
Kate Kavanagh (Eloise Mumford)
The role: Kate is the polar opposite of Fifty Shades‘ heroine Anastasia — outgoing, confident, and strong-willed. Kate comes from a wealthy family and has been roommates with Anastasia since freshman year of college. Christian and Anastasia meet because Kate gets too sick for a job interview and sends Anastasia in her place. At first supportive of their relationship, Kate grows suspicious when Anastasia becomes uncharacteristically moody and begins to clash with Christian.
The actor: After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Mumford understudied Elisabeth Moss in the Broadway revival of Speed-the-Plow before starring on the short-lived TV shows The River and Lone Star.
Elliot Grey (Luke Grimes)
The role: The older adoptive brother of Christian, Elliot helps him pick up a drunk Anastasia one night and meets Kate, with whom he later starts a relationship. Affectionate and laid-back, Elliot and Christian didn’t get along when they were kids but have grown closer.
The actor: The Ohio native is probably best known as illegitimate son Ryan Lafferty on Brothers and Sisters and more recently has appeared on True Blood. He was also seen in Taken 2 as the boyfriend of Bryan Mills’ (Liam Neeson) daughter.
Mia Grey (Rita Ora)
The role: Mia is Christian’s bubbly and outgoing younger adoptive sister.
The actor: The British pop singer is relatively new to the acting world, having only appeared in Fast & Furious 6 and as herself in an episode of 90210. The singer’s first album Ora debuted at number one in the United Kingdom.
Jason Taylor (Max Martini)
The role: Taylor is the head of Christian’s security team and most trusted bodyguard. Taylor reminds Anastasia of her stepdad Ray, as they both are men of few words. Taylor is a thoughtful and kind man towards Anastasia and enjoys classical music.
The actor: Martini got his start in film costarring with Jodie Foster in Contact and Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. He was on two seasons of CSI: Miami before starring in all four seasons of the CBS drama The Unit.
Carla May Wilks (Jennifer Ehle)
The role: Anastasia describes her forgetful mother as having ”the attention span of a goldfish,” constantly trying to turn hobbies into business ventures. Her financial irresponsibility worries Anastasia, but she visits her mother in Georgia to clear her mind from Christian, even though he follows her and impresses Carla with his good looks and wealth.
The actor: The actress has had a celebrated career on stage, winning Tonys for The Real Thing and The Coast of Utopia. Ehle is still probably best known for the BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. She later played Geoffrey Rush’s wife in The King’s Speech (also with Firth) and last year was seen as a CIA officer in Zero Dark Thirty.
Ray Steele (Callum Keith Rennie)
The role: Ray is the stepfather of Anastasia and the ex-husband of her mother Carla. A widow when he met her mother, Anastasia considers Ray to be her ”real” father.
The actor: The U.K. native is best known as Leoben Conoy on Battlestar Galactica. He’s also appeared on the small screen in The Killing, Californication, and the short-lived NBC adaptation of The Firm.
Bob Adams (Dylan Neal)
The role: Bob is the fourth husband of Anastasia’s mother Carla. Though much older than his current wife, Bob provides a stable and grounded home near Savannah, Ga.
The actor: The Canadian actor currently stars with Andie McDowell in Hallmark Channel’s Cedar Grove. Other TV credits include The Bold and the Beautiful, Dawson’s Creek, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
Sam Taylor-Johnson, director
The role: It was announced in June 2013 that Taylor-Johnson beat out the (rumored) likes of Angelina Jolie, Stephen Soderbergh, Joe Wright, and Gus Van Sant to direct the erotic adaptation.
The actor: Taylor-Johnson is best known for directing the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, where she met her future husband, Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.