It's hard to imagine anyone but Dakota Johnson playing Anastasia Steele in the erotic Fifty Shades movies. But, much like any other role, many actors, including Lucy Hale, auditioned for Fifty Shades Of Grey. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Hale opened up about her experience trying out for the film, and as you might imagine, it wasn't for the faint of heart.
"I was very young," Hale recalled when speaking of the time she read for the part of Anastasia Steele. "It had to have been, well, not 10 years ago, but it was a while ago, and I was mortified." The Fifty Shades film series, which is based on a collection of erotic romance novels by E.L. James, began auditions for the first film in 2013, which means the 31-year-old actor was around 24 when she auditioned.
Hale went on to reveal the audition was a bit unique, as she didn't have to read actual scenes from the movie. Instead, she was asked to recite a "very sexually forward monologue" for her audition. "I didn't really even know what I was saying in the audition," Hale admitted. "I was a little naive about it all."
The AP interview wasn't the first time Hale has talked about her Fifty Shades audition experience. She went into further detail about what she read for the part to MTV News in 2014. "It was a two-page monologue of exactly what you would think it would be," she said, explaining the scene involved her character going into graphic detail as she told her friends about a recent "sexcapade."
At the time, Hale was focused on playing Aria Montgomery in ABC's Pretty Little Liars and advancing her budding country music career. The Fifty Shades role would have been a major change for Hale, but that was part of the reason she was drawn to it. "I was just interested in doing something risky, and doing something a little different than my character on PLL," Hale explained to MTV News. "It took me out of my comfort zone."
Although the part of Anastasia Steele ended up going to Johnson, Hale said trying out for the role was a positive experience overall. "It was good for me," Hale explained to The Associated Press. "Because it scared the crap out of me to do an audition [like that]."
Since her awk Fifty Shades audition, Hale moved on to playing the lead in the CW TV series Katy Keene. She also nabbed the lead in the 2020 film A Nice Girl Like You, which, funnily enough, led to her attending a sex conference to prep for her role, so perhaps her Fifty Shades audition experience helped her after all.