The Canyons, Lindsay Lohan’s latest acting effort alongside adult film star James Deen, is getting a lot of press lately. Unfortunately the attention the film seems to be drawing is more about Lohan’s on-set antics and Deen’s porny past than the content or quality of the film itself. That’s probably because no one has seen it. Rejected by both Sundance and SXSW (due to “quality issues“—ouch), the film, described by one SXSW organizer as having “an ugliness and a deadness to it,” may well end up going straight to the internet. It isn’t the most promising jumping off point for Deen.
And yet someone, somewhere has floated his name as a possible candidate for the role of Christian Grey in the film adaptation of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. To call the book “popular” would be a gross understatement—16 million copies have been sold in the US alone—and it was only a matter of time before someone snapped up the film rights (Universal paid James $5 million for them). Now the fun lies in guessing which actors will take on the *ahem* physically demanding roles of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.
If you were hiring based on experience alone, James Deen would be your guy—he’s already got 1,300 “physically demanding” roles under his belt! And though he says he hasn’t yet read Fifty Shades (I knew he and I had something in common), he’s definitely interested in the role. “It seems like a character I could have a lot of fun with,” said Deen in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I’ve heard really mixed responses about it, like, ‘Oh, it’s a cheesy Twilight wannabe’… [but] I feel like it could be a really cool, fun role to work on.”
The actor is aware that his chances may not be good: “I’m that porn guy,” admits Deen. “As I understand, the rumors [about who the role might go to] are some guy who’s on a TV show on USA [Deen means White Collar's Matt Bomer], some model dudes, and Ryan Gosling. I feel like me versus Ryan Gosling? There’s an easy decision on where the studio is going to go. But if I got offered the role, I would definitely consider it. If they wanted me to audition, I would absolutely go in and read for them.”
According to EW, the studio is keeping quiet about casting but my instincts tell me that getting Gosling to sign on would be difficult—it doesn’t really fit with his current career trajectory. But Deen may have some real competition from James Franco who recently said that Fifty Shades “sounds interesting, I heard Gus [Van Sant] might direct it. If he directed it, I’d do it.” Huh. With Van Sant at the helm, this could be one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book.