E.L. James has admitted she avoids reading online commentary about the big screen adaptation of her smash hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey, confessing she had to "get off Twitter for a couple of days" after Charlie Hunnam was cast in the movie.
The British author has a loyal following on Twitter and is a regular tweeter, often using her account to put the truth out amid countless rumours about the film version of Fifty Shades.
James admits though she had to have a break from social networking after the backlash over Charlie's casting earlier this year.
"It was very mixed and I had to get off Twitter for a couple of days," the author tells Entertainment Weekly of the reaction. "I wasn’t surprised. People hate change. I thought there would be a few people upset, regardless of whom we had chosen. It was intense, but people came around to it".
She added that the news that Charlie had left the project, just a few weeks later "was disappointing, but it is what it is. I wish him well. And now we have Jamie [Dornan], and that’s great. It’s been interesting with Jamie, [the fan reaction] has been so positive".
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson (Twitter/Entertainment Weekly)
Of the book's fiercely protective fans, who have made their own trailers for the movie and started petitions after Charlie was cast, James admits "they hold me responsible for everything".
She adds that she doesn't read a lot of the online comments, revealing that "it kind of freaks me out. I’ve avoided reading most of the stuff for a long time for my own self-preservation", adding that she feels responsible though for any reaction the film provokes:
"I do. Especially coming from a [place of] fandom myself. It’s such a weird place to be".
The writer also spoke out on the criticism she's received from some factions of the BDSM community for Christian’s background and the assertion that he engages in his sexual behaviour only because he is damaged.
"It’s fascinating", James admits of the debate. "Christian kind of evolved in front of me. Of the three or four people I know who do this kind of thing [BDSM], one of them has a very, very dark past. Really dark. But I totally get that there are people out there who don’t have to have a broken childhood to like a good f—ing spanking".