Charlie Hunnam calls "50 Shades of Grey" exit "heartbreaking"

Charlie Hunnam attends the season 6 premiere of FX's "Sons Of Anarchy" on Sept. 7, 2013, in Hollywood, Calif. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Charlie Hunnam says it's "heartbreaking" not being able to star in the upcoming "50 Shades of Grey" film adaptation.

The "Sons of Anarchy" star walked away from the role of handsome businessman Christian Grey in October, just one month after E.L. James -- the author of the BDSM novel on which the film is based -- announced that Hunnam and Dakota Johnson had been cast in the lead roles. Johnson is still set to portray the initially timid protagonist Anastasia Steele.

Scheduling conflicts were cited when he exited the film. He also said at the time that he "had some family stuff going on."

Now, in a recent interview with Life&Style magazine, the 34-year-old actor admits that it was tough having to leave the role, which has since gone to Jamie Dornan.

"I felt like I had an interesting take on that character and felt like I could have done a good job of playing Christian Grey, otherwise I wouldn't have taken it on in the first place," Hunnam said.

He added, "When you put the time into something like that and a character comes alive in your mind, it's heartbreaking not to be able to play him...It was definitely kind of heartbreaking having to say goodbye to that character and not bring it to life."

If he really wants the role that bad, he can always try out for the musical parody version.

"50 Shades of Grey" will arrive in theaters on Feb. 13, 2015, just in time for Valentine's Day.

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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