Jamie Dornan – the actor we’re used to seeing half-dressed as an intense Christian Grey – has talked about the loss of his mother to pancreatic cancer. The Fifty Shades Of Grey actor’s mother, Lorna, died from the disease when he was just 16-years-old. Since, twenty years has passed and Dornan says, his day-to-day is still affected.
“There has been no bigger impact in my life than the death of my mother,” he told BBC. “You never get over it and now that I have kids myself I see they don’t have a grandmother from my side—that’s an odd thing.”
“I often say this but you don’t really know what the effects are of losing someone, particularly when you’re so young,” he continued. “They are daily and continue to have an effect—you feel that they are manifesting over time in a way you didn’t expect them to.”
Now the father of two little girls with his wide Amelia Warner, Dornan joined the NIPanC Foundation so he could use his movie star platform to help people become aware of the early symptoms of pancreatic cancer. “That could have been the tiny window where something could have been done about it to save them.”
“I feel privileged to play some part in drawing attention to this illness and I feel quite determined to try and help in whatever way I can to change the statistics on this illness.”
Dornan, who experienced the hardship of losing a parent and felt its effects daily, draws comparisons with Prince Harry. Just last year, the Duke of Sussex talked candidly for the first time about how he came “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions” because his emotions over his mother’s death weren’t dealt with. “I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well,” he said. He took up boxing, thinking the hits would let out the aggression he was feeling. “That really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
“My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” he continued. “[I thought] it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back… “And then [I] started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.”
“I just couldn’t put my finger on it,” he said. “I just didn’t know what was wrong with me.” Concluding the interview, Prince Harry noted the huge merit in talking about your issues and that “the only thing about keeping it quiet is that it’s only ever going to make it worse.”