A selection of work from the London-based illustrator and comic book artist Christian Ward. The upper set, Live For Myself, Answer To Nobody, was for a Steve McQueen tribute show, and the latter trio is inspired by the science of parallel universes and quantum mechanics.

Keep up with Christian on Tumblr and with MP on Facebook.

8 insanely hot sex scenes that MUST make the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie:

Don’t get your hopes up for a Christian Grey “popsicle” sighting.

When Universal Studios premiered the first footage of Fifty Shades of Greyat CinemaCon late last month, the consensus among journalists was that the movie seemed relatively tame. (“The film looks to be more romantic than sexual,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter; “the studio went against expectations and highlighted the romance between the two leads,“ said Entertainment Weekly.) Had director Sam Taylor-Wood ever read E.L. James? Well, of course — but if she wants to keep the movie from getting slapped with the box-office-killing NC-17 rating, she has to toe some tricky lines. (Producers are insisting that the final product will be rated R.) What can viewers expect from this adaptation, then? Below, looks at 8 of the book’s sexiest scenes, and speculates which will make it onto the big screen unchanged, and which will be tamed down for theaters. (Editor’s Note: Because the Motion Picture Association of America — the trade association that rates movies — is notoriously secretive about its ratings process, we gamed the ratings based on what sex scenes the MPAA has approved/not approved in the past.)

1. The Elevator Make-Out
The book version:
Anastasia waits more than 50 agonizing pages before Christian finally kisses her, but the wait is worth it: He pushes her against the wall of an elevator, pins her hands above her head, and pulls her in. When the elevator doors open a minute later, he breaks off the clinch as suddenly as he began it.
The R-rated version: This is one of the most intense scenes in Fifty Shades, but with so much left to the imagination, it’s not only R-friendly — it’s practically PG-13. The movie is off to a good start.

2. The First Time They Bone
The book version:
Anastasia, 21, has never had an orgasm. The first time she’s with Christian? She has three. But the scene is strictly vanilla: Christian undresses her slowly, caresses her all over, then puts on a condom and takes her virginity. That all happens in a bed.
The R-rated version: Anastasia’s multiple orgasms are likely to be an issue with the MPAA, even if they’re shot from the waist up. Kimberly Peirce, director of Boys Don’t Cry, was famously instructed to shorten scenes of Chloe Sevigny’s face during orgasm. Scenes of Tara Reid’s O-face were also cut from American Pie, and last year, director Jill Soloway was told to tone down the female pleasure in Afternoon Delight. Sadly, to get an R, Anastasia might have to enjoy herself a little less. (Also, the line “I want to fuck your mouth, Anastasia” probably won’t make the cut.)

3. The Bathtub Blowjob
The book version:
In the book, this is the first time Anastasia really sees Christian naked. A sensual bath turns into something more when he rubs her the right way, and she returns the favor — orally.
The R-rated version: Bathtubs are a great trick for escaping an NC-17 rating; the filmmakers can always add more bubbles to hide the naughty bits. The question is, how much will we see of Anastasia’s “very own Christian Grey flavor popsicle?”The MPAA doesn’t object to full-on male nudity if it’s a comedy punchline, as in Forgetting Sarah Marshall or The Hangover. But because life isn’t fair (and often is sexist), the ratings board considers a naked man far more obscene than a naked woman. An R-rated version of Ana and Christian’s bathtub scene would probably resemble the swimming-pool sex between James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson in Spring Breakers — lots of tangled limbs underwater. Or it may just be Anastasia’s head ducking down, while Christian delivers the line, “Don’t you have a gag reflex?”

4. The Silk-Tie Cunnilingus
The book version:
Christian restrains Ana’s arms with a grey silk tie (as seen on the book’s cover) before going down on her for the first time.
The R-rated version: Here’s where speculation gets tricky. Historically, any extended scene of a man performing oral sex on a woman gets slapped with an NC-17. The film Young Adam is a good example; it was disqualified for an R because the scene of Ewan McGregor going down on Tilda Swinton was considered too long. There are exceptions: In 2010, the film Blue Valentine (which has one very hot and one very sad cunnilingus scene) appealed its NC-17 rating and was released with an R. But just last year, actress Evan Rachel Wood took to Twitter to complain about a scene that was cut from her movie Charlie Countryman, costarring Shia LaBeouf. (“Someone felt that seeing a man give a woman oral sex made people ‘uncomfortable,’ but the scenes in which people are murdered by having their heads blown off remained intact and unaltered,” she said.) On the other hand, Mila Kunis got to experience Justin Timberlake’s tongue skills in the R-rated Friends with Benefits, and she went down on Natalie Portman in Black Swan. There’s reason to believe that Hollywood is getting more open-minded about this particular sex act — but don’t be surprised if most of the focus is on that stupid tie. If we do get to see Christian going down on Anastasia, it will likely be for a few brief moments.

5. The Red Room Debut
The book version:
This is the first kinky scene to take place in Christian’s luxury sex dungeon, what Anastasia has dubbed The Red Room of Pain. The billionaire orders his protégé to strip down, shackles her with chains attached to the ceiling, and makes her come by flicking her body with a leather riding crop. Eventually, they move to the bed, where Christian cuffs Ana’s wrists with plastic cable ties.
The R-rated version: Hopefully the cable ties don’t make it into any version, since that could lead to copycat fan disasters. (Those things can cut off circulation, people.) But light S&M is perfectly acceptable in an R-rated film, and nothing here pushes the boundary too far. Also, Christian wears blue jeans for most of the scene, lending it an air of modesty. As long as the scene doesn’t go on too long — like the original S&M sex scenes in Monster’s Ball and The Wolf of Wall Street, which were shortened to get a pass — this Red Room scene is ready for theaters.

6. The Deluxe Spanking with Ben Wa Balls
The book version
: Christian presents “two round, shiny, silver balls” to Anastasia, putting them in her mouth for lubrication before moving them to another part of her anatomy — her vagina. He proceeds to give Anastasia a good spanking, with the balls creating pleasurable sensations deep inside her. Then they have sex. Again.
The R-rated version: It’s possible for a hot-and-heavy spanking scene to get an R rating: Maggie Gyllenhaal had a memorable one with James Spader in Secretary, and Keira Knightley went under Michael Fassbender’s hand in A Dangerous Method. As for the insertion of the ben wa balls, that will probably be left to the imagination in an R-rated Fifty Shades. The MPAA tends to frown on foreign objects being inserted in the body, like the infamous butter scene from Last Tango in Paris (rated X/NC-17), the climactic dildo scene in Jared Leto’s Requiem for a Dream (edited out to get an R) — and even a cut scene from Jackass: The Movie in which Ryan Dunn put a toy car in his butt. (Those were all anal scenes, but the same principle applies.) Regardless, one can only hope that Anastasia’s narration includes the line My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils.”

7. The Period Sex
The book version
: After some foreplay in a hotel bathroom, Christian pushes Anastasia against the sink and pulls out her tampon. Hot period sex ensues.
The R-rated version:
The MPAA sometimes gets squeamish about vaginal blood — it was one of the many reasons that Bertolucci’s The Dreamers received an NC-17 — but director Alan Ball got away with showing a bloody tampon in his R-rated coming-of-age film Towelhead. As long as there’s no close-up shot, it should be R-rated. Do you want to see that close-up shot, anyway? No.

8. The Sensory-Deprivation Sex
The book version
: In the Red Room, Christian shackles Anastasia to his four-poster bed, covers her eyes with a mask, and puts iPod headphones in her ears. As this song plays on a loop, he caresses her with a fur glove, hits her lightly with a flogger, performs oral sex, then finishes off inside her.
The R-rated version:
Occasionally, sex scenes are labeled NC-17 simply for being too intense. But there’s hope: Eva Green’s high-energy (and 3D!) sex scene in 300: Rise of an Empire had no trouble qualifying for an R rating. Given that this is the climax of Christian and Ana’s affair, it’ll likely get its due play — and it’ll for sure be a highlight.


The dawning of Dornan: why we can't get enough of Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan

Oh, Jamie Dornan! If ever there were a man to make a Mother Superior smash stained glass, it is the actor about to become the BDSM-loving billionaire Christian Grey. The first Fifty Shades film, based on the EL James “clit lit” novels about a virginal student who falls for Grey, is released on Valentine’s Day. When that day arrives, the 32-year-old former model from County Down will find himself the most lusted-after male in the West. 2015 will see the dawning of Dornan.

It doesn’t matter that Salman Rushdie declared the source material so dire it makes Twilight look like Tolstoy. He’s right, of course: the favourite phrase of the protagonist Ana is “Holy cow!”, she likens oral sex to enjoying “a Christian Grey-flavoured popsicle” and barely a page passes without a mention of her “inner goddess” (at one point, this goddess “jumps up and down with cheer-leading pom-poms shouting ‘yes’”). But such is the Fifty Shades hype that the film can only open to packed cinemas. Dornan and Dakota Johnson, who plays Ana, will become household names. To be fair, successful franchises have been built on less: Pirates of the Caribbean was based on a fairground ride.

Already there are two biographies seeking to capitalise on the anticipated adoration coming Dornan’s way. Both have brooding cover shots, all steely eyes and sharp cheekbones, and scant detail that a swift Google search wouldn’t provide eked out as much as possible. Predictably, the first — by Louise Ford — is called “Fifty Shades of Jamie Dornan”. Alice Montgomery, who managed the remarkable feat of turning the first 19 years of Harry Styles’s life into a 256-page book, is the author of the second, Shades of Desire. The Pulitzer probably isn’t in either authors’ grasp (hey, join the club!), but that’s never been a bar to sales.

Not so long ago, any mention of Dornan’s name was preceded by “Keira Knightley’s model ex”. Soon he will need no such description. In fact, his past declaration that he will never “be as famous as her” is likely to prove untrue. So how has he gone from posing in his Calvins to wielding a whip in the most anticipated film of 2015? It’s all down to the Dornan package (no, not that sort, you dirty perv…).

The look

Let’s get this out of the way first. In a completely respectful, non-objectifying, I-know-he’s-a-person-not-just-a-body way, Dornan is hot. Leave your husband hot. Phwoar Factor Infinity. Dornan’s modelling career saw him front campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Dior and Calvin Klein and you can’t be the man who sells a million pants without being one of the Genetic 0.001 per cent.

Like every good male model (I know this from watching Zoolander), he has a signature look. Known as the “Dornan furrow”, it’s the trademark piercing stare that he deploys in the Fifty Shades trailer. It’s also in evidence in the torture porn BBC drama The Fall, where he plays Paul Spector — a grief counsellor and father/ sexually perverse serial killer.

Dornan had a model nickname too: the “Golden Torso”, bestowed in a low-brow moment by The New York Times. Because, yes, there’s a body attached to that handsome face. You might think, Googling a few images (Jamie Pornan, if you will), that this is an especially attractive body but I’d be too busy appreciating his personality to notice that.

Somehow he has stopped extreme good looks from inflating his ego, and is still insecure about his body. Appearing on Graham Norton, he revealed his embarrassment about his walk — fuelled by the director of The Fall asking if he was trying his walk out as “a character thing”. Dornan has both the bounce of Tigger and a habit of taking tiny steps.

He was so insecure, he practised walking with his wife. But it was a dance coach on Fifty Shades — hired to teach him the foxtrot — who finally fixed Dornan’s gait. “He told me walk ‘heel to toe’. No one had told me that before — I was doing toe to more toe.”

The inner god

Talk to anyone who’s met Dornan and, after they’ve stopped the wistful looks and the drooling, they’ll tell you how sweet he is. Personable. Potty-mouthed. Self-deprecating. His friends from back home in Northern Ireland help him stay grounded; one texted him after he won the part of Christian Grey: “Congratulations on the role. That’s going to be disgusting. I won’t watch it.”

He’s also honest about Hollywood. Explaining how filming the Fifty Shades sex scenes was as much of an aphrodisiac as chronic halitosis, Dornan said: “The reality of it is burly men you don’t know very well three feet from your face, which isn’t how you usually have sex.” Well, speak for yourself, Jamie.

Even though he claims that he can see a part of himself in Grey — “There’s always something about any character you play that you are drawn to because you feel that it relates to something within you” — Dornan really seems like the anti-Christian Grey. He doesn’t seem the type to hand his partner a sadomasochistic health and safety checklist, telling her what she can and cannot do, nor to confess to watching her sleep; he’s a self-proclaimed feminist.  He also admits that he’s too much of a typical Guardian reader to have read Fifty Shades before the part came his way.

It’s telling that Knightley still has kind words for her ex. Asked in a recent interview about his Fifty Shades role, she giggled. “Well he’s a very good-looking boy. I’m sure the girls will love him.” They already do, Keira.

The provenance

Dornan grew up near Belfast. He is the youngest child of an obstetrician father and has two older sisters. His youth was marked by tragedy. At 16 he lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. A year later, four schoolfriends were killed in a car crash.

He’s a long way from the Hollywood hunk of stereotype. He drinks Guinness and regular Coke, listens to The Kinks and loves Oscar Wilde. And unlike the cool control of Christian Grey, Dornan has a fidgety hyperactivity — “a doctor once told me I have abnormal levels of adrenaline in my system”.

The bad news for anyone hoping to be the Ana to Dornan’s Christian is that he’s already taken. Last year he married Amelia Warner, and the pair live in Notting Hill with their one-year-old daughter. A singer-songwriter who performs under the name Slow Moving Millie, Warner made the cover of The Smiths’s Please Please Please which was used in a John Lewis Christmas ad. Before Dornan, she dated Colin Farrell, having a faux-marriage ceremony with him on a beach. Dornan describes his wife as “a hugely understanding person” but says they won’t be watching Fifty Shades on repeat at home.

The transformation

Modelling was not Dornan’s dream. “I’ve never felt massively satisfied from standing there while someone takes my photograph,” he has admitted. But making the move from clothes horse to celluloid is tough. “There’s a huge stigma attached to that phrase model turned actor.”

His first proper acting role was rocking a triangular hat as a love interest of Kirsten Dunst in Marie Antoinette. Later, there was the part of the sheriff in Once Upon a Time, a series that did well in the US. But his breakthrough came in 2012 when he auditioned to play a police officer in The Fall. In a stroke of luck, he was asked to read for the male lead instead. After a six-hour audition he got the part. “I worked my dick off for that role,” he has said. It became BBC2’s highest-rated drama launch in a decade, helped kill off Dornan’s pretty-boy image that risked him being for ever the romantic lead and earned him a Bafta nomination.

Now he’s moved on to another proud pervert — just one who restricts that perversion to consensual sex. “I’d like to stop tying women up,” Dornan joked in the Guardian earlier this year.

He has done his research for Fifty Shades, though, visiting a sex dungeon. There he watched a “dominant” with two of his “submissives”; the dominant became the “kink adviser” on the film (oh, let that be a job title in the credits). Dornan told Elle magazine: “I was like: ‘Come on, guys, I know I’m not paying for this but I am expecting a show’.” He incurred the wrath of a few in the BDSM community (“Stop biting the sex hand that feeds you,” was a typical comment) after revealing that, on his return to his wife and newborn, he had “a long shower before touching either of them”.

Dornan says he has a better choice of roles now, and that he’s no longer forced to take any part — he can just “play golf and change nappies” for a while if nothing appeals. He has just filmed The 9th Life of Louis Drax, also out next year. First, though, there’s that small matter of the Fifty Shades film. Ladies: Mr Dornan will see you soon. Holy cow!