Staff Reporter[/size]Fifty Shades of Aimee
Rags to riches is a tale often told on the streets of Rhy'Din. We see it so often - the na?ve ingenue who is thrown into our mish-mash of cultures and races who makes it big with some previously unthought-of idea and becomes a name to be reckoned with. We even see it with some of our native Rhy'Dinians. But how many of us have seen the lowest of the low on Rhy'Din's streets rise to international fame on any one of the myriad Earths?
Aimee Malone, star of Fifty Shades of Grey
and the upcoming sequel, Fifty Shades Darker
, is one such example, yet we know very little about her. Four years ago, she was a nobody, struggling to get by with what little she had on the mean streets of Rhy'Din; today, she is one of Hollywood's highest paid actresses, after winning the coveted role of Anastasia Steele opposite Jonathan Granger's Christian Grey in the big screen adaptation of E.L. James' bestselling novel, released last year to surprising critical success, as well as the expected commercial triumph. Though she now lives full time on Earth, pursuing her dream of becoming a respected actress on the big screen, she still maintains a fondness for the hub of the multiverse.
"Rhy'Din is always going to be my home," she says confidently, with a smile that transforms her face from Ana Steele's perpetually worried innocence to a glittering hint at the cheekiness that has become something of Aimee's trademark on Earth. "I grew up there, I have friends there. I won't stay on Earth forever, but right now, this is where I need to be."
And who can blame her, in all honesty? Hailed for her critically pleasing performance in Good Intentions
, released in May of this year, she is slowly but surely carving her name into the Hollywood Hall of Fame step by step, joining other Rhy'Din grown greats such as Jonathan Granger himself. But Rhy'Din is where she began, and Rhy'Din is where she insists she will end.
"Like I said, I grew up on Rhy'Din, in the Shambles. People kind of forget that the Shambles even exists, but for all it's troubles, it was a good place to grow up, I guess. Hard - every day was hard, but I made friends there that I wouldn't trade for all the money and fame in the multiverse."
The eldest of nine children, Aimee spent much of her youth working to help her mother pay the bills and feed her younger siblings, snatching time only when she was in her teens to turn her thoughts toward any kind of education. Thanks to the generosity of Rowena Millard, the proprietor of the Rose House Orphanage in the Shambles, Aimee discovered literature, and with the help of childhood friend, Randy Alvarez, brought her reading level up to a point where she could enjoy novels and plays without the need for assistance. It is this deep interest in the written word, she says, that sparked her interest in acting.
"Before I could read, I had no idea just how huge someone's imagination could be," she has said before, always open about her late start. "Suddenly, in my teens, this whole new world opened up in front of me, and I was hooked. I could hear the different voices in my head, I knew what they sounded like, what they looked like. And then the Shanachie Theater opened, and I scrimped and saved to go and see Waiting for Godot
. I remember sitting in the audience, being completely overwhelmed by the energy and passion the actors had, and I remember thinking to myself, this is what I want to do. I want to be like them."
Hard work paid off in the form of a scholarship to Rhy'Din University, where she enrolled to study Theater and English Literature, and shortly after, she dared to chance her arm by auditioning for next project promised by 21twelve Studios, again based here in Rhy'Din. Though she won the leading role in Getting Over Alyson
, sadly the studio folded before the film could be released, and the movie remains unedited, waiting for someone to pick it up for release.
"That was tough," she admits gracefully. "I mean, I thought I was on the fast track, I was gonna be a star. I'd gotten a lead role at my first audition - I was so full of myself, I must have been completely unbearable. And then the studio folded, and my dream was crushed. I didn't know what to do with myself, I had no idea where I went from there, and I had a tough time at uni for a few months, because I'd bigged myself up so much."
Little did she know her work at 21twelve had not gone entirely unnoticed. After a short stint as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera
at the Shanachie Theater, Aimee returned to her studies, only to receive an unexpected phone call from a casting director on Earth, suggesting that she might like to hop a portal and get herself to L.A. to audition for the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the then much-anticipated movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey
"Gods, I had no idea what to expect," she laughs, flicking her dark hair out of her eyes as she shakes her head. "I'd never even heard of the book before. I mean, I know it's huge now
, but at the time, I was just so pleased to be offered an audition, I went for it. My boyfriend helped me get the money together, and I headed over to L.A. to do an audition for a character I knew absolutely nothing about. I only found out after they offered me the part that Jon [Granger] had suggested me to the producers after he'd been cast."
Jonathan Granger, one of Rhy'Din's better known faces both here and on Earth, had been an investor in 21twelve Studios, as well as the leading man in Lelah Rivka's A Murder of Crowes
, the studio's one and only released feature, and had taken note of the hopeful young actress even as her dreams were crushed. He could have suggested anyone for the part of his new leading lady, yet reports suggest that he put his foot down and insisted that they audition Aimee Malone, a complete unknown, for a role that would catapult her into the limelight. As the news broke that the roles had, indeed, been cast, he is reported to have warned the media to keep an eye on Aimee Malone, expecting great things from her.
So having won the role, how did she cope with the risque material she was expected to perform, as well as the fanatical interest burgeoning around her? She laughs again, rolling her eyes. "I'll be honest, I wasn't too keen on getting my kit off on the big screen, especially in some of those scenes. I mean, some of that stuff goes way beyond my personal limits, you know? But the director and the crew were fantastic, so supportive, and I know I was incredibly blessed to be working with Jon. He taught me so much about the filming process and the PR campaigns that followed it. I owe him so much, and his wife, too. She certainly knows how to keep you grounded.
"When it comes to the fans ... How can I put this?" She chuckles once again, her pale face lighting up in a faint blush. "They're the most passionate body of people I have ever met. When I was cast, there was so much speculation about me, and I freely admit, I stopped reading it pretty quickly. Everyone who's read the books has a really clear image of what Ana looks like, what she sounds like, and I don't conform to a lot of people's views, which led to a bit of bitchiness aimed at me for a long time. But as I say, they're incredibly passionate about these books, these characters, and I've been very lucky to have been welcomed by them into the fantasy world E.L. James created for them."
Between the end of filming and the release that would change her life forever, Aimee returned to Rhy'Din to complete her studies and graduate with a first-class BA in August 2012, an accomplishment she remains very proud of. "Not bad for a girl who didn't learn to read until she was sixteen, huh?"
With the critical and commercial success of Fifty Shades of Grey
, Aimee Malone has gone from rags to riches in a very literal sense, becoming one of Hollywood's highest paid young actresses with roles in indie flick The Only Way Is My Way
, and the critical drama Good Intentions
. She will be returning to the big screen on the 8th November in Fifty Shades Darker
, the sequel to the first Fifty Shades ...
In Fifty Shades Darker
, we rejoin Ana and Christian as they pick up the pieces following the appalling fight that saw them part ways at the end of the first film, and make a new agreement with one another. With a wider cast to enjoy, including Stockard Channing as Christian's mother, Kevin Bacon as Ana's smarmy new boss, Jack, and Amanda Seyfried as Leila, Christian's former sub, Fifty Shades Darker
delivers on all the promises made by the first film, and lays the groundwork for the third and final installment of the trilogy, due to go into production as of March 2013.
Join The Rhy'Din Post
at the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker
on Friday, November 8th, at the Shanachie Theater. You are guaranteed more than a glimpse at the stars of the show, as well as many of the known faces in and around Rhy'Din itself as they gather to attend the very first showing here on Aimee Malone's home turf. Rhy'Din's very own Earth-bound Cinderella will be there to sign autographs and pose for pictures, along with her handsome co-star, Jonathan Granger.
Not bad at all for a girl who grew up on the mean streets of Rhy'Din.
Fifty Shades Darker will be premiering on Friday 8th November, over on the Shanachie Theater board. The details are to be found here, and will be updated on Friday to include a description of the event.))