Christian Trevelyan Grey is the male protagonist of the trilogy and Anastasia's love interest. To the outside world, he appears as a young, handsome, business-savvy, and charming man. However, he has a "dark side": he secretly practices BDSM.
Christian was originally born in Detroit. His mother Ella was addicted to drugs, and worked as a prostitute. Her pimp was extremely abusive to both her and Christian. When he was four years old, his mother committed suicide; he was alone with her body for four days before they were discovered by police.
Christian continues to have nightmares about the event well into adulthood, and only refers to his birth mother as "the crack whore".Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey was the emergency room doctor on staff when the traumatized Christian was brought to the hospital. She and her husband Carrick Grey adopted Christian into their family, but before the adoption paperwork went through, he lived with a foster family for several months, which included a ten year old Jack Hyde.
The Greys moved to Seattle at some point during Christian's childhood, and Mia Grey was adopted shortly thereafter. This was a turning point for Christian: until Mia, Christian did not speak, and was wary of his adoptive older brother Elliot Grey.
As an adolescent, Christian had violent mood swings that often got him into fights, and secretly drank alcohol. He hated all of the therapists that he had been made to go to. When he was fifteen years old, he took a landscaping job for his mother's friend Elena Lincoln.
Elena seduced him, and he ended up losing his virginity to her. She introduced him to the BDSM lifestyle, which he credits with teaching him how to control his emotions and channel his anger into positive outlets. She acted as a Domme to Christian for six years, until Elena's then-husband found out, and beat her to the point that she was hospitalized. Christian briefly attended Harvard, studying Politics and Economics.
After two years, he dropped out to start his own business. Elena gave him the $100,000 he needed to start. That business eventually grew into Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. He continued to practice BDSM, acting as a Dominant and a Sadist. Many of his submissives were selected for him by Elena. He had fifteen such relationships before meeting Ana.
Christian is tall, lean yet muscular, and broad-shouldered, with dark copper-colored hair and intense, bright gray eyes. He keeps in shape by kickboxing and running. As quoted by Anastasia, "He is not merely good looking - he is the epitome of male beauty, breathtaking."
Christian is accustomed to his BDSM Dom/Sub lifestyle. However, when he meets the shy, awkward Anastasia Steele during an interview, he finds himself utterly attracted to her. He soon decides that he wants her to become his next submissive, but runs into trouble when he finds out that she is inexperienced sexually and frightened by the idea of BDSM.
Ana, who is unaccustomed to living the lifestyle of a Submissive, defies him frequently which both arouses and frustrates Christian in a way he is not used to. He soon he realizes that he is developing feelings for Ana that he has never felt before, which spirals his life in ways he is not prepared for due to his past and nature.
After the disastrous end of his relationship with Ana, Christian finds himself broken by Ana leaving him. But soon after they're unable to deny their feelings for each other and the two rekindle their sensual affair. Christian, desperate to keep Ana in his life, wrestles with his inner demons.However, when someone from Christian's past pops back up in his life and threatens Ana, Christian must make choices fast.
When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur, Christian Grey, it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees. Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past. Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle; misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.
After months of rumors and speculation, EL James revealed via her twitter account on September 2, 2013 that Christian Grey would be played by Charlie Hunnam from Sons of Anarchy in the movie, slated for release on February 13, 2015.
However, on October 12, 2013, it was announced that Hunnam had dropped out of the film. He was replaced by Irish actor Jamie Dornan on October 23, 2013.