A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Fifty Shades Darker is officially out on DVD, blu-ray and every other viewing method you can divine. And if you haven’t seen it yet — perhaps you feel a bit daunted by what it’s all about, or maybe you haven’t seen the first one yet — then never fear, we’ve got you covered.

It’s the sequel to the film Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the 2011 erotic novel of the same name by E L James. In the first film, innocent Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) meets financial tycoon Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) when she takes the place of her roommate Katherine (Eloise Mumford) for an interview.

He is intrigued by her innocence and brings her into the world of BDSM. She resists signing his contract, however, and they fall for each other. When she attempts to find out how deep his need to hurt her goes, it upsets her and she leaves.

Fifty Shades Darker begins right after their breakup, bringing Ana back into Christian’s world. The film will be followed by Fifty Shades Freed, based on the third book in the series.

Here’s a look at the Fifty Shades Darker characters.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Anastasia Steele

Dakota Johnson plays Ana, the innocent virgin who met mogul Christian Grey in the first film. He seduces her and asks her to sign a contract to be his submissive. Though they discuss the contract, she doesn’t sign it and they fall in love. Christian’s sexual interest in BDSM first intrigues Anastasia and she goes along with some of it, but she can’t get past his desire to hurt her. They break up at the end of the last film. As you can see from the trailer, however, she agrees to go out with him again in Fifty Shades Darker and they rekindle their romance. His former submissive, her new boss and a woman from Christian’s past threaten their romance and their lives.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Christian Grey

Jamie Dornan plays wealthy businessman Christian Grey. Christian had a troubled childhood that has scarred him, both mentally and figuratively. He doesn’t want romance and doesn’t feel capable of making a romantic connection to someone until he meets Anastasia. In all but one of his previous relationships, he’s been a dominant to their submissive. He got into BDSM after his mother’s friend (whom Anastasia calls “Mrs. Robinson”) has him act as her submissive as a very young man. He’s very focused on business and shows little warmth when he first meets Ana, though that changes as the series goes on. He follows her every move, accessing her bank accounts, showing up where she is and buying the company she works for so he can control her. He’s close with his family, including his adoptive mother, father, brother and sister, though he’s always been the black sheep in the family. He’s fallen in love with Ana and working on processing his feelings, deciding if he can live without causing her physical pain for his own pleasure.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Elliot Grey

Luke Grimes plays Christian’s adoptive brother Elliot. He’s fun-loving and cares for his brother a great deal. He’s thrilled to see Christian with a girlfriend and is currently dating Ana’s best friend Kate. He’s the exact opposite of Christian in temperament, and often tries to joke him out of dark moods.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Mia Grey

Rita Ora plays Christian’s adoptive sister Mia. She’s younger than Christian and adores her big brother. As a baby, Mia’s presence was the only thing that could get Christian to talk after years of silence. Mia is loud and impulsive and is happy to know that Christian found someone to love.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Grace Trevelyan-Grey

Marcia Gay Harden plays Dr. Grace Trevelyan-Grey, Christian’s adoptive mother. She adores her children and she and her husband have taken in. She’s thrilled to meet Anastasia as Christian hasn’t brought anyone home before. (She actually meets her for the first time when Anastasia walks out of Christian’s bedroom and is invited to lunch.) She has no idea that her friend Elena was a sexual predator towards her son as a young man.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Jason Taylor

Max Martini plays Christian’s bodyguard Taylor, who takes care of everything from driving to picking Christian up after he flies his helicopter Charlie Tango to security. Anastasia is surprised to find out about his personal life and his daughter as Taylor is often tight-lipped.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Elena Lincoln

Kim Basinger plays Elena Lincoln, referred to by Ana as Mrs. Robinson when she learns that Elena brought Christian into a BDSM relationship when he was very young. Elena and Christian remain friends and Elena is jealous of his feelings for Ana. She tries to manipulate Christian and confronts Ana asking her (as we hear in the trailer) if she thinks she’s the first person to try to save him. Elena is a friend of Christian’s mother and has been around the family for years.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Jack Hyde

Eric Johnson plays Ana’s boss Jack Hyde. Ana is hired to work as his personal assistant at Seattle Independent Publishing (SIP), which Christian purchases without Ana or Jack’s knowledge. He constantly tries to get Ana to go for drinks with him and makes rude remarks about her boyfriend Christian. As you can see in the trailer, his advances are far more than vocal.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Leila Williams

Bella Heathcote plays Leila Williams. She’s one of Christian’s former submissives and keeps appearing near Ana, on the street and in the bedroom. She’s a bit unhinged and wants to know why Anastasia was able to capture her “master’s” heart when none of the others were.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

Katherine Kavanagh

Eloise Mumford plays Ana’s best friend and roommate Kate. Ana met Christian when she was covering for a sick Kate during an interview. She’s outgoing and boisterous, the opposite of the rather shy Ana. She’s dating Christian’s adoptive brother Elliot. She has concerns about Ana being overwhelmed by the grand gestures Christian is using to woo her. She often warns her about things like a car maybe being a bit much as a gift from someone you’ve only been dating for a short while.

A Beginner’s Guide To ‘Fifty Shades Darker’

José Rodriguez

Victor Rasuk plays Ana’s old friend José. He’s a photographer who has taken a number of pictures of Anastasia that are on display at an art gallery. It’s this gallery show that Christian uses to meet up with Ana to see if she’ll go out with him again. In the last film, José drunkenly kissed Ana at a bar, causing Christian to dislike him. José appears to still have feelings for Ana, though they remain friends.

‘Fifty Shades Darker’ is out now on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-Ray™, DVD & Digital.

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