EXCLUSIVE: Victor Rasuk Talks Fifty Shades of Grey and Joses Pure Sincerity

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In Fifty Shades of Grey (in theaters Friday), Victor Rasuk plays Jose, the best friend (and not-so-secret admirer) of Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

If you’ve read the best-selling books by British author E.L. James, you know that while Jose is smitten with Anastasia, the feelings aren’t mutual for her — instead, the recent college grad falls in love with Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) — a 27-year-old billionaire with a penchant for S & M.

Still, even though his character doesn’t get the girl in this movie, we asked Rasuk what he thinks Jose can give Anastasia that Christian can’t and the Dominican actor tells EXCLUSIVLee.com the answer is simple.

“Sincerity,” the 31-year-old actor tells us. “I feel like what’s happening with Ana and Christian is that a lot of the time she’s confused and obviously there’s something there that intrigues her and that keeps her moving forwardBut I think what Jose gives her is just pure sincerity. And that’s something that’s very endearing — not just in the movie — but also in life. That’s what he offers.”

Rasuk says it was that sincerity — and the fact that he’s such “a good dude” — that drew him to the role of Jose in the first place.

“What I liked about Jose was that he played against a stereotype,” Rasuk tells us. “When a guy expresses interest in a woman — and the woman’s like, ‘you know, my heart is somewhere else, the feelings aren’t mutual — the guy’s {usually} like, ‘all right, whatever’ and doesn’t talk to {her} anymore,” explains Rasuk.

“His ego’s bruised and you get the whole machismo thing. {But} Jose played against the stereotype — I mean, of course he’s not stoked about her and Christian — but to him what was more important was his friendship with {Ana} and he was able to swallow his ego and still be friends with her and I thought that that was really cool and interesting, he says.

Victor RasukAnother thing that drew Rasuk — best known for HBO’s How To Make It In America and films like Lords of Dogtown and Raising Victor Vargas — to the role, was that he didn’t have to lose his clothes like his co-stars Dornan and Johnson, who are pretty naked for much of the film.

“When they were interested in me for the role, I hadn’t read the book yet,” Rasuk tells EXCLUSIVLee.com. “And so I called my aunt who I knew had read the book and I said ‘hey, they’re interested in me for this film, but most importantly, am I naked in this movie?’ recalls Rasuk with a laugh.

“She was like, ‘Wait hold on…no, you’re definitely not.’ I was like, “oh thank God!’ Because it would’ve been awkward. It’s not like I wouldn’t have done that, but that was definitely a relief when I found out that I wasn’t,” he adds.

Still, Rasuk says he admires the chemistry — and “devotion” of his co-stars Dornan and Johnson and their commitment to getting the movie’s highly anticipated sex scenes right.

“They were 100 percent immersed in their roles and immersed in these parts,” says Rasuk. Sam Taylor Johnson {the films director} made sure that they communicated and that the chemistry was there and Sam wouldn’t have moved on from take to take if she didn’t feel that.”

In fact, Rasuk says the entire cast and crew was committed to bringing the hit trilogy to the big screen in the most accurate way possible.

“What was cool about working on this film was the vibe and how gung-ho everybody was to make a film close to the books,” says Rasuk. “Everybody was like, ‘we have to make the movie close to the books’ and they wanted to do it right for the fans. It was really cool to see everybody was on {board} with that.

Rasuk says he isn’t sure if there will be a sequel — or sequels — just yet.

“There were rumors that there were a couple of announcements — but not confirmed by the studio — that there might be a 2 and 3,” he tells us.

“{But} if you read the books, obviously Jose is a little more prominent in the second and third — especially in the second because it opens with him in his photo exhibit and that’s how Anastasia and Christian rekindle again…So I know Jose is going to be instrumental — they kind of set it up for that,” he says.

Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters nationwide Feb. 13. 

• With reporting by ROSY CORDERO

Photos courtesy of 42 West

 

 

 

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About Author

Lee Hernandez is a writer, editor and executive producer. Lee has been the Deputy Editor of Latina Magazine; Editor of Latino Voices at the Pulitzer-Prize winning site The Huffington Post and a breaking news contributor to dozens of leading sites and magazines, including the best-in-class celebrity site PEOPLE.com; Cosmopolitan for Latinas magazine, AOL.com, The Wrap, HollywoodLife, Celebuzz, The New York Daily News and Fox News Latino.