He also performed in a folk band, Sons of Jim, with a former school-friend, but his heart still lay with acting. He continued to work as a hugely successful model, appearing in campaigns with Eva Mendes and Kate Moss, while trying to break into his preferred career.
In 2006 he landed a role in Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette” and also starred in “Shadows in the Sun” three years later opposite Hollywood legend Jean Simmons.
Two years ago, Dornan secured his first major television role as Sheriff Graham in “Once Upon A Time”. When his character was killed off there was an outcry on internet forums and he was re-written into the season finale as The Huntsman to appease his growing army of fans.
His casting as the male lead alongside Dakota Johnson in “Fifty Shades of Grey” rounds off a pretty spectacular year for the Northern Irish man. As well as signing up to a second series of “The Fall,” the hunky actor also married English actress and singer Amelia Warner in April 2013.
Warner was previously ‘married’ to another Irish actor, Colin Farrell, though she later claimed the beach wedding was not legally binding. Dornan and Warner are currently expecting their first child.
Despite the worldwide attention expected to surround Dornan now, the young actor - a patron of TinyLife, a Northern Irish premature birth charity - looks set to keep his feet firmly planted on the ground.
Here’s a report on the choice of Jamie Doran for “Fifty Shades of Grey”: