Nov. 13, 2013 at 8:54 AM ET
Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, together in the real world at last! On Wednesday, TODAY viewers got an exclusive look at Entertainment Weekly's portraits of the stars of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" adaptation, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, and the heat was definitely on.
The images, which appear in EW's Nov. 22 issue, show the on-screen couple cozying up on the cover, while inside sultry single shots accompany the article by Nicole Sperling, the only writer to get an interview with both stars and "Fifty Shades" author E.L. James.
Dornan is a Northern Irish actor best known in America for his appearances on ABC's "Once Upon a Time," while Johnson is the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson and starred in the short-lived sitcom "Ben and Kate."
"I'm a fairly worldly guy," Dornan told the magazine. "I grew up in a very liberal place. I’m not saying we had a playroom, but I’m not shocked by (the sex in the book). It’s essential to tell the story. I can’t believe films that don’t invoke the sexual side of it. So it works for me."
Johnson's casting was announced by James on Twitter in September; initially "Sons of Anarchy" actor Charlie Hunnam was set to play Grey, but dropped out in October. Dornan was tapped quickly afterward.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is set to hit theaters on Feb. 14, 2015.