Pop Culture

Al Roker vied for 'Fifty Shades of Grey' role — or so says Ellen DeGeneres

First Charlie Hunnam was set to bring the passion from the pages of "Fifty Shades of Grey" to the big screen. Then James Dornan landed the leading role of Christian Grey. But what fans of the tempting tome may not know is that TODAY's own Al Roker was once in the running. Of course, he didn't know either.

Ellen DeGeneres unearthed the audition footage.

"I'd love to share a bedroom with anybody that I'm currently working with," Roker said — sort of.

Alas, as entertaining as the idea might be, that quote and the other racy lines the TODAY anchor can be seen saying in the video are just the result of creative editing on the part of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," rather than any real casting ambition.

Still, Roker played along when his TODAY pals quizzed him about it Monday morning.

"You know, Oprah went out for 'The Butler,' so I decided to go for 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'" he deadpanned. "Didn't go so well."

Watch the full clip from "Ellen" to see Roker's big audition competition — Alex Trebek — try for the role.