Fifty Shades of Grey: ‘50 Shades’ Christian Grey Partially Based on Italian Businessman

February 11, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ character Christian Grey was partially based on an Italian real estate agent in terms of how he runs his business and the car he drives.

Alessandro Proto, 39, is said to have influenced author E.L. James when she created the CEO.

James reportedly met Proto in 2010 when she was in Italy writing about celebrities getting property in the country.

Proto apparently got deals for Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Madonna, said E! News.

“The firm Grey runs in the book is called Grey Enterprise Holding. Mine is called Proto Organization Holding,” Proto told New York Daily News. “When I met E.L. James I used to drive a R8 Audi,” Proto added.

“My office is located at the 8th floor. It is the highest in the building. I came from nothing, so I see top floors as a metaphor for achievement and success,” he added. “Everyone knows he made it, but nobody knows how he reached success. Same with me.”

He continues that similar to Grey, he doesn’t want to give interviews.

“Christian Grey doesn’t like speaking to reporters, so he builds up a mystery that surrounds him,” he said.

He added that he isn’t anything like Grey in terms of the sexual nature of the book. “I started reading it because I was curious to know what the press was writing about me, but I quit after a few pages,” he said. “It’s really not my thing. I think it was a well planned marketing operation though. Huge one. But that’s it.”

“At times it can be pretty annoying. I don’t like gossip and showbiz, I’m a businessman, that’s what I do for a living and it is my main purpose in life,” he said after he started getting indecent proposals at work.

The reports about Proto come as the filmmakers for the super-popular book series are continuing production.

Two weeks ago, “Fifty Shades” star Jamie Dornan was spotted running in the rain for a scene.

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