CHICAGO — Luke Grimes is an actor living in Logan Square currently starring in "EL Stories" at the Greenhouse Theatre in Lincoln Park.
He is not the same Luke Grimes who was cast Thursday as Elliot Grey in the forthcoming movie based on the best-selling erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey," but that hasn't stopped women from around the country from trying to get in touch with him on Facebook.
"It's been very weird. It's just getting out of hand," Grimes told DNAinfo.com Chicago Monday afternoon.
At that point, he had received 15 requests and messages, "all from women, none with any mutual friends" of his. That "seemed strange, because most of the people who add me who I don't know are gay men. So I was like, what the hell is going on?" he said.
When Grimes, who is gay, read about the other Luke Grimes' new gig in the movie based on the sex-filled novel, he understood what was happening. He said he has rejected the steady stream of requests that have rolled in since Thursday.
"They're frightening, these women!" Grimes, 23, said of their messages, some of which are very assertive. "I had six requests that first afternoon, and all of these women were sending selfies of them in their bras. ... It's a very subtle flirtation," he said jokingly.
It's not the first time he's been mistaken for that other Luke Grimes. At his first audition at the Goodman Theatre Downtown, Grimes said the casting director had the "True Blood" actor's headshot in front of him instead of the Chicago Grimes. Grimes, however, still got the part.
After that, he updated his professional Facebook page to include his middle name, Michael, which he said reduced the professional mix ups.
"But my personal Facebook page is just under Luke Grimes," he said, and that one shows up in a public search of the website, too.
"I don't really accept friend requests from people I don't know, typically. I usually redirect them to my fan page if I think they're trying to find me, which doesn't happen very often because I'm not like a famous person," Grimes said.
But he doesn't think that course of action will work for the women sending him messages like "you're so cute!" and "congratulations on '50 Shades.'"
"I don't think that's what they're looking for," Grimes said.
One message he recently rejected from a stranger read: "'Hey cutie, so glad to hear about '50 Shades of Grey.' You are so cute. Hope to see the film. You should hit me up sometime, I'm here in L.A. too,' and then it gives her phone number," Grimes said.
Grimes said he isn't too bothered by the attention, but said he's baffled by the women's intentions.
"I don't know what they expect," he said. "Do you really think that if I was the actor Luke Grimes, I'd be like, 'Hey, you're cute, too. I really like your bra'?"
As fan excitement for the movie heats up, Grimes says his strategy will be to silently reject friend requests, ignore messages from strangers and hope the frenzy dies down over time.
"I don't think I'm going to do anything to reduce the influx of friend requests, mainly because I really don't want to draw attention to my personal page, and I really don't want to promote this movie either," he said. "So I'm just gonna let it be and hope these women figure out that I'm not the one."