Rupert Grint takes gritty turn in 'Cherrybomb'

'Harry Potter' actor in Berlin with more mature role

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BERLIN -- Forget quidditch. Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" franchise, has moved on to more grown-up pastimes. In "Cherrybomb," which had its world premiere here Sunday in the Generation sidebar, Grint plays a youth dabbling in drugs, joy-riding and the thrills of teenage sex. A far cry from the innocent excitement of Hogwarts, but an inevitable transition for the 20-year-old actor.

"It was always going to be quite tricky. 'Harry Potter's' a big thing really, so I've always known it's going to be pretty hard," Grint said. "But doing this film wasn't really a conscious decision to try something different -- it just worked out like that. I got the script, really liked and it all happened in a couple of weeks."

Grint will start shooting this month on the final book of the seven in the "Harry Potter" series, which is being made as two films at Leavesden Studios in Watford. "Fourteen months for Part 1 and Part 2, more or less back-to-back. It's going to be long, but it's going to be good I think, I really liked the book and the script," he said. "It's going to be quite a thing when it's over because it'll be half my life exactly. I think I will miss it, because I've had some good times on it.

Directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn, "Cherrybomb" is set in contemporary Northern Ireland and co-stars Kimberley Nixon and Robert Sheehan in a tale of youthful high jinks and misdeeds that, inevitably, ends badly. James Nesbit also co-stars.

Grint joined Nixon to meet the media Monday and talk up the film, which required them to act a fairly frank sex scene. (Grint gets his shirt off but does not go full frontal as "Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe did in the stage play "Equus.")

"The hardest bit for both of us was the love scene," Grint admitted. "It was toward the end of the shoot so we knew this day was coming, but the crew were so supportive, they made us feel so comfortable, we just got on with our jobs," Nixon said.

Grint's presence at the premiere certainly pulled the spotlight onto the film, with a large crowd outside the Babylon theater to greet him.

"It was lovely, because I wasn't expecting it at all. It's good that everyone's excited about the film. I do get recognized pretty much everywhere now, but everyone's really nice and it's not a problem," Grint said.