Romance rocks wizard world in new Potter movie

Mon Jul 6, 2009 10:20pm EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Romantic comedy meets the wizarding world in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth installment in the hit movie franchise in which hormones, as well as hexes, are on the loose at Hogwarts school.

And with filming on the final two pictures due to wrap up in 2010, the young actors who spent much of their teen years on set and coping with the superstardom their success has brought are finally looking ahead to life after Potter.

"It was nice to be back and to know that this film is, to me, more of a romantic comedy than ever before and that we would have a chance to focus more on that side of things," said Emma Watson, who plays the feisty bookworm Hermione in the films.

"Sometimes I have to bring myself back with Hermione, because she is so innocent and so naive and she really is very vulnerable in this film," the 19-year-old actress told reporters on Monday at a press conference to publicize the movie.

"She really does get her heart broken by Ron and Lavender and that whole situation."

Director David Yates, who also made the fifth movie "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," added: "Our cast are just getting that little bit older now and the hormones are starting to fly and for me it marks a real transition point between our cast as children and our cast as adults."

In Half-Blood Prince, out in theatres on July 15, Hogwarts is increasingly vulnerable to attack from Lord Voldemort, wizard Potter's nemesis.

Professor Slughorn, played by Jim Broadbent, joins the cast, and Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore places more and more trust in his star pupil Potter, determined to prepare him for his inevitable showdown with Voldemort.   Continued...

<p>Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". REUTERS/Warner Bros. Pictures/Handout</p>