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Stars In His Eyes

INTERVIEW: Rising young actor Robert Sheehan plays the lead role in the newly released fantasy film, Summer of Flying Saucers . He talks about missing his Leaving Cert mocks, his role model Cillian Murphy and his first on-screen kiss

ONE OF THE rites of passage for actors who start out in adolescence comes when they experience their first screen kiss. For Robert Sheehan, that happened when he was 17 and playing the prince who would become King Louis XIV in the TV series Young Blades.

“There was a gag where I get contracted to marry this woman from another country,” Sheehan explains. “At the end of the episode, she kisses me with her tongue. I have to look shocked, saying ‘She kisses me with her tongue.’ Then I say: ‘From now on, this is how we in France will kiss.’ It was very funny.”

Loosely based on The Three Musketeers , the series was filmed in Canada rather than in France. “It was made by the same guys who made Xena [Warrior Princess] and Hercules,” Sheehan says. “It was shot in Vancouver and they all had American accents in it. It was a classy show!”

Now 20, Sheehan is a rising actor in steady demand and that’s understandable from the engaging screen presence he exhibits in the amiable coming-of-age fantasy, Summer of the Flying Saucer , which is currently on nationwide release.

He was born and raised in Portlaoise and there’s no history of acting in the family. “My dad’s a retired policeman and mam works for the health board,” he says. “My brother is a mortgage broker and my sister works in the Bank of Scotland and is doing an accounting degree.”

Robert is the youngest in the family and was 14 when he got his first acting role in Song for a Raggy Boy , dealing with the harsh regime for boys at a reformatory in late 1930s Ireland. “There was an open casting call and I just went for it,” he says. “After a few months I got the part, and then I got an agent.”

Was it disturbing to start out in movies so young and in such an unsettling drama? “Not at all,” he says. “I had no experience or any sense of perspective, so I just went down there and had fun for seven weeks. It was one of the best summers of my life. What they produced was this amazing film, very tough, but we all just had fun.”

A year later, he was cast in a 17-part TV series, Foreign Exchange . “Half of it was shot in Galway and the other half in Australia,” Sheehan says. “My character never got to go to Australia, unfortunately. But I went there on a holiday last December for two and a half months. I stayed with my mate Zach , who was the star of Foreign Exchange. He was celebrating his 21st and I stayed with him for Christmas and my birthday in January. Then I went off travelling on my own up the east coast. It was really cool.”

While still in his teens, he juggled his filming commitments with his formal education. “I did fine at school,” he says. “Because of my acting work, I did miss all my mocks which I was absolutely delighted about and I spent about five months of my Leaving Cert year in Canada because I was doing Young Blades there.”

He evidently loves the actor’s life and he seems entirely unaffected and firmly grounded. “It’s nice when there’s a bit of work lined up,” he says. “I was still going to school until I was 17 and I did my Leaving Cert. Then I went to Galway for a year doing a film and TV studies course, which I failed. But I was working away as an actor all the time. I’ve only been out of work for about four months since, and I was on holiday in Australia and then in Andorra for most of that time. I spent most of the money I had made last year.”

His only professional disappointment was ending up on the cutting-room floor of The Tudors. “I was playing this apprentice kid in what was to be the first scene of the second series. There was me and this other guy, played by Aaron Monaghan, and we come running into this church during a ceremony. We run up on to the altar and start shouting and smashing stuff. Then the congregation forces us out. The scene got moved to later in the series and then got cut out. But it was okay. I was only on it for three days.”

Sheehan now has his own place in Dublin, where he featured in a 2006 episode of The Clinic . “I played a diabetic kid who wants to be a professional surfer,” he says. “I had an overdose of insulin because there was a mistake in the clinic. I passed out on the floor and then I came around.”

He also had a recurring role in the TV series Rock Rivals , shown on ITV and TV3 this year. Devised by the team who brought us Footballers’ Wives, it revolved around a UK TV talent contest that parodied Pop Idol and The X Factor and was driven by behind-the-scenes machinations.

He played the lead singer in an Irish boyband, a character so ruthlessly ambitious that he’s quite prepared to abandon the other members for fame and stardom as a solo singer. Did he do his own singing? “No, I was miming. I can sing, but I don’t know how pleasing it is to the ear, you know.”

Sheehan takes the leading role in his new movie, Summer of the Flying Saucer , which takes place in rural Mayo in 1967. He plays Danny, who returns home from boarding school for the summer holidays and shocks his farmer father and the conservative villagers with his mildly hippie appearance. There are further complications when Danny discovers two aliens in his backyard and befriends them. To explain their presence to the suspicious locals, Danny says they are Polish and they are introduced as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. The scene is set for conflict between the prejudice and fear of difference in the village and the values of peace, love and understanding represented by Danny and the aliens.

He is just about to discuss the film when his mobile rings. “Mam, can I call you back in a minute?” he says. “I’m just getting interviewed here.” He smiles and settles back into talking about making a movie set 21 years before he was born, in the changing world of the 1960s.

“I read about the 1960s in books, when I was figuring out how to dress for the part,” he says. “I heard a lot of classic songs but I didn’t know they came from the 1960s. Anyhow, the film was more about old Ireland, about the hilarious contrast between the hippie boy I play and the backward villagers.”

Lorcan Cranitch, who plays his father in the film, is a great actor, he says. “My proudest scenes from the film are my ones with him.”

With his first screen kiss behind him, Sheehan played a character involved with an older woman in the recent RTÉ drama Bittersweet , featuring Deirdre O’Kane, Catherine Walker and Una Kavanagh as thirtysomething friends reunited in Dublin. “Someone called it Sex in Fair City ,” he laughs. “It was a chick show. I played Catherine Walker’s young lover. He’s an intern and she’s his boss. We have this affair and he gets really attached to her, but she fobs him off. She’s using him for sex and all that.”

When we talked in Dublin, Sheehan was on a day off from the Belfast shoot of Cherrybomb , in which he co-stars with Rupert Grint, best known as Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter movies. They play students whose close friendship is tested when a troubled young woman (Kimberley Nixon from Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Wild Child) lures them into dangerous activities.

“It’s going great,” he says. “Myself and Rupert get on very well. He’s a lovely guy. He’s quite a gently spoken guy. What’s really good about this film for him is that it shows him as an adult. He looks very grown-up compared to the Harry Potter films. He’s doing a fantastic job.”

Just as that shoot ends, Sheehan has been cast in Red Riding , a trilogy of films based on a series of books following the search for Peter Sutcliffe, the serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper. Channel 4 is producing this as a TV series that may go out on cinema release.

Each episode is titled after the year in which it’s set (1974, 1980 and 1983) and Sheehan will be working with different directors on each one: Julian Jarrold (who made Becoming Jane and the new Brideshead Revisited ), James Marsh ( Man on Wire , The King ) and Anand Tucker ( Shopgirl , And When Did You Last See Your Father? ).

If Sheehan had to choose a role model as an actor?

“Cillian Murphy would be the main one,” he says. “Never mind the image thing that other actors have, standing for 50 million pictures and going to parties. With him, it’s all about good work as an actor, very good work. Modestly speaking, I’d like to take a leaf out of his book and be completely different in every role. He’s so chameleonic.

“I’d like to be a steadily working actor and to do as many things as possible. I’m really enjoying the life.”

Summer of the Flying Saucer is on release now


Original article found here at The Irish Times I August 23, 2008

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Rupert Grint Doing Sex Scene With Kimberley Nixon

Rupert Grint Doing Sex Scene With Kimberly Nixon in ‘Cherrybomb’

Rupert Grint, who is best known for playing Ron Weasley in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, is going to do sex scene with Kimberly Nixon in an indie movie, entitled ‘Cherrybomb’.

Rupert Grint is going to celebrate his 20th birthday on August 24 and he is growing up quickly. Entering a new phase in his life, it looks like the U.K. actor wants to change people’s opinion about his ‘innocence’ image by doing sex scene in an indie movie, entitled “Cherrybomb”.

According to reports, Rupert will be ordered to bare all during the sex scene with his co-star Kimberly Nixon. In the movie he will play the role of Malachy, who along with his best friend, Luke, a character played by Robert Sheehan, are trying to compete for beautiful but manipulative girl, Michelle, Kimberly’s role.

Sharing about the reason why he takes the part in the film, Rupert said “I really loved the script and having done Harry Potter, I wanted to do something different.” The actor furthermore even explained that the upcoming movie is something new for him to try. He went on admitting, ” It was quite a challenge.”

“Cherrybomb” was shot in Belfast. Rupert and his co-stars looked happy during the shooting as they were spotted partying around the town. The flick is set to be released in January 2009.


Original article found here: Celebrity Mania | August 21st, 2008

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Stars having a blast in Belfast

Sunday Life joins Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging star Kimberley Nixon for an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse at Cherrybomb, the latest Hollywood movie being filmed in Northern Ireland

Belfast has been buzzing in the last few weeks as a touch of Hollywood rolled into town with the filming of Cherrybomb.

This coming-of-age drama set in Belfast brings together a plethora of homegrown talent including our own James Nesbitt and a score by acclaimed local DJ David Holmes.

The feature film, which stars Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint and Kimberley Nixon of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging fame is the joint debut of husband-and-wife team Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa.

Behind the scenes is a flurry of activity with talented crew of local designers, stylists and specialists all keeping the young crew on their toes.

Grint — better known for his role as Harry Potter’s sidekick Ron — said he was having a ball during his filming in Belfast.

“We haven’t has a lot of time off, but we have seen quite a bit of Northern Ireland and I have really enjoyed it.

“I particularly loved the Giant’s Causeway and the [Carrick-a-Rede] rope bridge. Everyone has had a real laugh on set and they have been a great crew to work with,” he said.

Rupert’s sentiments were echoed by the local team involved behind the scenes of the production.

Head of costume design on the film, Hazel Webb Crozier, from Belfast, who also worked on Closing the Ring, said: “The cast on this film are very young, but they have been great fun to work with as they are full of enthusiasm. It’s been fun kitting the characters out and looking for outfits for these streetwise kids to wear.”

And it seems it’s not just the cast and crew who have been involved behind the scenes.

Filming moved last week to north Belfast, where a local property developer was only too happy to quite literally open his doors to the production team.

Desie Wilson from Donard Homes says he was surprised and delighted when a location manager contacted him about using one of his developments for some of the shooting on Cherrybomb.

“It was certainly an unusual request, but we were delighted to help out,” he said.

“Basically they were looking for a house to have as a base for some of their scenes and a street as a background and our site at Railway Court on York Road fitted their bill.

“It certainly created a bit of excitement in the street this week and we will all be looking forward to seeing the film though we will probably not recognise our wee house when we see it!”


Original article can be found here at Belfast Telegraph I August 3, 2008

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Rupert Grint Off to Belfast to Make Cherry Bomb

By Fara Kearnes

Rupert Grint is currently working in Belfast on a new film titled ‘Cherrybomb’. According to an article in Northern Ireland Screen, the plot revolves around two friends who battle over a pretty girl.

So the Cherry bomb must refer to the girl – not the ginger-headed Rup? Or maybe since it’s set in Belfast, it’ll have a tragic ending? (Bet on it.)

The plot reveals too much but here goes: “With their exams over, best friends Malachy and Luke are out to have one hell of a summer. However, the arrival of Michelle, a captivating but troubled beauty, tests their friendship to the limit as she encourages the two boys to carry out increasingly dangerous and illegal deeds in the battle for her affections – with fatal consequences.”

Rupert’s co-stars are Robert Sheehan, who has been seen in ‘The Tudors’, and Kimberley Nixon, who appeared in ‘Cranford’ and will soon be seen in ‘Bend it Like Beckham” director Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’. Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa are making their directorial debuts with Cherrybomb.

“At heart Cherrybomb questions our notion of male loyalty and what happens when this bond is tested as female desire and rivalry comes into play. We are thrilled with our casting and look forward to shooting the film in and around Belfast over the coming weeks,” say the co-directors.

Rup will next be seen in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’.


Original article can be found here at StarBlogs I July 11, 2008

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Grint to star in ‘Cherrybomb’

Teen pic marks debut for helmers

By Archie Thomas

“Harry Potter” series stalwart Rupert Grint will star in “Cherrybomb,” a Belfast-set teen drama about two friends whose furious competition for a beautiful but manipulative girl has tragic consequences.

Kimberley Nixon (upcoming “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”) stars as the girl, with emerging Irish actor Robert Sheehan playing best buddy and love rival to Grint’s character.

“Cherrybomb” is produced by Generator Entertainment, Green Park Films and Octagon Films and is the joint debut of co-directors Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa from a screenplay by Daragh Carville (“Middletown”).

Pic is the second film from Mark Huffam and Simon Bosanquet’s recently launched Generator Entertainment. They have partnered with Belfast producer Michael Casey’s Green Park Films who developed the project with Brian Kirk, and James Flynn’s Dublin-based Octagon Films.

Project is financially backed by the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. The Little Film Company is handling international sales.


Original article can be found here at Variety I July 8, 2008

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Cameras Roll on Cherrybomb

Principal photography begins today in Belfast coming-of-age drama CHERRYBOMB, which stars Rupert Grint, Kimberley Nixon and Robert Sheehan and is the joint debut of

co-directors Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa. The film is being produced by Generator Entertainment, Green Park Films and Octagon Films.

With their exams over, best friends Malachy and Luke are out to have one hell of a summer. However, the arrival of Michelle, a captivating but troubled beauty, tests their friendship to the limit as she encourages the two boys to carry out increasingly dangerous and illegal deeds in the battle for her affections – with fatal consequences.

In 2000 Rupert Grint was catapulted into international film stardom when he was cast as Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; since then he has gone on to star in the following four adaptations of J. K. Rowling’s best-selling novels, and is soon to be seen in the next installment, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In addition he has starred in British kid-comedy Thunderpants and poignant drama Driving Lessons.

Kimberley Nixon gained recognition following her performance in BAFTA winning TV series Cranford, and will soon be seen in Gurinder Chadha’s Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, and Wild Child directed by Nick Moore. Nixon’s most recent acting credit is Easy Virtue directed by Stephan Elliott based on a play by Noel Coward due for release later this year.

Relative newcomer Robert Sheehan has starred in Irish TV dramas BitterSweet and Rock Rivals, and the Emmy and IFTA winning television series The Tudors.

CHERRYBOMB is directed by Belfast based newcomers Glen Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa from a screenplay by Daragh Carville (Middletown). Leyburn, a highly regarded designer and promos director, and Barros D’Sa, a writer and development executive, first collaborated in 2006 on the Northern Ireland Screen funded short, The 18th Electricity Plan.

“At heart Cherrybomb questions our notion of male loyalty and what happens when this bond is tested as female desire and rivalry comes into play. We are thrilled with our casting and look forward to shooting the film in and around Belfast over the coming weeks,” say the co-directors.

CHERRYBOMB is the second film from Mark Huffam and Simon Bosanquet’s Generator Entertainment. They have partnered with Belfast producer Michael Casey’s Green Park Films who developed the project with Brian Kirk, and James Flynn’s Dublin-based Octagon Films. The film will be scored by acclaimed Hollywood composer David Holmes (Out of Sight, Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve & Thirteen and Hunger).

“We are delighted to be working with Michael Casey of Green Park on this innovative and exciting film” commented Simon Bosanquet from Generator. Mark Huffam added, “Daragh Carville’s Belfast-set script gives a cool, contemporary twist to the traditional buddy-movie, set squarely against the backdrop of a city in the process of rebuilding its identity – it’s perfect material for Glen and Lisa’s fresh and original talents.”

Financing for CHERRYBOMB is coming from both sides of the Irish border with participation from the Irish Film Board, Northern Ireland Screen, BBC Northern Ireland and the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland. International sales are being handled by Robbie Little’s The Little Film Company.

Generator Entertainment is a film production company established in 2007 by respected UK-based producers, Simon Bosanquet and Mark Huffam, and Scandinavian sales and distribution executive, Tomas Thorstensson. Generator’s first feature, Paddy Breathnach’s FREAKDOG, starring Arielle Kebbel, Sarah Carter and Stephen Dillane (originally titled RED MIST) completed production earlier this year in Northern Ireland. Their next film to go into production following CHERRYBOMB will be GHOST MACHINE, a supernatural thriller directed by Chris Hartwill from a script by Sven Hughes.

Green Park Films is a film and television production company established in 1998 by Michael Casey. Previous credits include award winning films, FREEZE FRAME (starring Lee Evans) and MIDDLETOWN (starring Matthew Macfadyen). Michael’s creative partners are Daragh Carville and Brian Kirk, with whom CHERRYBOMB was developed. Michael also produced Brian Kirk’s award-winning and acclaimed television film, MY BOY JACK (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrall).


Original article can be found here at Northern Ireland Screen I July 7, 2008

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Rupert Grint Lands Role In Thriller

Written By: Eva Lam

“Harry Potter” actor Rupert Grint will go from summoning spells to summoning all kinds of trouble in his newest project.

The 19-year-old Brit, best known for playing Ron Weasley in the “Potter” movies, has joined the cast of the indie film “Cherry Bomb,” described as a gritty thriller about two best friends in Belfast who both fall for the troubled new girl in town.

According to PR-inside.com, the teens “embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. But what starts out as a game turns deadly serious when the three discover that they can’t get off the wild ride they’ve set in motion.”

Weasley will play one of the three teens, Malachy, while Irish actor Robert Sheehan (“Young Blades”) will play best pal Luke and English actress Kimberley Nixon (“Cranford”) will play new girl Michelle.

The movie was scripted by award-winning playwright and screenwriter Daragh Carville.

Production on the movie began last week and is expected to wrap in August. It is scheduled for an early 2009 release.

The film isn’t Grint’s first major role away from the “Potter” franchise — he previously starred in 2006′s coming-of-age tale “Driving Lessons.”


Original article can be found here at andPOP I July 6, 2008

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