Watch out Edward Cullen, Harry Potter is growing up.

While doing press for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Daniel Radcliffe and teen co-stars Rupert Grint and Emma Watson don’t bother to dodge the myriad of questions lobbed at them about their dating lives — even the ones about magic spells and love potions.

Watson says Radcliffe doesn’t need them to snag a lady, just in case you were wondering.

Given that this sixth instalment of the Potter series spends a considerable amount of time on the burgeoning romantic relationships between the lead characters, the young actors, now all around 19 years old, found the romantic-comedy moments refreshing.

“If Hermione kept going in terms of the amount of worrying she was doing, she might’ve developed a hemorrhage, so it’s nice that there’s a bit of light relief for all of us,” says Watson of her own character, who finds herself for the first time in the series, at the mercy of her own hormones.

“This is Rupert’s finest hour. He reveals himself to be a fantastic practitioner of comedy,” adds Radcliffe about Grint, who in the film as Ron Weasley finds himself in his first relationship and trying out for the Quidditch team, with mixed results in both departments.

It becomes obvious throughout the interview that Radcliffe himself has a gift for inciting laughter — especially with his candid explanation of his own on-screen kiss.

“My God, my lips are like the lips of a horse,” he says emphatically. “They were kind of distending away independently from the rest of my face and trying to encompass the lower half of hers, so I apologize.”

If Half-Blood Prince shows the young actors to be growing up, it only seems appropriate that David Yates, who picked up the role of director with the fifth instalment Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, would continue with the series until its resolution with Deathly Hallows — set to be released in two parts in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

“I’m trying to grow the films up and try to make them feel a little more mature, a little bit more complex — and guiding these young actors to a mature phase of the films,” says Yates.

“Outside of the film set, these actors are getting insights and bruises. It’s encouraging them to bring more of that to what they do on the screen.”

• Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens in theatres Wednesday

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