Giggling a problem for Radcliffe in first sex scene

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NEW YORK, Sep 11 (Reuters) Daniel Radcliffe's first kiss as Harry Potter attracted global attention but in reality the 18-year-old British actor already had lost his on-screen virginity.

The setting for the love scene with Australian actress Teresa Palmer -- filmed when Radcliffe was 16 -- was a remote cave by the Australian shore for the movie ''December Boys.'' It is his first major role outside the boy wizard film series.

The movie opens in the United States and Britain on Friday and will make its debut in Australia later this month.

Radcliffe, who has since appeared nude on the London stage in ''Equus'' and hopes to do so again on Broadway, said filming the sex scene was laughable and decidedly not sexy.

''It's a laugh. It's very, very hard to stop giggling I found,'' Radcliffe told Reuters. ''I suppose the thing I was worried about was, 'Am I going to get an erection? Is this going to be really sexy? Is this going to be a bit awkward?' ''But when you get in there, it's not sexy in the slightest,'' he said.

''December Boys'' is the tale of four boys on a beach holiday away from their outback Australian orphanage home. Radcliffe plays the eldest boy, named Maps.

''What was quite nice about doing that scene was the dynamic between my character and Teresa's character was very much like it was between us as actors on that day because I had never done a sex scene before, Teresa had done a few,'' he said.

GUIDING THE NERVOUS ''I was quite nervous and she was sort of guiding me through it,'' said Radcliffe, who is about to start filming the sixth Harry Potter movie.

Radcliffe started playing Potter when he was 11 and found that the ''December Boys'' role gave him confidence when he returned to Britain to film ''Order of the Phoenix,'' the movie in which Harry's kiss with Cho Chang attracted global attention from fans and the media.

''It was a character who was very, very different from Harry and I wanted to prove to myself really ... that I could do something else,'' Radcliffe said of Maps.

''You think, 'Right, I can survive outside this world.' Because that's the fear -- 'Oh god, what if I go on to another film set and I just can't hack it,''' he said.

Well mannered, mature and possessor of a reported million fortune, Radcliffe said before he started on ''December Boys'' he was nervous about how his colleagues would perceive him. He said there was a stereotype of younger actors ''being just brats and horrible people.'' ''Fortunately, they didn't seem to have those preconceived notions,'' he said. ''In America child actors are treated like actors first and then children, whereas in England they're treated as children first and then actors.

''So if you're getting too big for your boots no one will have any worries about saying shut up, whereas in America I think possibly people pander too it more than is healthy,'' he said. ''There's not a huge amount of sycophancy in my life.'' Reuters TB VP0110

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