Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sneak peek at 'CBGB': Rupert Grint's inner punk

Rupert Grint in "CBGB"

Bryan Alexander
USA TODAY 7:55 a.m. EDT August 6, 2013

The film, which also features Grint's 'Harry Potter' co-star Alan Rickman, follows story of NYC club.

Now for something completely different: Harry Potter star Rupert Grint on stage, holding a guitar and wearing a dog collar, in a band whose lead singer blows his nose into sandwich meat, chews the sandwich and then spits the contents into a rabid audience.

"I have always wanted to play a punk," says Grint, 24, who stars as rocker Cheetah Chrome in the historical drama CBGB (opening in limited markets Oct. 11). "It was really good fun."

Chrome, a guitarist for The Dead Boys, is one of the many musicians brought to life in the raucous story of the seminal club CBGB in New York's Bowery district, a beer-drenched springboard for some of the most vibrant new wave and punk sounds from 1973 to 2006.

The film focuses on the early days, when owner and operator Hilly Kristal gave a stage to a mix of new and veteran underground performers such as Iggy Pop, Blondie, The Ramones, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, The Police and Talking Heads.

"It was this iconic place, and it has this kind of history," says writer/director Randall Miller, who worked on the film with his writer/producer wife, Jody Savin. "But people don't know how it all began. And that's what we wanted to tell, the origin of all of this."

Kristal (Alan Rickman), a classically trained musician and jazz club manager, had planned to open a forum for country, bluegrass and blues performers, hence the CBGB initials on the now-famous logo.

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