A new kind of romance movie. First Love, starring Hero Fiennes Tiffin, brings a fresh take on young love, and J-14 had an exclusive interview with him to talk all about it! The actor, who is known for his portrayal as Hardin Scott in the After franchise, spoke about the dramatics of first love, his hesitance to star in another romance movie and his excitement ahead of the film’s release.

“I think I’ve watched it [First Love] myself about four or five times, with friends and actors and my sister, and I find myself constantly side-eyeing them for their reactions,” Hero tells J-14.

The film tackles the topic of first love (duh), depicting a couple just starting their relationship in high school juxtaposed to high school sweethearts 20 years down the line. It’s a tender tale on love that is tested over decades — which, like Hero says, comes with a lot of drama, and J-14 has an exclusive first look. In our sneak peek, Hero’s Jim sneaks Sydney Park‘s Ann out of class.

“I just feel like the main aspect of first love, that I can identify, is that feeling when you’re coming of age and you have your crush at school and then maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t,” he explained. “Everything just feels like the end of the world and the biggest deal. I think it’s the age and just emotionally, everything is just so dramatic.”

The British actor is far from new to romance films, which is why he originally set out to avoid the genre following the wrap of After Ever Happy. “I think I made it quite clear to my team that it was not what I was trying to do,” he explains. “And then they sent me a romance script, and I obviously read it and was like, ‘OK, I see why you sent this because this is really, really good.'”

“I was definitely reluctant to do another romance off the bat,” he adds. “But I’m so glad I did.”

The First Love actor plays a teenager named Jim experiencing his first love — and he’s a far-cry from “bad boy” Hardin Scott who he played in the After series. So, is Jim more similar to the actor in real life than Hardin was?

“I always got that question about Hardin and found it quite difficult. I thought like, whatever other role I get, it’ll be easier,” Hero says. “It’s just not true.”

“I feel like you make such an effort to make them different from you because you’re acting, so you wanna make sure that they’re their own person and you’re not just playing yourself, but then you end up behaving a bit more like them. You built aspects of them that you admire that you kind of wanna take into your life,” he continued.

“So, I feel like after doing After, there’s aspects of Hardin that I take, and then, after playing Jim, there’s aspects of him that I take. I feel like every role you do, you take a little bit of them with you on your way.”

First Love is set to release in theatres and on demand on Friday, June 17.

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