By Stephen M. Silverman And Laura Hahn
Updated October 23, 2003 12:00 PM

America’s Sweetheart Meg Ryan did not endear herself to her British fans Wednesday night as her new movie, “In the Cut,” premiered in London, reports PEOPLE.

The movie, which kicked off the 47th Annual London Film Festival (and which has been receiving mixed reviews on both sides of the Atlantic), reveals the romantic-comedy princess in a new, jaggedly erotic light — complete with nude scenes.

But at the premiere, Ryan, 41, studiously avoided fans and reporters to rush into the theater, only to emerge minutes later after the film started and scurry away again, prompting boos from the crowd.

Meanwhile, screen hunk Mark Ruffalo picked up the slack, smiling alongside his wife, actress Sunrise Coigney. Ruffalo, 35, was also more than willing to dish about the film — about the racy sex scenes that are causing a stir.

When asked how many people were in the room during the scenes, he replied, “Only like 50,” laughing as he turned to check on the reaction from his gorgeous wife. “Wait, what sex scenes are we talking about?”

Despite early critical reaction, Ruffalo — who first turned heads in 2000’s “You Can Count On Me” — is confident that the film’s graphic content will be a hit in the states when the movie opens here Oct. 31.

“I think it is not anything Americans haven’t done already, and they do it better than anyone else in the world,” the Wisconsin native said with a devilish grin.