Matthew Lewis Talks “Ripper Street”, “Happy Valley”, and “Attitude” Photoshoot
In a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Matthew Lewis discusses what life after Harry Potter has been like, from being the cover model for Attitude magazine last June to taking on challenging roles in both Ripper Street and Happy Valley and training to play a triathlete in the upcoming film Me Before You.
Overall, the post-Potter life has been both a challenging and rewarding experience for Lewis, known for his role in the Harry Potter films as the introverted Neville Longbottom. His most recent role in Ripper Street has him totally in his element, with him claiming to have the utmost appreciation for the genre:
I have a morbid fascination with serial killers. This show is about dramatic human stories that happen to be set in Victorian England. The first episode deals heavily with imperialism, immigration, Islam, murder, police corruption and all these things we are still talking about today. Man’s inhumanity to man is an interesting topic.
Lewis has also been working on the second season of the BBC One series Happy Valley, which airs on Netflix in the US and Canada. The series, which tackles subjects like suicide, rape, murder, and kidnapping, won several awards in its first season, with the second season expected to come out sometime this year.
Unlike his role in Ripper Street, Lewis says that he had to dig deep to embody his character:
It was one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. I had to go to some pretty dark places. I was strung up really tight.
Lewis isn’t allowed to divulge much information about his role in Happy Valley yet, but we do know that he will be playing a rebellious character named Sean.
After his work on Happy Valley, Lewis began training for his role in the upcoming film Me Before You, in which he plays a robust triathlete. It was after four months of intense training with James Bond actor Daniel Craig’s personal trainer that Lewis found himself in the best shape of his life. It was then that Attitude came knocking, asking to put him on the cover:
Naturally you think of cover models to be David Beckham or someone insanely handsome, not me. But I’ve worked with the photographer, Joseph Sinclair, before, and he is incredibly talented. He suggested some more risqué shots because I was in the best shape of my life, and I trust him. Of course I was self-conscious.
The result was surprising to those loyal Harry Potter fans who had watched him grow up from the chubby, hapless kid in Sorcerer’s Stone. Because of the outpouring of messages on social media, Lewis was forced to turn his phone off for three days. One of the messages, he says, was from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling:
She told me, ‘I’ll fully support you in everything you do, but next time keep your clothes on.’ That was awkward.
Overall, the response was nothing but positive feedback; however, he insists that he is still on the market, even after receiving several marriage proposals from Attitude fans.
With all of his recent success, Lewis still admits that he misses playing Neville Longbottom in the Potter films, saying that he misses the interesting complexity of the character. Even so, Lewis still keeps in touch with the Potter crew, talking with Robbie Coltrane on the phone and playing cricket with Tom Felton.
We are excited to see what 2016 will bring for Matthew Lewis! What role of his are you most excited to see?