Matthew Lewis on Acting and What Happened to That Mustache

Ask any Potter fan what their favorite character outside of the main trio is, and you’re likely to find someone who will sing praises to lovable, accident-prone, and ultimately heroic Horcrux destroyer and leader Neville Longbottom. But ask actor Matthew Lewis what it was like to play Neville, and you’ll find a  similar transformation:

I felt like a kid who got lucky and was doing an acting gig … Now I feel like an actor.

In a new interview, Lewis discussed his career since Potter and how his recent roles have influenced his view on the acting world. Like Emma Watson and other young Potter actors, Lewis admits that he considered giving up acting after completing his time as Neville. Lewis says he began to feel limited in his role, and he longed to stretch his acting muscles. “I was sick of playing this character over and over again” by the end of the series, he said.

In the years since, however, Lewis says he has rediscovered his passion for his profession. As one of his recent roles – playing Sergeant Samuel Drummond on BBC’s Ripper Street – comes to a close, Lewis reflected on his time since Neville and what he’s learned in that time. “I’ve been really fortunate that people have allowed me to keep working as a variety of characters,” he said. “It’s really opened my eyes to the industry.”

Still, Lewis says when he reflects back on his time as Neville, he has a greater appreciation than he did before.

People who were inspired by him. I didn’t think about all that. I wish I’d been a bit more grateful perhaps.

We certainly are grateful that Lewis brought such a beloved character to perfect life on our screens!

And as for that distinctive mustache: Lewis says he shaved it the day he wrapped on Ripper Street, which means a great source of facial hair humor is now gone.

The final season of Ripper Street premieres on BBC Two on June 19, 2017.