Matthew Lewis Talks “Baby Done,” Growing Up, and Acting in the 20 Years Since His Debut as Neville Longbottom

Matthew Lewis’s (Neville Longbottom) newest film, Baby Done, is out now, and it is a bit of a sensation in New Zealand, where the film was shot. The actor reflected on his role and his career 20 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released. Though once a shy boy wizard with fake buck teeth and ear prosthetics, Lewis now enjoys international fame. However, growing up and feeling grown-up are two different things.

Although he has learned far more about the trade since acting in the eight blockbuster Harry Potter movies, Lewis still gets asked about it. With the first film’s 20th anniversary coming up, he reflected on playing Neville and what an impact it had on his later career:

It’s weird. I think that a lot of people think you’re more attached to it than I actually am. It’s been 20 years; I didn’t even know until you just said it.

I don’t really think about it very often at all. I’d acted before Harry Potter, and thankfully, I’ve been able to act afterwards.

Obviously, it’s very profound in my life, and it has changed my life. And I wouldn’t be here where I am now; I wouldn’t be doing the jobs and doing the films I’m doing. It has shaped and moulded me, and I owe it almost everything. But it was just a job. And I’ve not had that job for 10 years.

It was a great time, but I learned a lot more about my profession and about myself after Harry Potter. It wasn’t defining for me. It was defining for my career for sure. The doors that are open to me now wouldn’t be open had it not been for that, the followers I’ve got on social media and the opportunities – I’m the host of the official Leeds United podcast, for crying out loud. Do I think that I’d be doing that because I was in The Syndicate on BBC One?

It’s been massive in terms of my life. But me as a human being, internally, all my defining moments occurred after that.

Speaking of his later projects, he praised Taika Waititi’s Baby Done, in which he plays dad-to-be Tim, whose partner, Zoe, (Rose Matafeo) does most of the freaking out and decides to do all the fun things she wanted to do before having children.

Tim’s determined not to be a bad dad, like he had. So he goes all in, whereas his girlfriend is not so keen; she’s not sure if this is what she wants at this time in her life. It’s about how those two try and meet in the middle. It’s a nice role reversal. You see so many movies with an unexpected pregnancy, and it’s always the woman who has to deal with being a mother, and the father tends to be the one having a quarter-life crisis.

Even New Zealand’s First Gentleman happened to interview him after the movie was screened, and it seems to be another hit for Lewis to add to his résumé.

 

 

In his own life, Lewis still enjoys playing computer games, soccer, and going out. Much like Zoe, he hopes to get all this out of his system before embarking on a parental journey himself at some point. Sadly, the pandemic put that on hold. In order to keep his green card application on track, he picked his wife’s home turf, Florida, to stick out the lockdowns:

The weather’s nice and stuff, but Florida is a bit of a Wild West. When the weather’s nice, people go out and they do silly things, and we are in a pandemic. So, you know, pros and cons. […] Get this vaccine to me immediately. When we can go out, I’m going to do all kinds of stuff. I want to get back to work; I want to travel. I want to go out to a bar without a mask on. And I want to have a big house party and play beer pong and not have to disinfect everything.

Same here! Until then, check out Baby Done or Matthew Lewis’s other awesome films, including but not limited to Harry Potter.

 

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Dora Bodrogi

I am a writer, a critic, a researcher, a traveler, and a Ravenclaw through and through. My main fields of interest are representation, gender, and LGBTQ fiction, history, and censorship. Incorrigible doodler and theatre kid.