Matthew Lewis No Longer Wants to Be Compared to Neville Longbottom
Matthew Lewis, who portrayed the role of Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films, has been incredibly busy for the past decade. He has revisited our screens in the form of many different characters since the Potter franchise came to an end. Most recently, he starred in the film Baby Done, which explores the transition into parenthood, and he thoroughly enjoyed portraying a dad-to-be. He also stars in the PBS reboot of All Creatures Great and Small, which has been renewed for a second season. He recently appeared on an episode of Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast Inside of You and opened up about how being cast in a big franchise like Harry Potter is still affecting his career – and it’s not always positive.
Most Harry Potter fans will always remember the actors from the films as the characters they portrayed. There’s just no getting around that. And while Lewis understands this, he does find it frustrating that Neville Longbottom is still all people tend to see when they look at him. He told Rosenbaum that he finds that people still compare him to the boy he used to be when he portrayed the role of Neville, instead of acknowledging all the work he’s done in the past ten years and the journey he’s been on to get to where he is today.
I still to a degree get a bit frustrated sometimes when people sort of say, ‘Oh, he’s’ – for example, I’m doing this show at the minute; it’s on PBS, and a lot of the headlines are, ‘He’s no longer Neville Longbottom anymore.’ It’s like, ‘I haven’t been that for ten years.’ And I have done things that have been so wildly different. I’ve been in dramas that have won BAFTAs and done all of this kind of stuff. And I’m not bragging; it’s just [that] I’ve done all this stuff, and ten years later, it’s still like people are making the claim I’ve sort of jumped from ‘Harry Potter’ into this and have completely ignored the journey it’s taken to get there.
Spending ten years diving into other projects to try to make a name for yourself as an actor takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Having people ignore all of that and still focus on the character you portrayed when you were incredibly young is hardly fair. Lewis, however, doesn’t have any hard feelings toward the Harry Potter series but admits that it can get discouraging at times when working so hard on other projects and feeling like people don’t even notice it.
That can be frustrating – not that I’m frustrated with anything to do with ‘Harry Potter,’ but it’s like you have that voice in your head that goes, ‘Hey, you know all that work you did for the past ten years? No one f***ing saw it. No one cares. They still think this is the first job you’ve done since “Harry Potter.”‘
It is perhaps important that fans (and the media) remember that the actors from Harry Potter have grown up and moved on to other projects. They should be respected as much as any of the other actors out there. It’s good to remember the work they’ve done, but it’s even better to look into the future (and focus on the present) and appreciate the work they are doing right now while also putting in some effort to support it.
Have you watched any of Lewis’s latest projects? Which film or series was it? Let us know in the comments.