“It’s easier when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who’s wealthy.”
“Harry Potter” star Matthew Lewis says he has a hard time re-watching his work in the fantasy films.
While speaking to The New York Times earlier this week, the 31-year-old actor — who played Neville Longbottom in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise from 2001 to 2011 — said it’s “painful” to watch his performance in the films as he sees “too much” of himself in Neville.
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“I find it quite difficult when too much of me starts to come through in a character,” Lewis said. “It’s easier when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who’s wealthy.”
“At times it’s painful how much of me there is in Neville,” he continued. “When I’m watching, I’m like, ‘That’s not Neville; that’s you.'”
David Yates, who directed the final four “Harry Potter” films, explained how Lewis’s performance transformed over time.
“Matthew was very much a supporting player when I arrived to direct ‘Order of the Phoenix,'” Yates told the Times. “But he became more confident, more curious, more present as the films progressed. And more ambitious.”
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Yates brought up a scene he wrote for Lewis and his character for the last Harry Potter” film, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” The sequence, which wasn’t featured in the books, shows Neville blowing up a bridge in order to slow down Lord Voldemort’s army from entering Hogwarts.
“It captured the charms of Neville and Matthew’s everyman quality,” Yates said. “He had a modesty and an honesty that was hard to ignore.”
Although he might not enjoy re-watching himself in the “Harry Potter” films, Lewis doesn’t mind if he’ll always be referred to as a “former Harry Potter actor.”
“If there’s something people remember you by, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise,” he said. “It opened so many doors for me when I otherwise wouldn’t even have gotten in the room.”
The actor, however, is being seen in a new light as a romantic lead in a reboot of “All Creatures Great and Small” which you can catch on Masterpiece PBS.
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