Like several of his fellow cast members, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis feels a certain kinship with his character, Neville Longbottom. Transitioning from an awkward teenager into an articulate (and attractive!) man hasn’t come without hardships for Lewis, either. But, much like Neville, Lewis has no problem playing the part of the underdog.
Matthew Lewis talked about the darker side of playing Neville during a panel discussion at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter.
Lewis joined co-stars Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and Warwick Davis (Griphook the goblin and Professor Flitwick) on the panel.
It’s no secret that Lewis transformed over the years that he played Neville Longbottom.
Just like everyone, his body began to change when he hit puberty. Who wants to reminisce on that, right?
“Being 15 years old in the middle of puberty, having to wear a fat suit. There’s girls around; I’ve got this fat suit on every day,” he said. “No one knows I’m wearing this damn thing, they all just think I’m fat. Now, as an actor, I go, ‘Why did you ever even complain about that? You’re the luckiest man alive.’”
Though he admits that the compliments he gets now are flattering, he said he “doesn’t get it.” Costar Tom Felton disagreed, saying:
“I do. I’ll show you a picture of what you looked like when you were 12 versus the rippling mass of muscle you are today!”
Well, we can’t say he’s wrong.
More importantly, Lewis has also embarked on an emotional journey since his days at Hogwarts.
“As Neville grew throughout the books, so did I. My evolution as Matthew Lewis really coincided with Neville. There’s a large part of me in the character, without a shadow of a doubt.”
“But with Neville, we don’t know where, after he’d reached his peak and destroyed the Horcrux, where he went onto after that, how successful he was as a teacher. I kind of feel like I can take a little of that in my career. I don’t know where I’m going to be, but that’s terribly exciting.”
Lewis’ advice is something we can all take to heart. Like he said:”we’re all just on this planet trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing…We’re all just trying to make our way.”
“We’re all just on this planet trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing…We’re all just trying to make our way.”