Matthew Lewis Admits It’s “Painful” to Watch His Harry Potter Movies

Matthew Lewis, who starred as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter franchise, explained to The New York Times the funny reason why it's hard for him to revisit the iconic films.

By Kaitlin Reilly Jan 21, 2021 8:29 PMTags
Watch: "Harry Potter" 18 Years Later: E! News Rewind

Matthew Lewis may not really be a wizard, but he still sees a lot of himself in the character he portrayed in the Harry Potter franchise.

Beginning when he was just 12 years old, Lewis starred as the nervous, clumsy Gryffindor wizard Neville Longbottom in the wildly successful series of films, which ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 in 2011. Since then, Lewis has gone on to appear in shows like The SyndicateHappy Valley and Girlfriends. He has also appeared in movies like Me Before You, opposite Emilia Clarke, and Terminal, alongside Margot Robbie.

However, there's one reason it's more uncomfortable to revisit Harry Potter than these other films.

"I find it quite difficult when too much of me starts to come through in a character," he explained to The New York Times in a new interview. "It's easier when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who's wealthy."

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He added, "At times it's painful how much of me there is in Neville. When I'm watching, I'm like, ‘That's not Neville; that's you.'"

Lewis will take on a totally different role next. He is set to star in the PBS reboot of All Creatures Great and Small, a series about vets working in the Yorkshire Dales. The original series of the same name, which is based on If Only They Could Talk by James Herriot, aired on the BBC between 1978 and 1990.

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In fact, Lewis was convinced that he would be recast because of how different he was from his character Hugh Hulton. 

"The original series is a bit of an institution in Yorkshire, and my dad really wanted me to do it," he told the outlet. "But this guy is supposed to be very dark and handsome, and it has to be believable that Helen's in love with him. I was like, ‘I don't know about this. When I shave, everyone will see I look like I'm about 12.'"

 

Still, it seems that Lewis really warmed up to the role. In September 2020, he shared an Instagram photo of himself in costume, looking very dapper. 

"It's not the years, honey. It's the mileage," he wrote. "Hugh is basically a young Indiana Jones. Or at least that's how I played him... alone, in my trailer."

While he may not always want to re-watch Harry Potter, he's immensely grateful for the magic the movies sprinkled on his career.

"If there's something people remember you by, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise," he told NYT. "It opened so many doors for me when I otherwise wouldn't even have gotten in the room."

 

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