Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis reveals that he gets frustrated with the way he is perceived in the media following his role as Neville.
Harry Potter‘s Matthew Lewis reveals that he gets frustrated with the role of Neville Longbottom. The now 31-year-old actor was cast as the character at a very young age, and like his co-stars, now carries with him the legacy of being one of the more iconic Harry Potter characters. Lewis played Neville in all eight Harry Potter movies from 2001-2011.
For most of the books and the films, Neville Longbottom was a character that provided comedic relief. When fans first met the character on screen in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Neville was portrayed as an unintelligent, awkward, and clumsy boy. This portrayal persisted until the fifth installment, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, when the films finally began to delve deeper into Neville’s backstory, as well as reveal an improvement of his wizarding skills. Neville’s arc as a hero is finally completed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, when he destroys Voldemort’s final horcrux, his snake Nagini, with the sword of Gryffindor.
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In an episode of Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside Of You Podcast, Lewis explained that Neville Longbottom has given him a reputation that is hard to shake in the film industry. Despite continuing to have an acting career after the conclusion of the films, Lewis revealed that it is frustrating to be viewed by the media as a character that he has not played in years.
“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 like a lot of the headlines are, ‘He’s no longer Neville Longbottom anymore.’ It’s like, ‘I haven’t been that for 10 years.’ And I have done things that have been so wildly different.
Like, 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 like I’ve done all this stuff and like 10 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.
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 10 years, No one f****** saw it. No one cares.’ They still think this is the first job you’ve done since Harry Potter.”
It would be frustrating for any actor to be perceived exclusively as a character they play in the eyes of the media. In Lewis’ case, he has had a serious and successful career following the conclusion of the Harry Potter film series. Lewis’ frustration about the way that the Harry Potter legacy affects his career and the way he is perceived as an actor is not the only quarrel he has with the character. He also has previously explained that he finds it painful to watch the Harry Potter films because he has difficulty watching his own acting.
Lewis’ frustrations are not necessarily uncommon among the Harry Potter cast; co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton, to name a few, carry a similar weight forward into their acting careers, as it can be very hard for fans of the series to see them as anything apart from their iconic characters. However, while Harry Potter fans can celebrate Neville for the hero he was, it is important to remember that actors deserve to be recognized for their talent and achievements rather than as a character from their past.
Next: What Happened To Neville Longbottom After Harry Potter Ended
Source: Inside Of You Podcast
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