Matt Lewis Looking to “Mix it Up” in Interview with Evening Standard

Jan 07, 2016

Posted by: Catherine

Actor Interviews, Lewis, Lewis Interviews, News

Matt Lewis is lovingly known by all of us as Neville Longbottom. Quite understandably, after being known as our geeky hero for many years, Matt wants to be known as himself.

Matt Lewis sat down with the Evening Standard for an interview, and talked of his career post-Potter, the different directions he has gone, wanting to “mix it up” after doing a franchise for ten years, and those photos in his underwear (taken for June 2015 of Attitude magazine) that are still causing quite a stir.

The Evening Standard reports:


We are at the Soho Hotel to discuss his role in Ripper Street, the Victorian crime series that has been resurrected by Amazon Prime, as well his turns in police drama Happy Valley, and the film adaptation of Jojo Moyes’s novel Me Before You, out this summer, in which he plays a triathlete. 

‘This year’s roles appealed because “they were totally different”. “Having played the same character for 10 years I jump at every opportunity I have to mix it up. Going away to do Harry Potter was a bit of a ballache,” he continues in his deadpan Yorkshire accent, before realising this could sound brattish. “Don’t get me wrong, I sound like a twat. It was such an opportunity and there’s me going ‘I want to go to the pub with my mates’. That feeling disappeared. I realised I was doing an incredible job.” 

“I would never in a million years regret doing Harry Potter. I owe so many things in my life to it,” he says.

When Lewis revealed his newly ripped body to the world by posing topless on the front of Attitude magazine’s June 2015 issue, he received so much attention that he had to turn off his phone for three days. The worst comment was from Harry Potter author J K Rowling, he says. “She told me, ‘I’ll fully support you in everything you do, but next time keep your clothes on’. That was awkward.”


Matt went on to discuss more awkward moments. The lowest point in his Harry Potter career, Helena Bonham Carter accidentally puncturing his eardrum with a wand. Matt also discussed how his acting life began–even before Potter. He started very young, and even after Potter, took a few stage acting roles for a challenge. He didn’t know about the Harry Potter plays (Cursed Child), though. The Evening Standard wrote:


Lewis has been acting since he was five, following his older brother Anthony, who is also an actor, and has appeared in Casualty. They now live together near Alexandra Palace (“further north than Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency”).

“I assumed everyone acted when they grew up,” says Lewis. “I copied my brother on everything he did so I fell into it. I don’t remember deciding I wanted to act. My parents encouraged but never pushed.” 

After Potter finished he did a play “to learn my craft” and it took him four months to be given a good review: “I hadn’t appreciated there would be paying customers and it was a [job.] Suddenly I was out of my depth.”

Ripper Street appealed because, Lewis says, “I have a morbid fascination with serial killers. This show is about dramatic human stories that happen to be set in Victorian England. The first episode deals heavily with imperialism, immigration, Islam, murder, police corruption and all these things we are still talking about today. Man’s inhumanity to man is an interesting topic.”

Happy Valley is another police story, set in the present day but again with “horrible people doing horrible things”.

“Without sounding like a wanky actor, it was one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. I had to go to some pretty dark places. I was strung up really tight.”

If Lewis has time he reads all his Twitter mentions “because if people are taking the time to write you a message the least you can do is read it. Jo Rowling has the same attitude.”


Matt also talked of body image and of the pressure and lessons he learned from his Attitude magazine photos. He, a dream bachelor, even received a few marriage proposals. To read more about this discussion, his roles in his current television projects, and hobbies, please read the Evening Standard, here.


The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.