Matthew Lewis’s face is everywhere.
On the wall to his right, smiling at the 2012 West End Revival poster of “Our Boys”, a play by Jonathan Lewis. In the alcove behind him, a group shot made for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” had arms crossed and stones. And in front of his laptop camera, eyes were wide under his gray flat cap and dark brown hair as he appeared to have a seemingly self-promotional backdrop.
“This is not my house!” The 31-year-old actor said. He and his wife were paying a Christmas Eve visit to their parents 200 miles north of the city of Yorkshire, Leeds, where they were born, he explained (quarantined for five days and negative for coronovirus After testing). But he ignored the fact that the study of his house was, well, a pilgrimage place for him.
“They are very proud,” he said, because aspiring for nothing more than an invisibility.
But rashness is no longer necessary for the man who stumbled into the role of Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter films for a decade. Last year, he spent time in the nearby Yorkshire Dales, not far from Leeds, filming his role as a wealthy landowner and rival sugarcane for veterinarian James Heriot (Nicholas Ralph) for the affection of Helen, a farmer’s daughter. Alderson (Rachel Shenton) in a reboot of “Masterpiece Great and Small”, the “Masterpiece” series that began airing on PBS this month on Sunday nights.
The seven-episode series, which is based on James Alfred White’s beloved books inspired by his adventures as a young veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire, was a surprise hit when it premiered in the UK this fall. Celebrated as an emotional balm for epidemic-weary viewers, it became Channel 5’s highest-rated show since 2016, and has been renewed for a second season.
For fans who used Lewis as the clumsy Longbottom, his entrance comes as a shock at the end of the second episode.
A decade removed from the previous Potter film – he no longer looks like Draco Malfoy’s weird, chubby punching bag – his career has been moving away from that type of character for some time.
“It was not necessarily a conscious decision,” he said. “I’ve just been lucky to have the roles that I was offered.”
Her first post-Potter role was as Jamie Bradley, a 22-year-old retail worker steeped in drugs and crime, but tried to turn her life around, in the 2012 BBC drama “The Syndicate” , Which was followed by a self-paced fitness fanatic in “I Before You” in 2016 and a lone father under house arrest in “Girlfriend” in 2018.
Offscreen, he shot a shirtless cover for Attitude magazine’s swimwear issue in 2015, which left JK Rowling Scolded him on twitter: “Warn me next time, for God’s sake” (In fairness, he didn’t give his mother a head, either. She said.)
“There was a lot of intense pressure coming from ‘Harry Potter’,” he said. “I didn’t want to be known as a one-trick pony.”
Lewis is the latest Potter actor to have success on television. Harry Milding, who played the role of Dudley Dursley, Harry’s suffering, shocked fans as a slim, dapper chess winner in “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix. Rupert Grint Apple TV + Series “Cervant”, m. Knight Shyamalan plays one of the four leads on the psychological thriller. Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, is an executive producer and star of the TBS comedy “Miracle Workers”.
(Other Potter alumni, such as Emma Watson, better known as Hermione Granger, and Robert Pattinson, who played the Golden Boy Cedric Diggory, became a Bona Fide film star.)
But Lewis is still coming to terms with being a major figure – God forbid, a sexy. That’s why, when the opportunity to audition for “All Creatures Great and Small” came, Lewis was hesitant.
“The original series is a bit of an institution in Yorkshire, and my father really wanted me to do it,” he said. “But this guy is supposed to be very dark and handsome, and has to admit that Helen loves him. I was like, ‘I don’t know about this. When I shave, everyone will look like I’m almost 12. Hoon
Even after participating, he still did not feel he was clear. “I was changing the first day on set,” he said. “I was sure they would like, ‘This is what it really looks like? Jesus, we need to bring this man back.'”
But the series director, Brian Percival, who directed several episodes of the Emmy-winning drama “Doughton Abbey”, was well aware of Lewis’s previous work on the Potter films – and felt he had the experience and confidence – Yorkshire accent. Not to mention. – Need to pull Hugh’s part.
He said, “I like to cast actors who can relate in some real and concrete way to the characters they are playing.” “Hugh needs an air of natural confidence that stems from privilege, and Matthew achieved it incredibly well.”
Lewis said he struggles with roles that are similar to his own life. “I think it’s very difficult when I start getting into too much character,” he said. “It’s easy when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who is rich.”
This is why he finds it difficult to re-watch Harry Potter films.
“It’s painful at times how much I contribute to Neville,” he said. “When I’m looking, I’m like, ‘This is not Neville; this is you.'”
David Yates, who directed the final four Potter films, said Lewis played more of a role in shaping his character in later films. “Matthew was a very supportive player when I arrived to direct the ‘Order of the Phoenix’,” he said. “But he was more confident, more curious, more present as the films progressed. More ambitious
Yates continues to think of ways to expand Lewis ‘role in the scenes, eventually building a sequence around him in “Deathly Hallows: Part 2”, in which Neville breaks the Hogwarts’ bridge to thwart the dark wizard Voldemort’s army. Blown to – a scene that was not present either in the book or in early drafts of Steve Klove’s screenplay. “But it captured the charm of Neville and Matthew’s quality of every man,” Yates said. “He had a modesty and an honesty that was difficult to ignore.”
Lewis recently played a leading role in Curtis Wavell’s upcoming New Zealand comedy film “Baby Dunn”, as an soon-to-be-born father who would try anything from drugs to a threesome, the possibility of motherhood. But to assimilate the disappointment of his courageous girlfriend.
But despite Lewis’s heartbreaking situation, his older brother Anthony said he was still a big idiot. He plans pub quizzes for the family on all holidays, including one for that evening. “He is fiercely competitive,” Anthony Lewis said, “to the point of being obsessive. It can be quite intense and is incredibly annoying.”
But if the ‘former Harry Potter actor’ is the label that follows him for the rest of his career, that’s fine, Lewis said, that would be fine with him.
“If some people miss you, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise,” he said. “It opens up so many doors for me when I wouldn’t be in the room otherwise.”