Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Matthew Lewis
Birthdate: June 27, 1989
Famous Years: 2001-Present
Currently Known For: Terminal, Girlfriends
|Networth: $10 Million||Famous For: Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter Series|
June 27, 1989
Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter Series
When “Harry Potter” first gets to Hogwarts, he gets placed into the Gryffindor house with many other students. We all know about Ron and Hermione, but another student that was among their class in the house was Neville Longbottom. Early in the series, Neville as portrayed as a bit of a lovable oaf that’s clumsy, yet well meaning. As the series goes on, Neville becomes a brave wizard that takes on the evil forces that threaten Hogwarts, helping to save the day and getting a happy ending during the epilogue in the process.
Lewis was born on June 27, 1989 in Leeds, England with two older brothers and showed that he wanted to be an actor almost right away. Lewis was just five years old when he landed his first role on screen, playing Johnathan Taylor in the TV film “Some Kind of Life” back in 1995. During the rest of the 1990s, he’d have one-episode appearances on the shows “Dalziel and Pascoe” and “Heartbeat”, and then had his final pre-Potter role on the show “Where the Heart Is”.
When he was auditioning to play Neville, Lewis knew that it was a role that he wanted to play. “I found Neville’s underdog status a huge draw,” he said. “Naturally, being British, the plucky underdog is always a character that I want to champion. Neville, however, is also inherently good. He always attempts to do his best and fight the good fight against overwhelming odds. He’s scared and out of his depth but he steps up and fights anyway - that’s courage.”
Still, that doesn’t mean that Lewis might have had more fun with another role. Surprisingly, when asked if he had the chance to play another role, Lewis said he might have been on the opposing side of Harry Potter. “The most common (role I think of) is that I’d like to be on the other side,” he said. “Playing bad guys is so much fun because it’s out of your comfort zone and you get to do and say things you’d never do in real life. So I think I’d be one of the Malfoys. Probably Lucius.”
The character of Neville had to go through a bit of bullying as he was an easy target. While Lewis might have portrayed the character well, it’s not quite who he was in real life. “It’s kind of strange because I was never really bullied at school,” he said. “I was pretty confident in terms of school work and teachers and I’ve never shied away from much but a lot of people have come up to me and said that they were bullied at school and my portrayal of Neville has influenced them a lot in their lives and helped them out. So that’s given me great inspiration to carry on doing the job right. I don’t want to just say I’m a natural, but the books are so well written that you don’t have to do much research. You can just read how (J.K. Rowling) wrote it down and perform it that way.”
When it came time to shoot the final “Harry Potter” film, there was a bit of sense of relief for Lewis. “It was an exciting time and quite strange (having done) them for 10 years, but I was very ready to finish when we came to the last one,” he said. “After playing the character for that amount of tie, I wanted to do different things, I wanted to find new character and explore new avenues. I literally had no idea what I was going on to...I wasn’t keen to jump back into a rob eand be a wizard in something anytime soon.”
Lewis is one of the few actors that appeared in all eight films in the “Harry Potter” series. Outside of the main trio that comprises of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, only 10 others outside of Lewis were in all films from “Sorcerer’s Stone” to “Deathly Hallows - Part II”. For the first decade of Lewis’s career, he hadn’t been on the big screen outside of “Harry Potter” films, and he had stepped away from television, as well.
Since the final film debuted in 2011, Lewis has been a very busy man. His first role outside of the Potter universe came in 2012 when was in a short film called “The Night of the Loving Dead” in 2012, and followed that up the next year with roles in “The Rise” and “The Sweet Shop”. He’s had a pair of movie roles since then, with “Me Before You” coming out in 2016, and “Terminal” being released in 2018, starring alongside the likes of Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg and Mike Myers.
Television and theater have been more in the wheelhouse for Lewis, as he’s had several notable roles on the small screen, including multiple seasons in the shows “Bluestone 42” and “Ripper Street”. Other credits include “The Syndicate” and “Death in Paradise”, and most recently he’s starred on the show “Girlfriends”. On stage, Lewis has starred in a handful of plays, with the most recent being “Our Boys”.
Now a Master’s degree holder from Leeds Metropolitan University and an established actor, the 29 year old Lewis appears to have quite the future ahead of him. Even if he decides to take a break from acting, entering the working world proves to be a nice little fallback plan. Thankfully, his fans probably won’t have to worry about that as Lewis has been working regularly, even without “Harry Potter”.