Actor Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom in the “Harry Potter” films, recently sat down and discussed his role in the series.
“I’ve done quite a few weirdly different things to Neville since then,” Lewis told Rip It Up–and one of those things includes a shirtless photoshoot. “I feel like in my career I’ve definitely moved on, but it’s still such a massive part of my life–it’s not something that you can easily forget. It’s been the very foundation of the rest of my career, particularly amongst the fanbase. I’m very, very fortunate to have some incredibly fantastic fans. I’m under no illusion that the vast majority are fans of Harry Potter and that’s not a bad thing. I don’t mind at all.”
In fact, Lewis revealed that one of his most memorable encounters with a fan was with a girl who told him watching “Harry Potter” and being able to relate to Neville helped her through a dark period, including thoughts of suicide.
“Because of that, she got my signature tattooed on her arm,” he said. “I was confused to begin with, thinking about how anything I’d done could have had that kind of impact, but also incredibly humbled and very much aware of the responsibility we have when we make films–we don’t always appreciate how much people can be affected by them. It was both nice and eye-opening, and I’ll never forget that.”
Most recently, Lewis’ work onscreen has included the new movie “Me Before You,” which will open in theaters in March, moved up from its previous June release date. Lewis is also finishing up work on the series “Happy Valley” and will soon return to work on the fourth season of BBC’s “Ripper Street.”
Lewis also recently met up with “Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling, but if he got any information about upcoming prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and “Potter” play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” he’s probably sworn to secrecy just like the cast.
“I saw David Yates and David Heyman, the director and producer of ‘Harry Potter,’ at the weekend,” Lewis said. “I saw J.K. Rowling at the weekend as well, and chatted to her about the film and the play she’s doing.”
Lewis’ career isn’t the only thing keeping him busy, though–he recently participated in helping hundreds of sick children attend various Orlando theme parks, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios.
Lewis is scheduled to appear in the Wizarding World himself at Universal Orlando’s Celebration of Harry Potter in January, along with costars Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch and Katie Leung, as well as graphic-design duo MinaLima. Later this month, he’ll appear at Australia’s Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Adelaide Nov. 20-22.