Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis has revealed his frustration with the role of Neville Longbottom. The actor was cast as the character when he was a child and now he is 31-years-old. He definitely carries the legacy of being one of the most iconic characters from the Harry Potter franchise.
Matthew played the role of Neville in all eight movies from 2001-2011. In the movies as well as the books, Neville was the character that used to provide comedic relief. In the very first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, when the character was introduced, he was portrayed as an unintelligent individual. He used to be a clumsy, awkward, and forgetful boy.
This was the portrayal of the character up until the fifth installment, Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. The film dug deep into Neville’s backstory as well as revealed an improvement in his wizarding skills. His character is brought to justice at the last installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Neville’s arc as a hero is developed as he destroys Voldemort’s last Horcrux, Nagini with the sword of Gryffindor.
Recently in an episode of the Inside of You Podcast, the actor has explained that Neville Longbottom has given him a reputation that is hard to shake off. Matthew continued acting after the end of the film franchise and he revealed how frustrating it to be viewed by the media as a character he hasn’t played in years.
“It’s like, ‘I haven’t been that for 10 years.’”
The actor shared that he has done things that are different since Harry Potter but he is always referred to as Neville. He said, “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.”
He further explained that he has been in dramas that have won BAFTAs and done a lot of work. The actor clarifies that he is not bragging but that he has done all this work in 10 years which has been ignored. He said, “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.”
Matthew further expressed that it can be frustrating and it does not have to do anything with Harry Potter. He explained, “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.”
The Cons Of The Harry Potter Legacy
This would be frustrating to any actor to be only seen or perceived that one hasn’t worked or moved on from one film to the next. The actor has had a rather serious and successful career in acting since the Harry Potter film franchise. his frustration with the Harry Potter legacy affects his career and his efforts as an actor do not just limit to this. He has also previously talked about his pain while watching the Harry Potter films because it’s difficult to watch his own acting.
However, Matthew is not the only one who gets frustrated but his cast from Harry Potter also faces a similar situation. His co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton also carry a similar weight. It is pretty hard for fans of the series to see them something apart from the characters they used to play. Although fans can enjoy Neville and the other characters with the iconic story, it is important to remember that the actors also deserve to be recognized for more than just Harry Potter. They should be recognized for their talent and their work as actors rather than as characters from the past only.