June 19, 2007 BBC News
WERE YOU A FAN OF HARRY POTTER BEFORE YOU GOT THE PART?
Matthew: I’ve been acting since I was five, doing Heartbeat and that kind of thing, and when I got to the age of 11 I had already read the books – I was a massive fan.
I heard they were making a film and I just wanted to be in it in some way. Even just as an extra, it would have been perfect.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR PART IN THE FILM?
Matthew: I took a day off school to go to the open audition in Leeds.
I was in there about two minutes and read a paragraph from the book. About two or three months later they asked me to come down to London for a recall for Neville Longbottom.
From getting to meet Chris Columbus [director of the first two films], to having a screen test, to actually getting the part happened in the space of about two or three days. To get that call was just great. I was jumping up and down on the sofa going crazy.
WHAT WAS YOUR HIGHLIGHT OF FILMING HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX?
Matthew: I love comedy, I love making people laugh – but what I really loved this year was tackling the emotional side of Neville.
That was a big challenge for me because Neville has always been a light-hearted, humorous character and I have never had to do anything as deep and emotional as that before.
WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE GROWING UP ON SCREEN?
Matthew: Some of us shave now! We come in and the make-up ladies say ‘I’m sick of shaving you, will you just do it before you come in?’.
Even if it’s just a little bit of bum fluff they have to get rid of it.
HOW HAS HARRY POTTER CHANGED YOUR LIFE?
Matthew: The things I have experienced and the places I have been are just incredible.
I have to spend a lot of time away from home, so I miss my friends a lot. I get quite homesick, but the pros just outweigh the cons.
When I go to parties back home, my friends say “guess what, he’s in Harry Potter” because it’s a great good way of getting in with girls.
It’s a good way to start a conversation but I like to quickly get away from it. There’s a little bit more to me than just Harry Potter.