Bradford Telegraph and Argus Interview
Actor Matthew Lewis, who shot to fame in the Harry Potter movies, plays a lottery winner in new television drama The Syndicate.
The five-part series, also starring Timothy Spall and Gavin and Stacey actress Joanna Page, has been written by Kay Mellor and filmed in her native Leeds.
Due on BBC1 later this month, it follows five supermarket workers who each win £3.6million in a syndicate, only to find it doesn’t bring the happiness they imagined.
Matthew, 22, who played Neville Longbottom in all eight Harry Potter films, plays a drug-user called Jamie.
“Jamie is a drug-taking, mouthy scallywag and Neville is a shy boy wizard who’s afraid of his own shadow. On the surface they’re worlds apart. However, when you scratch below that surface they have similarities,” said Matthew.
“I wanted to play Jamie from the moment I read the script. The fact that he was a ‘bad lad’ didn’t really factor in my decision. I just knew I wanted to tell Jamie’s story.”
He added: “A lot of people will dislike him and will find him on the surface to be a pretty disagreeable bloke. He’s been through a lot but I’m not asking people to justify his behaviour, I just hope they understand it on a human level. That for me is the challenge.”
Matthew, of Horsforth, was 11 when he beat thousands of hopefuls to land the role of geeky Neville in the first Harry Potter film. He played Harry’s loyal friend in every one of the blockbuster movies based on JK Rowling’s children’s books, and worked alongside the cream of British acting, including Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham-Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Alan Rickman.
The movie franchise came to an end last year with the release of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Matthew, who went to St Mary’s School in Menston and Scala Performing Arts School in Horsforth, told the T&A: “Those films are classics, I’m proud to be part of that.
“I’m a huge Star Wars fan and to think our films will be ranked alongside those in years to come is incredible.”
Matthew is filming his first post-Potter big-screen role in heist thriller Wasteland alongside Timothy Spall.