Interview with Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch for Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1
April 7, 2011
On a particularly beautiful Pancake Day a few weeks ago, HeyUGuys frolicked into Soho to talk to Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch about the release of the first Deathly Hallows instalment on DVD and how Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood are faring now that things are building up to an explosive finale this summer. We even managed to slip in a few questions about Part Two…
HeyUGuys: How does it feel now that the Harry Potter marathon is drawing to a close?
Evanna: It’s strange! It’s nice to come back to these sorts of interviews. It was very sad the day we finished on set though. Everyone was on set and it was like, ‘Oh no, this isn’t happening.’ I think it has been gradual though, it’s not been all of a sudden that’s it, go, move on with your life.
Matthew: Yeah! I mean you do it for such a long time, so obviously it’s going to be a bit strange coming to the end but Evanna’s right. It’s staggered. It’s not just: last day, done, never see each other again! We’ve got this DVD launch and the final premiere coming up.
HeyUGuys: Are you excited for the premiere of The Deathly Hallows Part Two?
Matthew: Yeah I really am, I think it’s going to be pretty mad. It’s the one I’ve been waiting for, for a while. When the book came out and with it being the last one you just knew it was going to be something pretty special.
HeyUGuys: Obviously the last instalment came out whilst you were playing Luna and Neville, did you have to shut yourselves away to read it in peace?
Evanna: It was quite a big deal for me when it was released. I was invited to JK Rowling’s launch party at the Natural History Museum and I was the second person to go up and have my copy of the book signed. My mum came with me and she really annoyed me when the book was released. I mean, for Harry Potter fans it’s a really big deal, you shut yourself away from the world, you just read read read. You don’t sleep and you don’t do any of your normal life maintenance things! And my mum was telling me to go to bed and I was like ‘No! NO! It’s a marathon, you have to keep going!’ I think that every time I put the book down I felt bad because I thought, ‘There’s stuff happening and I don’t know about it!’ So I made sure I knew how it ended before anybody else.
Matthew: Well I was always a fan of the books. Not quite as big a fan as Evanna but I was a big fan. I read the first four before I started work on the films and so each time a new one came out I would pre-order it and I tend to read them as a fan first. You lose yourself in the story because it’s so well written and then you start to think, ‘Hang on a sec, I’m going to be doing that in a few years.’ And that is a weird transition to make, it’s really hard when you’re reading it just as a fan and then as an actor. But it’s really great having that knowledge of what you’re going to be doing.
Evanna: Yeah, I’d read a cool part with Luna in it and think, ‘Oh, pleeeeaasseee keep that bit in!’
HeyUGuys: Were there any scenes in the movie that ended up on the cutting room floor that you really wanted the audience to see?
Matthew: I don’t know. I was lucky to be in that! I shouldn’t have been in it in the first place.
HeyUGuys: Was it odd seeing less of your character in the movie?
Matthew: Yeah, it was a bit. But it was quite a nice break because we filmed them simultaneously and I was quite busy with part two so any chance I got to have a break from part one it was alright. I got to go and have a little rest and some time off! But I just felt really grateful because Neville’s not in that part of the book so it was great of the producers to put him in there so people wouldn’t forget about Neville. I felt a real sense of gratitude to be included because it means I’m in all eight of the films, which is pretty special.
HeyUGuys: Do you both plan to continue acting and are you up to anything at the moment?
Evanna: I’m still in school in Dublin so I just have to get that out of the way. It’s really scary at school and there’s a lot of exams at the moment as I’m repeating my A levels. I think it’s frightening, especially when you want to do acting because it’s not secure and it’s unstable. I’ve put a lot into school so I thought I might as well give that another year! After that, hopefully…Matthew’s busy though.
Matthew: I’m doing a play, Agatha Christie’s ‘Verdict’, it’s a full year tour but I’m doing six months and I suppose they’ll re-cast me…with someone better (laughs). We’re doing a week in each town and we’re in West Cliff on Sea at the minute which is South End and we’re in High Wycombe next week and I finish around the end of June. Obviously so that we can kick off with the Harry Potter promotions for part two. I’ve been doing the play since January and it’s a learning curve, something new and it’s been eye-opening.
In real life both of you have a bit of a heartthrob fan base, did you know that?
Evanna: What? Why! We’re the weirdoes! We’re the losers in the film!
Matthew: That is so weird! I didn’t know about that! I’ll say it’s Neville doing all the charming then, nothing to do with me!
HeyUGuys: You’ve both worked with an incredible range of talented and successful actors and actresses on the set of the Harry Potter films, did you meet any heroes?
Matthew: I went to a premiere once and I was about a foot away from Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. Just to be breathing the same air as them meant that when I came out of there I honestly felt like a better actor!
Evanna: I made a bit of a tit of myself at the fifth premiere when Tim Burton was there… I was just so excited and I kind of just went up and stared at him and he was trying to be friendly and talk to me! My dad is one of those people who pushes you into people you’ve not met before saying, ‘There’s your friend, there’s your man!’ Do you know what, he doesn’t even know who anybody is but he sees Tim Burton and thinks he’s an odd, quirky guy like him so he should just go over and start talking to him whilst we’re all thinking, ‘Dad! Don’t!’
He sounds a little like Mr Lovegood! Who we finally got to meet in the Deathly Hallows Part One, how was it working with Rhys Ifans?
Evanna: It was brilliant, he was great! He’s quite a relaxed person and he got straight into the part without any airs or graces. We only had two days of filming together, he did a lot in the Lovegood house but Luna has been kidnapped at that stage. But we got to do the dance scene together and that was all done on the day, we weren’t even told there was going to be a dance but he just got really into it. Adding twirls and spinning me about! It was quite fun.
Who were you closest to in the cast?
Evanna: We all hang out really, we’re all a group. I get on very well with Katie Leung, she plays Cho Chang. But there’s no high school segregation or cliqueyness. We all get on great.
HeyUGuys: Neville’s character is very honourable and things get a lot tougher for him from here on in, what’s it been like taking the character from geek to hero?
Matthew: It’s been good! I liked playing Neville for all those years. When we first started he wasn’t that dissimilar from who I was in real life anyway so it was fun to play. I also like the idea that Neville wasn’t perfect. Not the chiselled jaw, Brad Pitt hero but he had it where it counts. He had the heart and the courage and I think he was very endearing to a lot of people. The nicest thing in the world is getting fan mail from people saying that Neville helped them through bullying, or overcome something. That’s brilliant and as an actor I find that really special. I love playing Neville. Each year I’ve been able to come back and add a bit more to the role and see him evolve which kept it really fresh and it was still a challenge. Especially on the last film, to come back and play this new kind of guy, who has been through it and he’s this veteran of battle, all beaten and bloodied…. It was great. It was a lot of fun and I felt a bit like Tom Cruise that last few weeks doing all these brilliant stunts! I definitely developed a taste for it!
HeyUGuys: If you both went under the sorting hat in real life do you think you’d have ended up in Gryffindor?
Evanna: I’ve always debated with that. I think I’d probably end up in Ravenclaw because, well, I don’t know. You know how Harry goes off into the forest and does all this dangerous stuff? I think I’d just decide to head up to bed. And I do like studying at school; I’m a geek like that.
Matthew: I don’t know either; to be honest I’m pretty lazy. I like to think that if push came to shove I’d be in Gryffindor but it would be a tossup between that and Hufflepuff!
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