Matthew Lewis on The Xfm Gordon Smart Podcast
Matthew Lewis on The Xfm Gordon Smart Podcast. Transcript by Kerstin.
Gordon Smart: In the studio now we have Matt Lewis, A.K.A Neville Longbottom. How you doing mate?
Matt: I’m good man, how are you?
Gordon: I’m alright yes, a nice sunny day. You’ve got the old shorts on
Matt: I’m from Leeds, if there’s an ounce of sunshine the shorts come on
Gordon: Sunglasses as well
Matt: Oh yeah, definitely
Gordon: It’s a brave look, you’ve walked in this morning past Paul Weller with sunglasses on
Matt: laughs, I didn’t even think. Literally I saw him; he walked straight past me I went to pieces. Literally just couldn’t think of anything to say, we just sort of stared at him for a bit.
Gordon: Cause you are a massive, massive music fan
Matt: Yeah, yeah I mean all that kind of stuff you know like The Jams, Style Council I just, I don’t know, I just didn’t know what to say.
Gordon: Do you find that they come up and speak to you cause they recognize you from the films? Cause you do look completely different now don’t you think? You’ve grown in a proper man now.
Matt: Oh thanks very much. Uh, I mean it’s weird cause um. Yeah sometimes I’m not recognized that much. But um people who know are quite into the films it’s bizarre. Like I know the Pigeon Detectives and the Kaiser Chiefs and stuff like Ricky from the Kaiser is a massive Harry Potter fan.
Gordon: You’re both Leeds lads as well
Matt: Yeah exactly, yeah so we chat about stuff and um, Liam Gallagher came to visit the set a few years ago, the one day I wasn’t working. Do you believe that?
Gordon: That’s mad. So he brought the kids down as well? So it wasn’t just him
Matt: Yeah he brought them all down yeah. Yeah there was like 11 kids there and I missed it, but um, I got this, Noel and Liam signed me this happy 21st birthday card for my 21st a couple of years ago, it’s like my prized possession.
Gordon: You got to be happy with that
Matt: Yeah I love it
Gordon: And you missed your chance for a picture with Paul Weller this morning
Matt: Yeah I’m afraid so
Gordon: He’s with his kids as well so you have another excuse to speak with him
Matt: I should, just go over there. Excuse me, do you recognize this? Haha
Gordon: It must be quite handy for you if you get tickets to backstage antics and all that stuff being an ex-Harry Potter
Matt: Well yeah every now and then. I mean I don’t try and do it that often to be honest with ya. But if it’s something like, something huge like Oasis or Paul Weller or something then um, yeah I try a little bit. I got to meet Paul McCartney off the back of it and that’s one of my greatest memories
Gordon: How was that? Where did you meet him?
Matt: It was in London he did the Hyde Park calling, a couple of years ago, and it was my birthday as well and um, England had just got stuffed by Germany in the World Cup and it was a thoroughly miserable day. And we went to go see Paul McCartney that night and then we had tickets to his after party, which had come through the films and they were sent to the studio and they said I does anyone want them, and I was like hey I’ll have em yeah. And then um, you’d think it would be a big even with hundreds of people but it turned out to be really intimate and there was about 70 people there and McCartney just walked in and I, again pretty much with Weller earlier, pretty much just went to pieces and couldn’t think of anything to say. He asked me where the toilet was and I, I’d just been to the toilet but I couldn’t remember where it was. So I had to go up to him later and apologize when I knew where the toilet was, sorry McCar sorry. And um, he was a really nice bloke, it was great.
Gordon: We should get the Harry Potter Stuff over and done with, we’ll talk about what you got coming up so
Gordon: When you were doing Harry Potter, this is funny when you think back to it because I was 23, 24 when I first started working down in London, I actually met you, you’d have probably been 12.
Matt: Oh right
Gordon: And I would have been drunk at the premier
Gordon: It’s nice to meet you as an adult
Matt: Oh right yeah, smashing laughing
Gordon: Some drunk Scottish man speaking too you. It was so weird covering those premiers though cause you turn up and your speaking to kids basically
Matt: It, yeah it was a pretty mad event really. I mean I still even now, um it’s all sort of a bit blurry to be honest with you, because we did them so often you know we did 8 films and I was only 11 at the first one so their all a bit blurry. Yeah it was just a mad event; it’s something you never get used to premiers like that. Especially the Harry Potter ones, because they were just something else. I’ve been to other premiers but the scale of the Potter ones were just mad. You know out here in Leicester Square it’s just, I look back on it now and it feels like a different life.
Gordon: Yeah. Do you ever look out your door in the morning and there’s somebody dressed in a Hogwarts outfit uniform sitting at the end of your drive?
Matt: No I’m usually alright with that
Gordon: Did you ever have that? Did you ever get any of that?
Matt: I’ve been quite fortunate really. I mean I think it’s a Yorkshire thing. People aren’t really bothered, like it’s usually the students that have come to Leeds from, from other places that are quite into it but the Yorkshire people are like, “Oh that’s the guy from Harry Potter”
Matt: Yeah. And they just get on with it, so yeah
Gordon: Do you still get it a lot? Because you do look quite a bit different from, from when you were in the first one.
Matt: I think, with the last film, um that was the one where it all sort of changed a little bit. Because I was quite happy being sort of out of the limelight, just doing the films, doing the job and getting on with it. And then with this last film, um, the press just got a bit crazy really. It was a bit weird, I remember, I’ve got a publicist who’s actually sat behind me called Will, which is actually just bizarre that I’ve got a publicist, it’s an insane thing.
Gordon: It doesn’t get said often in Leeds, does it?
Matt: You know not really. And it’s one of the things I kind of say under my breath, “You know I’ve got a publicist.” But um, yeah and I called him and I was just like, I was in America and it was all mad and there was all that stuff in the press everywhere, and I just called him and went, “Look when were finished with this, let’s talk and just disappear for a bit.” It was just freaking me out you know. And um, it was great; I mean they were all saying nice things, if they were saying horrible stuff it would have been a bit, a bit hard to cope with. But it was all good stuff, it was just weird, it was just weird being on the other side of the world and having so much coverage like that. I mean, it’s not something I had experienced before.
Gordon: Yeah. Obviously there’s never anything nasty written about you in my column in the paper, I’d just like to point that out now.
Matt: Thank you very much. I do check it
Gordon: Just to drop Matt, the producers in it as well. His missus said to him that you were actually the best looking member of the Harry Potter cast now.
Matt: Oh dear
Gordon: As grown up men
Matt: Well thank you very much; I don’t know what to say
Gordon: She’s not coming on today that’s for sure. It’s funny going back to that premier I remember speaking to Daniel Radcliffe and asking him about music and it was a good thing actually because he was really into his tunes at the time, Libertines and all that
Matt: Yeah, yeah
Gordon: But you were actually in a band
Matt: I was
Gordon: During filming. Tell us what was the name? What did you do?
Matt: It was called the Transmission and um…
Gordon: Good name
Matt: Yeah the Joy Division, came from that. And, yeah it was something to do really, because when your sat around in the studio there a lot of waiting around. And um, my mate James Ralph picked up a guitar, um back in Leeds and I thought if he could do it I could do it as well. So I got my old brothers guitar out from under the bed and just started playing down at the studio, taught myself, um on the internet. And Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy
Gordon: He’s really into music
Matt: Yeah, yeah he’s a really great guitarist and um, so we used to play stuff together and then a few of my mates said why don’t we just do something with it back in Leeds. So we set up a band, played a few gigs. First gig was in a porthole in Leeds, it was an acoustic gig. So there was 2 guitars and a singer, and I played rhythm, and um it was probably the most terrifying experience of my entire life.
Matt: Yeah like premiers and stuff, easy. That was just horrendous, because it was all our mates, had come down and then those people we didn’t know and it was packed out and it was for charity as well. And yeah and acoustic as well, you know no drum no bass like your literally just out there up and if you make any mistakes, it was our first gig and I was just terrified.
Gordon: We just had Tom Clark on a minute ago and he played his song for the first time acoustic, reading the lyrics off his iPhone.
Matt: Yeah I had all the chords on the floor, all the chords were written down on the floor of the stage so I didn’t get em wrong, and um, I didn’t enjoy a single second of it. Like the only bit I enjoyed was getting the pint in afterward. And then afterward, after that we did another one with full band and I loved that, actually got right into it.
Matt: Yeah it was good fun. That’s still going, their still going now.
Gordon: Doing alright are they?
Matt: Yeah yeah
Gordon: Are they based in Leeds then?
Matt: They are. I had to leave because I went and did a play for 6 months and then I’ve been filming pretty solidly since back in last year. And it’s just unfair on them all really, um cause I couldn’t get to practices and stuff so their still going. And they got a new guy in playing rhythm and um…
Gordon: Is he as good as you? Well
Gordon: We’ve still got Matt Lewis in the studio A.K.A Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter, sorry to mention that again
Matt: laughs, It’s gonna stay with me isn’t it?
Gordon: It is isn’t it? Now Matt listen in the next week you’ve got a bit thing coming out, Tuesday BBC 1 show tell us about that.
Matt: That’s right yeah, called the Syndicate. It’s a Kay Mellor drama about 5 supermarket workers in Leeds who get told their about to get laid off of work, but they end up winning the lottery. And it’s about how their lives change, some for the good, some not so good. And it’s you know, Kay’s spoken to a lot of people and um, a lot of it’s all based on true stories from people that have actually won the lottery. It’s good you know, it’s Kay it’s something that’s going to appeal to a lot of people. It’s drama but it’s very real you know and it’s um, and through that reality always comes humor and the way she does it is just effortless. And it’s so much fun as an actor to work on because it’s just brilliant writing.
Gordon: It’s a great cast as well isn’t it? I think Timothy Spalls in it
Matt: Yeah Tim Spalls in it, um he did Harry Potter as well
Matt: I seem to be working with him quite a lot recently, he’s great
Gordon: You must know him pretty well now
Matt: He’s fantastic, Tim. A brilliant actor and I always see him do different accents and he’s just like, he’s spot on every time when he comes in, he knows everything and gets down to it. Um Jo Page, Gavin and Stacey,
Gordon: What’s it like working with Jo Page because every time I think of her I think of that scene in Love Actually do you know the one I’m talking about?
Matt: Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah. I completely forgot about that until half way through shooting and I watched it because we filmed over Christmas. I was sitting around and it came on and I thought bloody hell, I forgot about that
Gordon: I remember
Matt: And I had to go in to work on Monday, you know look her in the eye. No but um she’s lovely, so lovely
Gordon: Great actress isn’t she
Matt: Oh brilliant, absolutely brilliant. And she doesn’t think she is but she’s so brilliant and she’s so modest about it and yeah great, absolutely fantastic to work with. Michael McNulty, well Matthew McNulty stage name, he plays my brother in it, another fantastic actor, he was in misfits but he’s in a whole bunch of stuff. And yeah it’s just a great, really great cast.
Gordon: How many parts are there?
Matt: Uh there’s five.
Gordon: Five parts
Matt: We’re all in all the episodes, but each one sort of centers on one of the characters. Mine’s the last one.
Gordon: Right, okay
Matt: So stayed tuned till week 5
Gordon: We’ll give that a push again in 5 weeks
Matt: Yeah, thanks mate
Gordon: It can’t have been too bad for you getting a gig working in Leeds then, so hometown
Matt: Since I was five I’ve worked in Manchester, Liverpool, London, Watford and all of the sudden I’ve got two jobs back to back in Leeds, wake up in my own bed it’s fantastic
Gordon: It beats a paper round doesn’t it?
Matt: Just a little bit yeah. I could be definitely doing worse things I think
Gordon: What would you have done you think? If you hadn’t been involved with this because it’s all you’ve known isn’t it?
Matt: I’ve no idea, I’ve absolutely no idea. I mean my brother was an actor, he still is he’s in Syndicate as well, Anthony, and um, and yeah I followed him into it so I wanted to be an actor from the age of 4, started at 5 done it ever since. And nothing ever has grabbed my attention. I was in the air cadets for like 2 years, I thought maybe I could join the army or something and that was something I thought about but literally that was it, there was nothing else that ever appealed to me.
Gordon: Any good at football? I know you’re a massive Leeds United fan
Matt: I’m terrible at football. I love playing football, I absolutely love it, but I’m, I’m garbage honestly
Gordon: I’ve noticed on the inside of your arm you’ve got 11 tattooed there. Is that anything to do with, I’m trying to think, is that Snodgrass that plays for Leeds?
Matt: It’s not. Do you want to know where it’s from? This is really embarrassing
Gordon: Come on
Matt: Um, do you remember Eddy Lewis, the American played for us, left wing. Yeah it’s him. Haha yeah. Basically it was really easy for me, Lewis 11, got my same surname. So I always wore Lewis 11 on the back of my Leeds United shirt and then um, from then onwards whenever he got signed to Darby like after I got it and then I go in and say can I get Lewis 11 on my shirt, there were like, “You know he doesn’t play for us anymore.” Yeah I know it’s my name as well. But then ever since then I always had 11 on my football boots, on my shirt, everything I ever got was 11 and so it ended up becoming quite a number for me, so I got it on there. But it originally stems from Eddy Lewis.
Gordon: You must be the only person with an Eddy Lewis inspired tattoo in the world
Matt: I am pretty certain of that actually
Gordon: Have you ever met Eddy Lewis?
Matt: I haven’t no. I think I’ve walked past him a couple of times at Elland road, but I’ve never actually
Gordon: This is becoming a theme, you walking past your heroes
Matt: Yeah tell me about it. Eddy Lewis, Paul Weller, not sure their quite the same but
Gordon: One other thing, you’ve got a film that you’ve been working on recently, again with Timothy Spall. When’s that one coming? And what’s it about?
Matt: Yeah. Right, okay. Well it’s yeah Wasteland again shot in Leeds, which is very handy. It’s effectively a heist film, but you know, it’s a new take on it and it’s about friendship and loyalty and redemption as well. If we’re going to get into it, a guy gets thrown in jail for possession of heroine and he’s been set up by a local folk as just a fall guy basically. And um, he gets out of jail and the whole time he’s been in there he’s been planning a way of getting this guy back. But he’s not a criminal; he’s just a lad who, you know was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And he enlists the help of his 3 mates, and I’m one of his mates, and it’s just look we’re gonna rob this guy and we’re gonna go buy a coffee shop out in Amsterdam with this guy I met in prison. And it’s a totally mad idea but their all mates and their all reasonable, if he goes what are we gonna do around here so we might as well go with him, it’s do or die really and they all just go into it and yeah they got to rob this gangster. It’s a bit of fun.
Gordon: Sounds good though
Matt: But there’s some bit of pretty serious moments in it as well. Fantastic cast, like really I’m so fortunate to work with the guys
Gordon: Yeah. You’ve been lucky to work with some pretty great people haven’t you over the years? I mean you look back at that cast in Harry Potter; it’s not a bad stick in the stevie is it?
Matt: Yeah no it’s one of those things like you don’t really appreciate it at the time cause your like 12 years old. But then when you get to sort of 18 and you look around you, there’s Alan Rickman and Gary Oldman
Gordon: Who was the best? Who was the best?
Matt: I love working with Alan Rickman. I always mention him because he was just cool, really effortless in his acting he could switch in and out of it in like moments. And he’s got this really intimidating aura about him that you just don’t want to approach him, but if you’ve actually got the balls to go and do it he’s like the nicest bloke, absolutely fantastic to be around. You know gave me, on the last day I went to his trailer just to say, you know thanks it’s been amazing the last sort of ten years, and he said, “Oh come in, sit down.” And I just had a chat with him about acting and gave a few tips and that, it was wicked.
Gordon: Talked about Robin hood Prince of Thieves, all the big hits
Matt: It was pretty spectacular, oh yeah Die Hard all that
Gordon: Now you’re a Leeds man there’s some great bands from Leeds. Who’s your favorite?
Matt: Um, oh man the Transmission obviously
Matt: No I mean we’ve got some great ones, I mean I know the Kaisers, 3 of them went to my school, love those guys. And I mentioned the Pigeon Detectives earlier, have been absolutely fantastic really great band. And I know they’re not quite from Leeds their Wakefield but um, love the Cribs, proper into the Cribs.
Gordon: They almost count as Leeds
Matt: I’m gonna steal them, cause it’s only Wake init?
Gordon: I love The Music; they were a great band weren’t they?
Matt: The Music were good weren’t they
Gordon: Yeah great band, Rob Harvey he was superb really talented
Matt: Yeah they were fantastic actually. What’s happened to The Music?
Gordon: He, Rob Harvey’s working with Mike Skinner from the Streets
Matt: Is he?
Gordon: Yeah their writing together and producing some pretty great stuff so
Matt: I haven’t heard any of their tunes for ages
Gordon: So this afternoon you are off to the Empire film awards
Gordon: Another Champagne jolly
Matt: We’ll see, we’ll see. Someone’s got to do it
Gordon: Do you enjoy them? Do you like the drink up and the carry on?
Matt: Yeah there’s a good laugh in it, you know you work that hard for so long you know you’ve got to be able to. No it’s great you know you do the film for however many months but I’m not gonna say it’s torturous because you’ve got a really good laugh and um, it’s a fantastic experience and at the end of it you get to go and have a party as well. I mean I’m just fortunate that I happen to be part of a, you know a great film with some great people behind it and so I get invited along to these things. I don’t really feel like I belong there, I feel like I’m sort of a bit of a trespasser really, a pretender, but
Gordon: That’s how I feel all the time
Matt: dear yeah
Gordon: At least your there for a good reason
Matt: Yeah, well as long as they keep inviting me I’ll keep going you know but yeah their always a good laugh and the people you meet are invariably good fun, and um, yeah there’s a piss up afterwards
Gordon: Yeah. We’re gonna ring you in the morning to see how your hangover is. See if you really enjoyed it
Matt: Oh don’t do that, don’t do that