The Independent (July 23)
Life after Harry Potter: Where are the graduates of Hogwarts now?
The Harry Potter franchise made stars of countless child actors. But did the final instalment spell the end for their nascent careers? Alice Jones finds out
Matthew Lewis began his career aged five and was 11 when he won the part of Neville Longbottom. He starred in all eight Harry Potter films. He has since appeared in Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate on BBC1 and in Our Boys in the West End. In September, he will star in the heist movie The Rise (below) with Luke Treadaway and Timothy Spall. He lives in Leeds.
“I led two lives while I was working on the films. I had one life where I could meet famous people, go on red carpets – and then I’d come back to Leeds and hang out with my mates. It was just a thing I did outside of school. Other people played rugby or football, it was never a big deal. I still go to the pub quiz at my local with my brothers and my dad.
“In the last few years, I’ve been trying to get away from Harry Potter, but I’m under no illusion that many of the auditions I get are off the back of it. It was quite difficult when I first finished, because before I could convince people I could play a character, I had to convince them that I wasn’t Neville Longbottom. People might expect me to do another Hollywood film, something bigger than Harry Potter. But that’s impossible: it was the biggest series of all time.
“I saw Daniel [Radcliffe] a couple of weeks ago. When we first started filming, [Harry Potter producer] David Heyman had tickets for the wrestling in Sheffield and invited me, Dan and Rupert. We sat ringside and my dad still has pictures of us at McDonald’s afterwards. Dan has French fries up his nose, and no one’s batting an eyelid because they don’t know who we are. Then you fast forward to the premiere of the last film with all those thousands of fans going crazy… I love the fact that we’re still really good friends.”