The Queensland Times – Nov 21
SUPANOVA Pop Culture Expo has something for everyone, according to Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis.
The young British actor, best known for his role as Neville Longbottom, will be coming to Brisbane later this month.
“I’ve not done one (convention) for a long while, and this opportunity came up to come to Australia,” Lewis said while at home in the UK.
“I’m pretty sure some people on the outside would say ‘that’s a bit geeky for me’, but I just think it would be impossible for someone to go there and not find some TV, film or something they are a fan of.
“I’m a self-proclaimed geek; I love Star Wars, Star Trek.”
The actor has been to Sydney previously for the launch of the Harry Potter Exhibition back in 2011, but is looking forward to spending more time in the country.
“I am really keen to go see Uluru and I am playing in a charity rugby match in Sydney, which is going to be a bit of fun,” he said.
While it is often hard to picture our favourite actors in other roles, Lewis has made the transition by doing a range of different characters.
After Harry Potter, he landed recurring roles in television on The Syndicate (as Jamie) and Bluestone 42 (as Tower Block).
Lewis is working on Ripper Street season four over in Ireland where he plays a policeman in the 1890s and is currently sporting a moustache.
He has also just finished filming Happy Valley series two for the BBC.
On the movie front, Lewis will feature in Me Before You, starring Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin from the Hunger Games.
“It is based on a book by JoJo Moyes and it is just a beautiful, beautiful book and I think it is a really faithful re-telling and I hope people enjoy that,” Lewis said.
“I play Emilia’s boyfriend Patrick, this moronic personal trainer. She plays a small town girl who is kind of settled and quite content and suddenly she finds a job looking after Sam Clafin’s character who was in a motorcycle accident and is a quadriplegic.
“He sort of challenges her and opens her eyes to this big world outside this little town she’s never left and she starts to think that maybe she doesn’t love her boyfriend.”
Lewis said there were plenty of memorable moments over the 10 years of filming Harry Potter, but he would never forget the first time he walked into the Great Hall.
“I was totally blown away and I’d read the books as well, so to see the sets in their grandeur and splendour was a pretty special moment for me,” he said.
“I’ll never forget my first day at work at the castle and I was riding the broomstick for the film, it was the first time I’d ever been asked to do a stunt on a film, which was pretty cool.
“I was sitting there strapped to a big truck with a crane and a broomstick being driven around, it was just amazing as an 11-year-old kid to be doing that and people were telling me it was work, that was just the most amazing thing.”
While he loved working with his younger co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton, Lewis said he was thrilled to work with Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), who was a hero of his.
He also recalled working with the late Rik Myall, who was cast as Peeves the Poltergeist, but was eventually cut from the first film.
“At the time when I was 11, he was just everything I wanted to be, his sense of humour, how manic he was on stage, I could just watch him endlessly and laugh and laugh,” he said.
“To have worked with him was pretty special. However they had time issues and with how technology was at the time, they could not quite make Peeves the Poltergeist as good as they wanted it to look.
“Also one of the main reasons he was cut was that none of us could do the scenes with him without laughing. He was just so talented and such an energy so as 11-year-old kids we could not do it. We could not get through a single scene without laughing.”
The thing Lewis misses most after Harry Potter would be the people, despite still keeping in touch with everyone.
“I saw Jo (J.K. Rowling) at the weekend and David Yates and David Heyman, and I speak to everyone every now and then. So that’s not too bad,” he said.
“I am very fortunate that I am still working away and doing stuff I am very proud of and have been given these opportunities to play different, wonderful characters.”