Total Film – October 2013
On the distant dance floor a sweaty crowd parties like a certain Prince song, while a group of lads on a nearby table plan the night’s conquests. Only something’s not right. There’s no music.
“It’s a bit surreal, isn’t it?” laughs Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis, reassuring us that we haven’t gone deaf. “I don’t know how they dance so well to silence.” We’re on the set of The Rise, first-time director Rowan Athale’s Ocean’s Eleven-on-a-council-estate caper, and the plotting pals in question are Lewis, Luke Treadaway, Iwan Rheon and Gerard Kearns. (The lack of backing track is so that the boys can hear themselves act.)
The Rise tells the story of Treadaway’s Harvey; framed by a drug-dealing club owner and imprisoned for a year, he returns home to seek himself some redemption – and make something of his pal’s going-nowhere lives in the bargain.
The Hogwarts-educated actor talks life after Harry Potter and saying goodbye to Neville Longbottom…
Does Harry Potter still affect your acting choices? I get asked a lot if I’m making a conscious decision to get away from Neville, but anything so drastically different. I just want to do things I think have a story worth telling.
Did you worry you might end up typecast after the series ended? I was doing Neville for 10 years and as much fun as Harry Potter was, you do get to a point where you want to do something different anyway. I wanted to do something contemporary. Something real.
So, what exactly is your post-Potter plan, then? Realistically, I just want to be an actor and keep jobbing away. No one’s in it for the spring, we’re all in it for the marathon. No fast tracks. I just want to be proud of what I’ve done.