If you're looking for Neville Longbottom, you're not going to find him here. The grown-up, very good-looking Matthew Lewis is now tackling a much more intense role that will probably make you forget about his childhood persona — even if he is flanked by two fellow Harry Potter alums.
The formerly "very nervous kind of boy, a bit like Neville" told Entertainment Weekly about all of the physical and professional changes he's gone through leading up to his new role on ITV's Girlfriends. On the show, which premieres January 29 on Acorn TV, Lewis plays a single father under house arrest.
"I don’t want to be known as the guy who changed into someone who looks better or whatever. It is — I don’t want to say a concern — but it certainly is something I think about when I take roles," Lewis said. "When opportunities come up sometimes and you read in the first sentence of the character description 'has great abs,' I’m like, I’m not so sure I want to do that. Not least because I don’t have great abs, but because you don’t want to get known for one thing."
After never fully connecting with the adults on the Harry Potter set due to his nerves, Lewis is now enjoying a do-over, as his latest role stages a mini reunion. Zoe Wanamaker, who played Madam Hooch in the Potter films, moves from teaching Lewis how to properly mount a broom to being his live-in mom on Girlfriends, while Miranda Richardson, one-time Rita Skeeter, plays another central character.
"I was always terrified that none of these people would even remember who I was, that they’d be like, 'Oh you were Neville — who is that? I don’t know who you were,'" Lewis said.
He continued, "Zoe straightaway was like, 'I’ve been so looking forward to it. I was so thrilled when Kay [Mellor, the show's creator] told me you were taking this role.' It was just so nice to be able to speak to her and not feel like this terrified little boy, and to be able to just be an actor on set with her and to talk about the old times, but just enjoy the now."