During a recent panel at MegaCon in Orlando, Florida, Matthew Lewis remembered the time he felt the need to thank the late Alan Rickman for being so nice to them.
Known for his role as Neville Longbottom in the ‘Harry Potter’ film series, Lewis opened up about his journey from a child actor in the wizarding world to a serious actor in the theatre, saying:
“Truth be told, when I finished ‘Harry Potter,’ I was about 20 or 21… I know that I didn’t truly appreciate what was required in the industry, you know, in terms of it being a craft and the professionalism, and genuinely the hard work required to actually succeed in the industry, and that was probably largely because I’d done it since I was five. And because when you’re in Harry Potter, it’s a big machine that you can be a small cog in, and larger cogs you can hide behind…”
Lewis then continued, recalling a conversation he had with Rickman. According to the actor, he went to thank Rickman on his last day on set for ‘not being a d*ck’ toward them in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies:
“It’s a lot easier when you go to school. You were able to coast a little bit. That’s the truth of it, really. I didn’t really appreciate it at all — just how much work went into it. And then I was offered a play when I finished and, it’s a long story, but Alan Rickman… well, Alan Rickman had on his last day — I went to go to say thank you for, you know, not being a d*ck basically because you have — thank you for being so nice to us as kids and whatever. And he had recommended, in a chat we had, that I should do some theater.”
Did Lewis Follow Rickman’s Advice?
So, Rickman suggested that Lewis should pursue theatre to gain more acting experience. Lewis then took this advice to heart despite initial challenges.
Lewis’s transition to theatre was met with tough criticism, with local newspapers delivering negative reviews of his performances. This period made him rethink his approach to acting. Under the guidance of his director and with the support of his fellow cast members, Lewis underwent additional rehearsals that changed his perspective on acting and his career.
The actor also highlighted the influence of Daniel Radcliffe, his ‘Harry Potter’ co-star, who has since taken on various roles that challenge the typecast of The Boy Who Lived. Radcliffe’s choices in his post-Potter career inspired Lewis to explore other roles and projects.
The conversation also touched on the broader impact of the ‘Harry Potter’ series, both on its stars and on generations of fans.
It was recently announced that a new TV series adaptation of the Harry Potter books will air in 2025/26 on Warner Bros. Discovery’s Max streaming service. This adaptation promises a faithful exploration of J.K. Rowling’s novels, with Rowling herself involved in the creative process.