'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2:' Matthew Lewis on Playing Neville Longbottom

"Harry Potter was always my favorite when I was younger, but as I grew to understand Neville, he very quickly became my favorite," he tells THR.
Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Brothers

Matthew Lewis didn't always relish playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter franchise.

"Harry Potter was always my favorite when I was younger, but as I grew to understand Neville, he very quickly became my favorite," Lewis told The Hollywood Reporter at the NYC premiere of the Warner Bros. movie.

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"He's such an inspirational character. He's not the coolest, he's not the best looking, but he has this amazing courage and amazing heart, and his belief in doing the right thing regardless of whether he is going to get killed," he went on. "I just think he is an inspiring person who shows that you don't have to be perfect to be a hero. You just have to do the very best you can."

His favorite moment of shooting the movies was "when J.K. Rowling came to my dressing room in Harry Potter Five sat down and said that I was doing a brilliant job as Neville. To hear J.K. Rowling say that — she's the person you want to impress the most," says Lewis. "It's her vision, it's her imagination, and to hear that, it gave me the fire in my belly to carry on and make the last three."

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But she didn't tell him anything about Neville he didn't already know.

"Everything I learned about Neville I learned from the books," says Lewis. "She gave me a few clues. She said that Neville would be doing something pretty spectacular in Deathly Hallows, but that is where she left it. She told me that, and that's all I knew. I had to read to find out what."

Lewis says that Harry Potter "means the world to me."

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"I was a huge fan of the books before the films and the films won me over. I thought they were made brilliantly. [I’m] Sightly biased, I admit. If you look around and you see this kind of reception, in New York City out of all places, it's amazing," he says.

Before noon on the West Coast Thursday, theaters already had reported $25 million in ticket sales for midnight runs Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 broke opening day figures for the Australian box office, distributor Roadshow Films said on Friday. Opening at 12.01 am local time on Wednesday, July 13, the film took AUS $7.02 million ($7.44 million) in 24 hours, beating prior record holder Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King by nearly $1.8 million.

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