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Matthew Lewis Has Nothing But Good Things To Say About His Post-Harry Potter Fame

Let's be honest here: when we first encountered Neville Longbottom in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," none of us figured the guy playing him –- Matthew Lewis –- would grow up to be so insanely handsome, but here we are (via The Things). True, plenty of Lewis' co-stars grew up to be quite stunning but compared to the rest of them, the man who played the awkward, put-upon, but ultimately courageous Hogwarts student seems unrecognizable.

Hard as it is to believe, the final film in the series –- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -– Part 2" –- hit theaters more than a decade ago. Most young cast members have gone on to very successful acting careers beyond the wizarding world. Lewis is no exception, having appeared in acclaimed British TV series like "Ripper Street," "Happy Valley," and "All Creatures Great and Small," and films like "Terminal" and "Me Before You" (via IMDb).

But Lewis also seems to have thoroughly enjoyed –- or at least enjoyed in the past -– something else about his post-Potter life. And it has a lot to do with how different he grew to look from his character.

Matthew Lewis likes not being recognized

In an interview with Sky Movies (republished at MatthewLewis.com) in the run-up to the release of "Deathly Hallows – Part 2," Matthew Lewis shared that he liked the relative anonymity he enjoyed in relation to his character. "I don't look entirely like Neville so when I'm off-set I can go to the shops and it's fine," he said. "I get to do all the cool stuff like the premiere and the European tours, so I get the best of both worlds." This is in stark contrast to Daniel Radcliffe, whose years as "the boy who lived" put him under an immense amount of scrutiny that, in the past anyway, got to him quite a bit.

Part of the reason Lewis didn't look as much like his character had to do with the fact that he grew so quickly and lost most of the pudge that was a key part of Neville's look in most of the books and the movies. As Lewis told Sky Movies, production had him wear a fat suit from "Prisoner of Azkaban" onwards. Only in the last two films did he not have to wear it.

Lewis also said that, unlike many of his co-stars who have relocated to London, Los Angeles, or other big entertainment cities, he remains a resident of his hometown of Leeds in the north of England. "I've still got all the same friends as before and I still live in Leeds, so my home life has stayed fairly the same," said Lewis.