Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Transformation Of Matthew Lewis From Harry Potter To Now

Matthew Lewis remains beloved by the Harry Potter generation as the bumbling, big-hearted Neville Longbottom. After scoring his breakout role in 2001's "The Sorcerer's Stone," Lewis transformed from Slytherin's punching bag to a snake-slaying hero — but this has not been his only transfiguration.

Longbottom remains Lewis' best remembered role for many, and the understated actor has noted his gratitude for the gig that took him from muggle to mega-star. "If there's something people remember you by, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise," he told Metro. "It opened so many doors for me when I otherwise wouldn't even have gotten in the room."

But it's also been a source of frustration — and an understandable one, given his diverse credits to date. "I've been in dramas that have won BAFTAs and done all of this kind of stuff," Lewis told the Inside of You podcast in March. "And I'm not bragging; it's just like I've done all this stuff and like 10 years later it's still like people are making the claim I've sort of jumped from 'Harry Potter' into this and have completely ignored the journey it's taken to get there." 

Like many of his Hogwarts classmates in the decade since graduation, the young actor has springboarded from the Wizarding World to a variety of dramatic projects on the big and small screens, and his success today has not happened by magic.

His first post-Potter project was a tiny short film

Following his "Potter" stardom, the actor took up a slate of indie roles. After emerging as the surprise hero of "The Deathly Hallows Part II" in 2011 — with critics like Today's Natalie Finn citing his "scene-stealing potential" — his next role was in a tiny short film in 2012. Entitled "Night Of The Loving Dead," the animated zom-com was a National Film and Television School effort from first-time director Anna Humphries, in which Lewis played lovelorn lead Nigel.

In that same year, Lewis was back on the big screen in "Wastleand," a Brit-grit crime thriller filmed in his native Leeds. Released under the title "The Rise" in the U.K., the film saw Lewis step into the role of Dodd, and embrace the "new experience" of an indie shoot. "On Potter, we never had time constraints," he told The Independent. We would spend days doing the same thing again and again, but on this, we couldn't do that so we had to be on it and get it right quickly." His first high-profile role since leaving Hogwarts, it elicited "Potter" comparisons from critics, too; for Empire he was still "Neville Longbottom, all grown up, swearing like a champion."

However, an even bigger departure from his PG past was on the horizon.

The most famous glow-up ever?

In "Me Before You," Lewis plays frequently-spandexed triathlete Patrick, the scorned boyfriend of Emilia Clarke's lead.

Whilst promoting the romantic drama, the newly shredded star posed for a provocative Attitude cover — and the feature showcased more than just his acting chops. We're keeping this family friendly, but check out the pics and you'll see what we mean. Be warned, you may need a cold shower afterward. Heralding his transformation "From Hogwarts to Hottie," the article caused nothing short of an internet meltdown, and spawned a slew of press coverage agog at Lewis' glow-up. It even inspired the coining of the term "Longbottoming" – a staggering Ugly Duckling-style transformation from awkward teen to gown-up stunner. 

Despite getting the entire internet hot under the collar, Lewis professed bemusement at his sex symbol status. "I'm not gonna sit here and say 'Oh, people are saying how good-looking I am. Awful.' It's flattering, it's lovely," he told Digital Spy, "But I honestly don't get it. I've never felt that way and I still don't feel that way." Looks like everybody else does — but Lewis has won praise for more than good looks since then.

Matthew Lewis had a busy 2020

2020 saw Matthew Lewis back on the big screen in a dramedy out of New Zealand, "Baby Done." Starring alongside Kiwi comedian Rose Matafeo — of "Funny Girls" and "The Breaker Upperers" fame — Lewis plays a dad-to-be whose partner hastily draws up a pre-parenthood bucket list upon learning the couple are expecting. Produced by antipodean comedy legend Taika Waititi, the lovable film was celebrated by critics, who praised the pair's easygoing onscreen chemistry (via The Guardian).

Following "Baby Done," Lewis has lately made headlines for his turn as Hugh Hulton on the Channel 5 series "All Creatures Great And Small." Airing on PBS in the States, the period piece dramatizes James Herriot's bestselling tales of his life as a veterinarian in 1930s Yorkshire. Lewis brings authenticity to the role — hailing from that very part of the world himself — but he's admitted to feeling the pressure, too. "The original series is a bit of an institution in Yorkshire, and my dad really wanted me to do it," he told the New York Times

The proud Yorkshireman is keeping up the local connection offscreen too, launching a Leeds United football fan podcast with former LUFC striker Jermaine Beckford in 2020. He may live across the Atlantic in Florida these days, but Lewis clearly isn't one to forget where he came from — and as we can see, that's a pretty long way.