He may not be eager to head back to Hogwarts any time soon, but Happy Valley star Matthew Lewis would never say never to playing Neville Longbottom again.
“It’s an interesting question,” he told RadioTimes.com when asked if he’d be tempted to step back into Neville’s shiny dancing shoes,“because, in terms of the story arc that we did he came to a completion, I thought.”
“That story was completed and we finished it and I wouldn’t want to go back to playing him again for the sake of it. I’d be reluctant to jump straight back into it.”
That doesn’t mean he’s totally opposed to the idea though, especially not with a mind like JK Rowling’s to potentially work with.
“Y’know what, Jo is a bloody genius, she might write something in 20 years time that is so good, so amazing that I go “yeah, why not? Brilliant!’”.
But Lewis, who’s currently lending his vocals to Alien audio drama Out of the Shadows, says he’s having far too much fun with new projects to look back right now.
“I’m quite content not to go back and play the same characters. I’m really enjoying finding new roles and finding new characters,” said the actor, who admits he wouldn’t say no to a guest role on Doctor Who either.
“I’ve not watched Doctor Who since it was David Tennant, but yeah, it looks like it’d be a bit of fun,” said Lewis.
The actor also revealed that he’s quite happy for someone else to take on the role of Neville if he’s recast in future, though he can – to an extent – understand why people might struggle to accept new actors portraying the characters in upcoming sequel play The Cursed Child.
“People grew up with us as those characters and you get invested in certain people playing characters and it’s like people who grew up with Sean Connery as James Bond. People will come in and play James Bond again but whoever grew up with Sean Connery will always say ’oh, but Sean Connery was Bond’.”
That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t accept new actors’ interpretations of the characters, though.
“The fact is they started off as a book in Jo’s mind, Jo’s imagination, and it’s however people want to interpret those stories and in this particular instance it’s going to be on stage, it’s being interpreted in a different way by the director, by the casting team on that play,” said Lewis.
“Those characters don’t belong to us, they don’t belong to me. They belong to whoever is taking them and is adapting them at that time. So it’s kind of nothing to do with me really.”
“I was just fortunate enough to be someone who got to play [Neville] for a bit. If someone else wants to take over and play him for a bit and play him their way then I’d be interested to see how they do it.”
He does have very fond memories of his time working on the Potter franchise, though, and enjoys catching up with his co-stars. He and Rupert Grint famously hit the headlines earlier this year for their interview antics, and a fantastic prank Grint played on Lewis.
“When we do interviews separately it all can stay quite professional,” Lewis laughed. “When you put us together, you’re on a highway to nothing really because we’ll just go off on a tangent and amuse ourselves.”
“I think the guy asked a question about where would our characters be and basically, we could have given a very boring monotonous answer but we just thought, well, let’s let our imaginations run wild. Rupert’s just a very funny person.”
Alien: Out of the Shadows – an Audible Original audio drama – is available from 26th April, free with a 30-day trial at www.audible.co.uk/scream