KICK-ASS, HOGWARTS STYLE
Every hero needs a sidekick, but Neville Longbottom is nobody’s sidekick. He’s Kick-Ass, the Hogwarts version of it.
PORTRAITS LORENZO AGIUS
Matt Lewis’ appearance outside the Hogwarts uniform his character, Neville Longbottom, wears is far from what we see on screen. The young man – born in Leeds, 27 June 1989 – is tall and has a longish face. He also has a tattoo, an ‘XI, written on his arm. “It’s my lucky number,” he says. “I’m not superstitious in the slightest. Ever since I was young and playing football, I’v always worn the number eleven.” Football, of course, is one of his hobbies. It’s no secret that he is a big supporter of his hometown club, Leeds United. “In fact, there’s an actual true story,” he continues. “There’s a Leeds United player called Eddie Lewis, who was an American, who played on the left wing. He wore the number eleven and it was really easy for me to go into the shop and say, ‘Can I have Lewis 11 on the back of my shirt?’ And so from then on I always wore eleven and I wear it for everything.”
Lewis is also confident – a far cry from the rather clumsy Neville, although his character will have a golden moment in Part 2 – and is able to eloquently converse on many topics outside Potter. TFI‘s conversation with Lewis started off randomly – about Lewis’ other favorite sport, cricket, and dining in Leeds. Deeper into the conversation, we began to seriously think that if Kick-Ass, the wannabe superhero of Mark Millar’s titular comic book, needs a partner, he would do well to team up with Neville, the ultimate ass-kicking hero of Hogwarts, or even Lewis himself…
Hi. You sound like you got a sore throat?
Yeah. I don’t know why. I just woke up with it yesterday and it hasn’t gone yet.
Have you been cheering at cricket too much?
Mmmh, might be. Did you watch yesterday? It was pretty good, wasn’t it? That’s what cricket is all about. [the England vs Pakistan match took place the day before this interview]
We saw your sad Tweets at @mattdavelewis that you couldn’t be there…
Yeah, Especially because it’s in Leeds. I’d very much like to be there.
Speaking of, since you’re obviously very familiar with the city, is there anywhere in Leeds you could recommend for a nice meal?
Oh okay. There’s an Italian place called Bibi’s. Very old school, 1930s Chicago style…
Thanks! So now we start… can you tell us how making Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 are different from before?
It was filming both films – not back to back – but simultaneously that was kind of difficult, because you had to remember which part of the film you were at and what was known at the part where you were acting, because we were going from Part 1 to Part 2 and Part 1 again and it was all a bit all over the place and that kind of was confusing. We’ve never had to do that before, so this was the first year that I’ve had no idea what it’s going to look like whatsoever. You know usually you can get a vague clue, because you’ve been following the script all the way through, but this year I’ve no idea. I don’t remember half of it, because we started what, filming February 2009… so it’s going to be weird. But it was great, you know the crew were fantastic, as they have been every year and we really couldn’t have done it without those guys. We’ve got such a good bunch there, who knew exactly what they had to do, and the schedule could have been a bit of a nightmare if we’d not had such a great bunch of people behind us, so that was all right.
Neville’s so heroic in the end, which is wonderful, so what’s your definition of a hero and who is your hero?
Well, the Leeds Rhinos [his favorite rugby team] were my heroes, last night! I don’t know if you caught the game; they were unbelievable. But no, my real definition of a hero is… obviously, all the people who are in the Middle East right now. You know, those guys are the heroes. I don’t personally know anybody who’s out there, but I know friends of friends that are and it’s shocking. It’s wholly shocking that in the twenty-first century, that sort of thing still goes on. Those guys are out there, doing a job, and they don’t wanna be there, but they are, and I think that’s courage and heroic.