It doesn’t matter what the cast go on to achieve for the rest of their careers, to multiple generations of fans, if you were in Harry Potter then that’s what you’ll be remembered for. Daniel Radcliffe may have reinvented himself as one of the most interesting and daring young actors in the business after tackling a variety of challenging roles, but he’s never going to escape the shadow of The Boy Who Lived.
That just comes with the territory, after the young ensemble literally grew up in front of our very eyes over the course of a decade, and for a lot of people, trying to shake that sort of association is going to be impossible. Of course, many of the former Hogwarts alumni have also embraced the fame that came with being part of Harry Potter, which presented plenty of opportunities as they tackled the next stage of their career.
In the case of Matthew Lewis, since he last played Neville Longbottom, he’s gone out of his way to seek challenging projects to test himself as a dramatic talent, having spent so long as the downtrodden comic relief of the Wizarding World. And in a recent interview, the 31 year-old admitted that he finds it difficult to revisit the blockbuster series because he sees far too much of himself in the character.
“I find it quite difficult when too much of me starts to come through in a character. It’s easier when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who’s wealthy. At times it’s painful how much of me there is in Neville. When I’m watching, I’m like, ‘That’s not Neville, that’s you’. If there’s something people remember you by, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise. It opened so many doors for me when I otherwise wouldn’t even have gotten in the room.”
Everyone appears to have definitively moved on from Harry Potter in at least some fashion, with the Fantastic Beasts prequel series picking up the slack in the meantime, but rumors over a potential feature film reunion continue to swirl. And based on the enduring popularity of the franchise, that line of speculation will never completely disappear, even if the former co-stars go on to win 50 Academy Awards between them.