Fun Facts About Actor Matthew Lewis
Maybe you know him best as Hugh Hulton in All Creatures Great and Small. Maybe you know him as kind-hearted Gryffindor Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter. But no matter what, it’s near impossible to not love the actor behind those roles, Matthew Lewis! Check out some fascinating facts about the star, like his passion aside from acting, what his brother revealed about him, and that time he appeared on a fan favorite reality show.
He's Still Adjusting to Playing Romantic Lead Roles
After a decade in the role of the somewhat awkward, unlucky Neville Longbottom, Lewis felt “intense pressure” to not become a “one trick pony.” While forever grateful for his experience with the Harry Potter franchise, he was hoping to take on roles that were miles different from the magical one he’d grown up playing.
Even still, the leap from a clumsy schoolboy to a handsome, romantic suitor has taken some adjusting. When he learned about the role of Hugh Hulton in All Creatures Great and Small, he had a hard time picturing himself fitting the bill.
“[Hugh] is supposed to be very dark and handsome, and it has to be believable that Helen’s in love with him,” he told The New York Times. “I was like, ‘I don’t know about this. When I shave, everyone will see I look like I’m about 12.’” And even after he got the part, it took some time for him to really see himself playing Helen’s beau.
“I was dreading turning up the first day on set,” he said. “I was sure they’d be like, ‘This is what he actually looks like? …we need to recast this guy.’”
Acting Isn't His Only Passion
He may love his acting day job, but working on-screen isn’t Lewis’ only passion! The star is also a major football (or, as Americans know it, soccer) fan. The Leeds native is chock full of hometown pride, and is very vocal about his love for the team Leeds United. Lewis was overjoyed when the team made it back into the Premier League in 2020 for the first time in 16 years — except for the part where he (a former season ticket holder) was no longer home in West Yorkshire, but rather, living in Florida.
But, as the saying goes, you can take the boy out of Leeds, but you can’t take Leeds out of the boy. Lewis’ solution to the 4,300-mile gap between himself and the team? Start a podcast.
“Unfortunately, during a global pandemic, I’m stuck in the US trying to get somebody, anybody, to talk to me about Leeds United,” he said in a press release announcing the new project. “With baseball, basketball and American football all back on everyone is pretty exhausted with humoring me so I thought I’d see if anybody back home wanted to talk to me about it.
“Inexplicably [former Leeds striker] Jermaine [Beckford] said he would and then my mate said people would probably like to listen to that. So we’re recording it. And Leeds legend Jermaine Beckford is going to be my inside man as I play the role of possibly the only person in sunny Florida that wishes they were in cold, grey Leeds!” (To make things even more exciting, the two also decided to shout out a different charity at the end of every episode — passionate and philanthropic!)
(Pop your headphones in and check out the podcast now.)
His sports obsession doesn’t stop at football. Since 2013, Lewis has served as a vice president of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, an official charity of the Leeds Rhinos professional rugby team.
He's Not the Only Actor in the Family
Believe it or not, Lewis, the youngest of 3 boys, is not the only actor in the family. Older brother Anthony Lewis is a big part of the reason that he was bit by the acting bug.
“I was always taken along with my brother Anthony to local acting classes and auditions,” he said in one 2011 interview. “He was in Heartbeat as a child, and I just thought that was what everyone did. For years I nagged my brother’s agent to send me for an audition. She sent me to one for experience but thought I was too young to get it, but I got it, in Some Kind of Life. That led to parts in Dalziel and Pascoe, Where the Heart Is and Heartbeat.”
Anthony may be best known for his role as Marc Reynolds in the ITV soap Emmerdale, from 1999 to 2002. His other appearances include Ackley Bridge, Casualty, Hollyoaks, and The Syndicate. (Fun fact: Matthew made an appearance alongside his big bro in The Syndicate in 2012!)
Older brother Chris Lewis, meanwhile, is an editor who was worked on series such as Britain’s Got Talent, The Masked Singer (UK), The X Factor (UK), and more.
Best of all, it’s all love and support between the three, Lewis admitting that his brothers were “really proud” when he was cast in Harry Potter.
He's a Bit of a Nerd
It’s important to note that, according to brother Anthony, Lewis is not just an actor and diehard sports fan — he’s also a big nerd (and a competitive one, at that).
He plans pub quizzes for family on all the holidays, Anthony told The New York Times. “He’s fiercely competitive,” he said, “to the point of being obsessive. It can be quite intense and is incredibly annoying.”
For example, LEGO recently sent the star a number of Harry Potter themed sets in celebration of the the first film’s (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) 20th anniversary. The catch? LEGO challenged Lewis to use the provided sets to recreate 20 of his favorite scenes from the series.
Lewis, of course, accepted the challenge.
And A Bit of a Jokester, Too
Reality series Impractical Jokers is a show with hidden cameras and a cast of daring pranksters. The show consists of four comedians, who dare each other with different scenarios wherein one must interact with unwitting members of the public, receiving commands from the others through an earpiece, and trying not to crack as they say and do outlandish things to embarrass themselves.
Matthew Lewis happens to be a big fan.
I just got invited to watch Impractical Jokers Live by @Joe_Gatto himself. These guys are on my TV literally every day. I am thrilled.
— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) January 11, 2017
In 2017, he got to live the ultimate joker dream. Sal Vulcano, a friend of Lewis’ and one of the stars of the show, invited Lewis to sub in for an episode that was being filmed at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
So, how’d he do? Comedy Central shared a clip of the episode, so we’ll let you be the judge of his performance. (We should warn you to be ready for your stomach to hurt from all the laughing.)
His Hogwarts House May Surprise You
His beloved Harry Potter character Neville Longbottom may have been a true brave, chivalrous, headstrong Gryffindor, but when Lewis took the definitive, official Pottermore website sorting quiz for himself, he was shocked to find out he, Matthew Lewis, was not a Gryffindor after all.
Turns out, he’s actually a Hufflepuff.
“I was disappointed at first,” he confessed during a Q&A panel at fan convention GalaxyCon Richmond in 2020. “But then I found out Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a Hufflepuff…and I thought, hey, can’t be bad. So I’m pretty proud of it now, and last I heard, he’s pretty proud of it himself.”