LEEDS actor Matthew Lewis, better known as meek Neville Longbottom, has been showered with critical praise as the last instalment of the Harry Potter saga goes on general release tomorrow. (Friday, July 15)
The 22-year-old from Horsforth has featured in all eight movies over the last decade but only in the final film does his character steal some serious limelight.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Longbottom is the hero of the hour.
The previously-shy young wizard stands up to the evil Lord Voldemort and, in the process, grabs some of the exposure previously hogged by Daniel Radcliffe and the other leading stars.
The Guardian’s reviewer said: “When stout-hearted young Neville Longbottom – a scene stealer from Matthew Lewis – steps forward in the final scene, I was on the edge of my seat.”
The Daily Telegraph praised his wit, the Daily Express said his “switch from weed to warrior” was one of the highlights of the movie while the Daily Mirror said it was: “delightful to see former wimp Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) emerge as a real hero.”
The Press Association’s review went even further, stating: “Aside from the central trio, the third film belongs to Lewis as heroic Neville.”
Lewis, who featured in his first TV drama at the age of five, says he is now considering several TV and movie scripts.
He’s recently undergone something of an image change and hasn’t ruled out carving out a new career with a move to Hollywood.
His new polished look was unveiled to the world last week at the UK premiere of the final movie on Trafalgar Square in London.
The taller, trimmer Lewis arrived on the red carpet in an expensive three-piece suit accompanied by a glamorous woman – though he insists he still doesn’t have a long-term girlfriend.