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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Harry Potter stars - Where are they now?

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Harry, Hermione and Ron are adjusting to life post-Potter rather well – but what of the hundreds of other child actors who came from open auditions and stage schools to star in the eight films that became the highest-grossing series of all time, earning $7.7bn at the box office?
Matthew Lewis began his career aged five and was 11 when he won the part of Neville Longbottom. He starred in all eight Harry Potter films. He has since appeared in Kay Mellor's The Syndicate on BBC1 and in Our Boys in the West End. In September, he will star in the heist movie The Rise (below) with Luke Treadaway and Timothy Spall. He lives in Leeds. "I led two lives while I was working on the films. I had one life where I could meet famous people, go on red carpets – and then I'd come back to Leeds and hang out with my mates. It was just a thing I did outside of school. Other people played rugby or football, it was never a big deal. I still go to the pub quiz at my local with my brothers and my dad. "In the last few years, I've been trying to get away from Harry Potter, but I'm under no illusion that many of the auditions I get are off the back of it. It was quite difficult when I first finished, because before I could convince people I could play a character, I had to convince them that I wasn't Neville Longbottom. People might expect me to do another Hollywood film, something bigger than Harry Potter. But that's impossible: it was the biggest series of all time. "I saw Daniel [Radcliffe] a couple of weeks ago. When we first started filming, [Harry Potter producer] David Heyman had tickets for the wrestling in Sheffield and invited me, Dan and Rupert. We sat ringside and my dad still has pictures of us at McDonald's afterwards. Dan has French fries up his nose, and no one's batting an eyelid because they don't know who we are. Then you fast forward to the premiere of the last film with all those thousands of fans going crazy… I love the fact that we're still really good friends."
Bonnie Wright, 22, is the daughter of jewellers Sheila Teague and Gary Wright and appeared in all eight Harry Potter films as Ginny Weasley. Subsequently, she studied directing and writing at London's University of the Arts and took her short film, Separate We Come, Separate We Go, starring David Thewlis (Hogwarts' Professor Lupin), to Cannes last year. As an actress, she has several films upcoming, including an adaptation of John Banville's The Sea, The Philosophers and Before I Sleep. She has just made her theatre debut in The Moment of Truth at London's Southwark Playhouse. "My brother had read the first two Harry Potter books and said I would suit the role of Ginny, so I asked my mum to get me an audition. My family had nothing to do with entertainment, but she phoned the publishers, then the casting directors – and we sent off a few pictures and a little note. I can't remember what I wrote in it. "I was such a curious person on set, asking 'what does that button do?' and wandering into the costume or prop room. I learnt about film-making, and that had a huge impact. I didn't keep any of my costumes. They all went into the WB archive. Hopefully I can get something back one day – like a Hogwarts jumper. "Seeing everyone progress is lovely. We're all acting because we enjoy it, rather than because we fell into it. It's a weird experience, so the moment you meet up with a cast member it's an unspoken thing you share – like having gone to the same school."
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