The actor starred as Neville Longbottom in the J.K. Rowling series from 2001 to 2011
matthew lewis
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage; everette collection

Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis would prefer an invisibility cloak over watching his performance in the films. 

The actor, 31, starred as the notable character Neville Longbottom in the J.K. Rowling series from 2001 to 2011.

However, Lewis has revealed re-watching the films that made him a star is "painful" for him.

"I find it quite difficult when too much of me starts to come through in a character," he told The New York Times

Lewis's portrayal of Neville, he said, hit a little too close to home.

He added, "It's easier when I can play someone completely different, like a police officer in London or someone who's wealthy."

matthew lewis
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage; everette collection

"At times it's painful how much of me there is in Neville," the star told the outlet. "When I'm watching, I'm like, 'That's not Neville; that's you.'"

Harry Potter director David Yates, responsible for the final four films, also talked about the parallels between Lewis and his Harry Potter character.

"[Matthew] became more confident, more curious, more present as the films progressed. And more ambitious," told the Times

matthew lewis
Matthew Lewis
| Credit: matthew lewis/instagram

Yates, 57, referenced one scene he specifically wrote for Lewis that wasn't in the books. In the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 sequence, Neville blew up the bridge to Hogwarts to slow down Lord Voldemort's army. "It captured the charms of Neville and Matthew's everyman quality," the director said. "He had a modesty and an honesty that was hard to ignore."

Despite having discomfort watching the wizardry series, Lewis hasn't got annoyed at still being referred to as the actor from Harry Potter a decade after the final film.

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"If there's something people remember you by, there are worse things than the Harry Potter franchise," he said. 

Lewis added, "It opened so many doors for me when I otherwise wouldn't even have gotten in the room."