Arts Post
Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 01/11/2012

Neville Longbottom: That awkward moment when a teen heartthrob emerges

Neville Longbottom, teen heartthrob? Five years ago, Harry Potter fans would have laughed at the thought. But the last laugh goes to Matthew Lewis, the actor who played the pudgy, bumbling boy-wizard, as the Internet issues a collective squeeeee over an image of the series’ four young male lead actors, some of whom have grown into their looks.
Matthew Lewis attends the New York premiere of "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2" at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on July 11, 2011 in New York City. (Stephen Lovekin - GETTY IMAGES)

Movie fans took notice of Lewis’ growth spurt during publicity for the last Harry Potter film, “Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” but a new viral image, which takes the form of a “demotivator,” has brought a resurgence in Neville praise.

It demonstrates that puberty is a cruel mistress, doling out punishment and reward in equal measure. Teen heartthrobs Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton aren’t looking their best in this picture, but Lewis, whose character was awkward and often-overlooked, is a new contender for sexiest man (sorry Bradley Cooper/Ryan Gosling). Or, as my coworker Melissa Bell puts it: “Baby fat does come off. Neville is hot and even magic can't save you from puberty.”

In July, when the final Harry Potter movie came out, The Post’s Sarah Anne Hughes interviewed Lewis:

“While the actor was hoping fans would notice his performance, he’s been getting attention for something unexpected: his looks. ‘It baffles me. It renders me rather speechless,’ said Lewis, who wore body padding and prosthetic ears and teeth in the ‘Potter’ films. ‘But don’t get me wrong, it’s so lovely.’”

Twitter users agree:

@milaksh18: “I swear.. Neville Longbottom hit the puberty jackpot. HOT :D”

@fl0urecent_: “neville ples marry meh”

@restytobing: “yeap, the left one is neville longbottom...daniel radcliffe who? harry potter my a*s!! step aside draco! move over Ron”

@bijuk: “He has the resemblance of Clive Owen!”

His newfound fans will hopefully not have too long to wait to see him in a new movie role. The Internet Movie Database says he’s slated for a lead role in the movie “Wasteland.”

By  |  10:32 AM ET, 01/11/2012

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company