Tuesday 19th Apr 2016
Neville Longbottom himself, actor Matthew Lewis visited the Fantastic Beasts set back in January to check out 1920s New York.
Earlier this year, Matt told his followers on Twitter that he had met Eddie Redmayne for a chat:
Oh, forgot to say, I was on the set of Fantastic Beasts last week. Spoke to Eddie and I tell you now, the world of HP is in very safe hands.— Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) January 19, 2016
But what you may not know, is that he also bumped into someone familiar. A family member, of sorts...
James Payton is the ‘stand-in’ for several of the actors in Fantastic Beasts. James was also, once upon a time, Frank Longbottom in the Harry Potter films. Devastatingly, as you know, Frank and his wife Alice Longbottom were both tortured to insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange. In the films we catch a glimpse of the couple in a vintage photograph of the original Order of the Phoenix. Frank Longbottom (James Payton), stands sixth from the right, next to Mad-Eye Moody.
Matthew Lewis and James Payton never actually acted in a scene together for the films. But James was working on the set of Fantastic Beasts the day Matthew turned up for a visit. So, after many years, Frank Longbottom met up with his fictional son again, they shook hands and embraced.
‘I must have given the boy all my best genes,’ James whispered to me between takes. ‘He’s a good-looking young man. Though his mother always knew that would happen.’
The sweetest thing, if you’re diligent about your Harry Potter details, is where Neville’s standing in the photo of Dumbledore’s Army.
That’s him, sixth from the right (just behind Harry and Hermione). The same position his father stood for the Order of the Phoenix group photo.
That’s my favourite thing about the wizarding world... There’s a potentially poignant revelation in every detail.