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The Longbottom family reunion on the set of Fantastic Beasts

The Pottermore Correspondent

 Matthew Lewis on stage at Celebration of Harry Potter 2016
Actor Matthew Lewis at A Celebration of Harry Potter 2016 in Orlando. Gerardo Mora / Stringer/ Getty Images.

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:

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.

Harry and Dumbledore's Army in the Room of Requirement
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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.

Now available
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The Original Screenplay