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The legacy of the Harry Potter franchise has taken a turn for the worse in recent years. Despite the J.K. Rowling of it all, the stars still have fond memories of their time on set. Given that many of the young actors were going through puberty during the making of these movies, hormones ran wild. Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, revealed that the Harry Potter sets were teeming with young romance. 

Matthew Lewis spoke about his crush on ‘Harry Potter’ co-star Emma Watson

Matthew Lewis Harry Potter
Actors (L-R) Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe pose in the awards room with the Best Family Film award for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” at the National Movie Awards at the Royal Festival Hall on September 28, 2007 in London, England. | Gareth Davies/Getty Images

In 2018, Matthew Lewis spoke to Seventeen in support of his show Girlfriends. But he took a detour to reveal that he was sweet on Emma Watson for the first few films in the franchise. 

“I probably had a crush on Emma for a couple of years, until I was 13 or 14 – something like that,” he admitted. “I mean nothing ever came of it, anyway. It never went anywhere.”

Dealing with unrequited crushes can be complicated for young people, especially those who had to be around each other as much as Lewis and Watson did. But there doesn’t seem to be any awkwardness in their relationship. “She knows about that. It’s not something we’ve not talked about or anything,” Lewis said, noting they laugh about these memories as adults.

Since most of the Harry Potter cast were children, the downtime on the set was much more similar to everyday life than some realize. 

“Effectively for us, it was like being in school. We started tutoring on set and we were on set all the time, so I think that everyone had crushes on everyone else at some point,” said Lewis.

The young actors wrote love notes to one another on set

On the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets set, the young actors began using one specific holiday to announce their feelings for their crushes under the guise of some privacy. 

“There was always Valentine’s Day – everyone would write secret Valentine’s cards to different people,” continued Lewis. “I think on the second [film] there was like love notes and love letters flying around… It was just exactly what you would imagine you would get in any high school, just we happen to be in a film studio.”

Lewis’ stories show that even amid all the pressure and praise of being part of such a beloved franchise, movie sets are filled with people working together to make something good. And that proximity can lead to deeper connections between actors who are always looking for ways to create emotional bonds with their characters and scene partners. 

There were a lot of unrequited crushes on the ‘Harry Potter’ sets


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As Lewis implied, he wasn’t the only cast member with a crush on a fellow Hogwarts classmate. 

Lewis’ fantasy flame, Watson, revealed during the HBO Max special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts that she “fell in love” with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) during the first two movies. Felton rejected her advances, in part because their age difference led to him seeing her more as a younger sister. But they did become good friends and remain close to this day.

Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe had his eyes on someone much older than him. In the anniversary special, he shared one of the many love letters he wrote to Helena Bonham Carter, who is 23 years older than him. 

Even with his crush on Carter, Radcliffe had several of his first romantic experiences with other people on set. “Every part of my life is connected to ‘[Harry] Potter,'” he said. “My first kiss is connected to someone here. My first girlfriends were here. It all spirals out from the part of the set somewhere.”