Emma Watson is currently focused on the debut of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, but her Harry Potter roots are still very much a part of her life. 

Case in point: Matthew Lewis, aka Neville Longbottom to Watson’s Hermione Granger, stepped out on the red carpet at Thursday’s Los Angeles premiere to his support for his former co-star. 

“I’ve been following all the news from Beauty and the Beast with my brother back home for a long time,” he told InStyle. “So to get the invite down here, I was like, yeah, of course, I’ll be there. Then a chance to support Emma as well. I’m really excited.”

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According to People, the actress invited a large crew of their friends via a group chat. “She literally sent me a text message like a week ago saying, do you want to come? I was like, yeah, absolutely,” Lewis told InStyle.

Though he “never expected [Watson] to become a Disney princess,” the actor shared that once the cast for the live-action Beauty and the Beast was announced, everything clicked. “I was like, of course, she’s Belle. It’s wonderful. I’m just very proud, really. I can’t wait to see the movie,” he said.  

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As fellow Hogwarts students in the Harry Potter franchise, Lewis and Watson witnessed each other grow up behind and in front of the camera. “One of the things that everyone talked about when we were all young was, how are they all going to be able to keep their feet on the ground,” Lewis said. “Emma, and Dan [Radcliffe], and Rupert [Grint]: They took so much of the limelight and the spotlight and they took that burden on their shoulders, and never once showed their responsibilities … and Emma has come away from those films, and has just grown and grown, both as a woman, as an actress.”

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He’s also quite proud of all the work the actress has done for women’s rights, with the He for She campaign, of which Lewis is a part of, and her feminist book club.

“She’s taken the time to try and make other girls growing up have a better time of it, and I think that’s wonderful,” he said. “When she saw what voice she had, and what she could contribute, she didn’t decide to go in half-hearted. She just went, I’m going to do this. And she jumped in with both feet.”

—With reporting by Brandi Fowler