Rent-Free

Mads Lewis Has *A Lot* In Common With Harry Potter

One scene from the magical film series lives rent-free in her head.

Screenshot via @Wizarding World/Youtube

In Elite Daily’s series Rent-Free, celebrities unpack the one thought, memory, or unforgettable pop culture moment that'll always live in their head. In this piece, social media superstar Madison Lewis speaks on the viral internet moment she’ll never forget.

What happens when the person you relate to the most is a fictional character? As the unrivaled wizard of Hogwarts, Harry Potter’s top-tier magic skills were ridiculed by his classmates, and it might be the very reason Mads Lewis relates to the Harry Potter series so much. In a way, it mirrors her own life as a regular girl who became famous overnight because of this magical thing called social media. Lewis has commanded attention since her Musical.ly days circa 2014, which resulted in a massive online following on TikTok and Instagram. And while this means her personal life is sometimes splashed across the web, viral internet culture is one thing Lewis understands better than anyone. Lewis finds joy in her steady diet of Harry Potter TikTok videos, and there’s one clip in particular that’s been living in her head rent-free.

The Harry Potter film series was first released in 2001 (a year before Lewis, 18, was born) but it still holds a special place in her heart. Lewis tells Elite Daily the film had a massive impact on her childhood, and her love for the films hasn’t diminished. “I actually just moved into a new house and my entire room is literally Harry Potter-themed,” she proudly says. “I bought green curtains to match my Slytherin vibe. I know I’m a Slytherin, but I actually took the test, and I’m 50% Gryffindor, too. But I’m definitely more Slytherin in my eyes.”

In 2021, one unforgettable Harry Potter scene went viral on TikTok. It’s the climactic scene in Sorcerer’s Stone where Ron Weasley, played by Rupert Grint, sacrifices himself in a life-size game of chess so Harry can obtain the Sorcerer’s Stone. He passionately shouts the now-iconic line, “It’s you that has to go on. I know it. Not me, not Hermione, you!” 18 years after the movie’s release, the scene is a viral standout due to Ron’s dramatic inflection, and Harry’s earnest nodding in response was equally as funny.

Many TikTok impressions of the scene have gone viral, and Lewis says the scene gets funnier every time. “For some reason, that scene is just so funny to me. Me and my boyfriend just laugh at that scene a lot because it’s really funny,” she says, referencing her singer-songwriter boyfriend, Sevryn.

Despite being a massive fan of the film series, Lewis has never read the books. But that’s exactly why she’s able to recall every vivid detail from the movies. She attributes the TikTok community’s creativity as the reason certain Harry Potter scenes, such as this one, are so timeless. “A lot of TikTokers do the scene and they create different costumes they wear and become each character. A lot of people I see do it actually don’t have an accent, but they make it sound like it and I think that’s really cool. It’s amazing to watch people’s talents and the way they create the scene,” Lewis says.

When she’s not busy watching Harry Potter videos, Lewis is probably catching up with fans online. Social media fame has a way of sneaking up on TikTokers, and Lewis admits she was never gunning for it. “I started social media in sixth grade, and I actually didn't think I was going to be famous at all. Even now, I don’t consider myself famous, but I started because my friend got started on Musical.ly and blew up,” she says. (For those who may not know, Musical.ly was the short-form video-sharing platform now known as TikTok.)

It didn’t take long until Lewis’ social media career blew up as well, but much like Harry learned during his years at Hogwarts, fame comes at a cost. “When I started out, people started taking pictures with me. Honestly, sixth grade was the best year of my life. There was no drama,” she says. That soon changed, however, when her peers turned on her and exiled her from their social circle. She says, “I was always nice to people.”

As more classmates tried their hand at Musical.ly with little or no success, their attitude towards Lewis changed. “It went from almost the entire school wanting to sit at our table, to just my sister and her best friend. It’s kind of sad,” she says. “I actually started online school in ninth grade.”

Lewis has since branched out to other projects as well, including acting in the 2017 web series Chicken Girls. As much as the internet can provide a wealth of inspiration, there are times it can be downright toxic. Lewis says she’s learned this the hard way, and has kept her circle small as a result. “A lot of people on social media can be very rude, but I’ve been doing it for a long time, and I’m actually not friends with a lot of people I’ve met because of the toxicity and them being negative,” she says. “Being an adult now, I’ve learned that you have to sometimes get rid of the things in your life that might hurt the most. I’ve done that.”

How, exactly, does one maintain privacy and a small circle when millions of fans are watching? It’s no easy feat, but Lewis says being careful about what she posts about her personal life or relationships is key.

“If something happens in my life and I don’t want to put it out there, I don’t put it out there,” she says. “I can’t complain if anything does get out because I am a social media influencer, and certain things are going to get out there whether I like it or not. But it’s my choice to do social media. I can’t get mad at fans for wanting to explore that.”

Aside from posting up a storm on TikTok and Instagram, Lewis is focused on her acting career. “I want to be one of the biggest actresses in the world and I believe I can,” she says. “One of my goals is to be in a Marvel movie.”

Perhaps her Marvel dreams were planted after growing up on a steady diet of Harry Potter magic. The sorcery and enchantment of the film series are what captivated Lewis from the start, and she’s bringing magic of her own to everything she does.