Tom Felton scares small children, but we already knew that. ;)

In another lengthy interview with the Los Angeles Times, Tom discusses scaring small children, how he can’t remember what his original hair color is, working with some of his co-stars, and “dipping his toe” in the independent film world.

He’s only 21, a cricket-loving young man from the English countryside south of London, and he scares small children.

“It depends on their ages and their lunacy in regards to the film,” Tom Felton says of the reactions he gets when people recognize him as Harry Potter’s schoolyard nemesis, Draco Malfoy. “Pretty much 7 and unders, I tend to get nothing but boos. No matter how kind I am to them, they’re not interested in being kind back.”

In his rapid Surrey speech, he acknowledges that since the public really only knows him from the “Potter” franchise, bad impressions tend to stick. Children often don’t want to shake his hand. And people are surprised to learn he and the actors from the House of Gryffindor actually get on quite well, thanks.

“What people have to bear in mind is that we spend 99% of our days off-camera, so we have plenty more time to be friendly to each other than we do to be nasty. We save all the tension for on-camera,” he says with a laugh, singing the praises of his costars and adding that he and Daniel Radcliffe are “big cricket fans and have a fair bit in common. So there’s plenty of friendship off-screen there.”

Putting aside the odd scene of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy palling around over the sports pages, it can be difficult to peer through the never-ending Harry hoopla to recognize a young actor growing up in a multibillion-dollar franchise. The latest entry, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” offers Felton a chance to show more of what he can do.

“A friend of mine who’s a die-hard fan read the book, like, within four hours of it coming out. She rung me at about 5 in the morning and said, ‘Get the book right now, you need to know what happens.’ When I read it, my eyes did light up,” he says.

“It was pretty nerve-racking stuff, actually, to know we were going to do these one-on-one scenes with Michael Gambon; opposite Alan [Rickman], etc. But I was excited to show a bit more of the depth of the character.”

The actor, speaking by phone from New York, says Draco is a victim of circumstance, pushed from birth into a family business (in this case, serving the Dark Lord Voldemort and becoming a Death Eater) that doesn’t really suit him. “Prince” shows other sides of Draco as he teeters on the edge of that abyss.

“This child has had the worst parental influences you can have. The books are all about choices, making the right choices. Young Draco really didn’t have any choices; he was never given an option to go good or evil,” he says.

“[Director] David Yates, the first thing he said to me was, ‘If we can get an ounce of empathy for you by the end of the film, I’ll consider myself job done.’ ”

Felton was actually one of the more experienced performers when the series launched, with a handful of previous roles in film and television. And now that he has had years in the company of some of England’s finest actors — the likes of Richard Harris, Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh have graced the halls of Hogwarts — he’s growing as an actor.

“Bear in mind, when we first started we were children. I don’t really know how much any children know about acting. Every year we’ve subconsciously been learning and picking up more and more.

“This year, my approach was far more serious. I wanted to make sure that I delivered and they were happy. It was a far more satisfying approach in the respect that we’ve really put our heart and soul into it and now to be reaping the rewards, it feels great.”

And, lately, he has been dipping his toe into independent film.

“I did a couple of quick projects in between the last two, just to experience what the real world is like with films,” he says.

“The last film I did outside of ‘Harry Potter’ was called ‘The Disappeared,’ and that was shot for about $200,000, which I think is about our lunch spread on a given day.”

Laughing, he notes that apart from the nearly all-consuming ‘Potter’ schedule, being stuck with Draco’s practically white blond locks also restricts his casting. He doesn’t even know what his real hair color is anymore.

“I have no idea,” he said, guessing at the “mousy brown” of his eyebrows. “It’s been nearly seven years since I’ve seen my proper hair color.”

12 thoughts on “Tom Felton scares small children, but we already knew that. ;)

  1. hey tom.i was just wondering if you ever thought about coming to america?i live in tenessee and was wondering if you might think of coming and to do a book signing? we have a bunch of stars come down here and an extra bonus would be if you came with the rest of the cast.ive learned that your music is very good and we love music and your movies!so think about it and let me know:)
    love,kaitlyn brett

    • As long as you live near Memphis, I’M fine with that. My aunt would love it if I came and stayed with her (even if it was JUST so I could see Tom Felton).

      Aw, but the fact that he doesn’t quite know his hair color is so cute! And hilarious! LOL Yeah, it’ll probably match the eyebrows. LOL, but my brother wants to get his hair done like Tom in the picture at the top of the site that tells us we must all be twits. It’s quite nice. If he doesn’t like his actual hair when it finally comes about, maybe he should stick with that hair from the pic???

  2. oh misha is it?? if u ever met Tom Felton, ask him to go to Jakarta,, i know there was just a freakin’ bombing here but Jakarta is still the coolest city ever… i bet he’d like it… thanks dearest 😀

  3. I think this is one of my favorite articles that have been published in the last couple of weeks. Just seems more well-rounded than most. And I love the part about him “scaring small children”.

  4. Hey Tom!

    I love this article. Im a natural blonde and i love it but i can see how you would want your real hair colour back.
    Im from canada and everyone here thinks the Harry Potter movies are great! personally you are my favourite charater. i love you music, its pretty much all i listen to in the summer. i was just wondering if you were comming to canada anytime soon and if so where? i live near Vancouver British Columbia.<3

  5. well than i supose small children are stupid gez toms nt scary or anything of the sort.and personally i think that is Draco had a choice hed be good.honistly i feel sorry for him being pushed in all the evilness. and Toms bloond hair will be dearly missed by me ='[

  6. Draco is a victim of circumstance, pushed from birth into a family business (in this case, serving the Dark Lord Voldemort and becoming a Death Eater) that doesn’t really suit him. “Prince” shows other sides of Draco as he teeters on the edge of that abyss.

    “This child has had the worst parental influences you can have. The books are all about choices, making the right choices. Young Draco really didn’t have any choices; he was never given an option to go good or evil,” he says.

    Thank you so much, Dear. Everything you’re saying here, I saw it magnificently rendered onto the screen, across your performance. You’ve got it all right. Because you see, this child-like Draco, I’ve been it too during a period of my life. I know what’s like to get pressure on your shoulders, I know what’s like feeling to take the flight when one knows he’s done something wrong, aware he could have done the thing right instead. But I’ve changed, done some grown up on my share, and take my own decisions since then. And whatever the outcome of them may be, I’m facing them, for right or wrong. I own you this one, Tom. God Bless You.

    With Love,

    Sam.

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