If he had his choice, Tom Felton would be a Slytherin. Which is probably only fair coming from the actor who has spent the past 10 years playing boy-villain Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter’s nemesis.
“Slytherin would really be the only choice. Gryffindors are way too boring. The Slytherin bunch get up to a good bit more fun,” the 23-year-old actor said during an interview from London. Just days before the opening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” Felton spoke to KidsPost’s Tracy Grant about how the character of Draco has changed, what it was like ending the series and how to cope with bullies.
Draco looks pained and torn in this movie. How has his character changed over the course of the movies?
“For the first four years at school, he’s really just a purposefully horrible, disgusting child. He’s a bully. A slimy bully. Then we see him as the years progress and see him with his family and especially his father. We realize that he is bullied – physically and emotionally – by his dad. All he really wants is his father’s approval, which of course, he never really gets.
“In the sixth film, he has a chance to become a bona fide bad guy, but he’s not up to it.”
You’re in only two scenes in this movie, but one of them is when Draco has the chance to turn in Harry.
“It’s a great scene where Harry is brought back . . . and you see that Draco has a sense of kinship with Harry. He can feel the weight of the world on Harry’s shoulders, and he has an opportunity once again to be villainous and he can’t do it.”
Draco has a pretty horrible family situation. How is your family different?
“Oh, completely different. I have three brothers; I’m the youngest of four. I had a great childhood. We had brilliant Christmases, and my mom and dad worked normal 9-to-5 jobs.”
The last book was divided into two movies; how do you feel about that decision?
“It’s a brilliant choice. One of the things that we had to do was stay true to . . . the story that was so beautifully told by Jo [J.K. Rowling]. If we had cut out half of the book, it would have caused such an uproar with fans. It really is two separate stories: the buildup and then the battle.”
What was it like to end filming this series that has been part of your life for 10 years?
“It was very weird. Nobody knew what to say. I kinda shook everyone’s hands and said thanks to everyone and ran off before I got too emotional.”
As you’ve said, your character is a total bully. What advice do you have for kids if a Draco is making their lives horrible?
“I would tell kids not to keep it to yourself. Open up to someone, whether it’s a teacher or a friend. I find it’s usually the bullies who are the most insecure.