Yesterday the Daily Mail published new photos and an interview with Tom.
‘Let be honest. We weren’t picked for Harry Potter for our acting ability. We were rank amateurs’: The world according to Tom Felton
The 23-year-old actor on the being the polar opposite of the villainous wizard Draco and why it took him two years to have a conversation with Daniel Radcliffe
‘I am the polar opposite of Draco. I’m stunned when people ask if I’m like Draco. Jo (Rowling) wrote Draco as a one-dimensional bully, a slimy individual, to get the audience hating him,’ said Tom Felton
Harry Potter and his rival Draco Malfoy are about to come face to face for the final time, in the last scene of the most successful movie series ever made.
‘I wanted them to run together in slow motion and hug,’ says Tom Felton, who plays the villainous Draco.
He’s joking, of course: the two boy wizards have traded murderous spells for seven movies now, grossing nearly £4 billion worldwide. The popularity of Draco has been one of the surprises of the Harry Potter movies. The slimy playground bully of the first film has evolved into a stylish would-be assassin, winning Felton the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain two years running. Draco has also grown into an object of lust – so much so that his creator, JK Rowling, says she is disturbed to see so many ‘young girls swearing undying devotion’.
‘I had a good part, which became more central later, and yet I hard a normal childhood. I was at a state school when I got Draco and I never left. I was out for the odd week or two, sometimes a month’
Felton – who began playing the character when he was 13 and is now 23 – is nothing like Draco. After ten years as a thin, deathly pale boy, the actor has clearly been going to the gym, acquiring a tan and working hard on new projects.
‘I took a call four days after we finished filming Potter last summer,’ he says, ‘and two days after that I was on set in Vancouver shooting Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.’
There’s a lot to be said for being the bad guy.
There’s something alluring about the dark side. People say Draco is sexier than Harry. Harry is just a nice guy, surrounded by so many strong characters, whereas Draco stands out on his own. And there’s something about the way the Malfoys look, with their white hair and black suits. I wouldn’t be worried about playing a bad guy for the rest of my life. Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman and Jason Isaacs have made fantastic careers out of being memorable villains. I’d be happy to follow in their footsteps.
I am the polar opposite of Draco.
I’m stunned when people ask if I’m like Draco. Jo (Rowling) wrote Draco as a one-dimensional bully, a slimy individual, to get the audience hating him. Rupert (Grint) and Ron, I can see the similarity. Emma (Watson) and Hermione, certainly. Even Daniel and Harry. But for crying out loud, I’m definitely not like Draco.
Originally I went for the part of Harry Potter.
There was a time when I did think Daniel got the part I wanted – but with hindsight, I’m very glad he got it. I’m the luckiest of the group. I had a good part, which became more central later, and yet I had a normal childhood. I was at state school when I got Draco and I never left. I was out for the odd week or two, sometimes a month.
It was exceptionally uncool for me to be in Harry Potter.
I can talk about it freely now, but in the early days the film publicist was always like, ‘Shut up! Say your friends love Harry Potter.’ But Potter was not a storming success round my school, and if it was then it was the books, not the films.
It took me over two years to have a proper conversation with Daniel (Radcliffe).
I was 13, and he was 11. At that stage of your life that’s dramatic. Bonding with the rest of the cast was complicated, to be honest with you. We were complete unknowns, and we were thrown together. It’s not likely that you’ll all suddenly click and become one happy family. Daniel and I knew we loved The Simpsons, but we never really sat down and talked. Partly because there was a proper age gap.
Draco has got an exceptionally hot wife in the final film – who is actually Jade (Olivia), my off-screen girlfriend.
We met on the set five years ago. It was love at first sight in the Hogwarts Great Hall – for me at least. Jade had been asked to be an extra for the day. The Slytherin table were doing our naughty thing, looking around for good-looking girls, and she caught my eye. The weird thing is, I didn’t really see her or speak to her for about two years after that, then we ran into each other on set again, and three cups of tea later, here we are.
I almost blubbed shooting my final scene of Harry Potter.
It was shot at Leavesden Studios, which has been like a school or university to me – somewhere you spend a lot of time in your formative years. I got quite upset at the thought that it’s all over.
People are under a massive misconception about what has happened over the past ten years, financially.
Don’t think Warner Bros were keen to say, ‘Here are seven-figure cheques for all the cast members – have fun.’ It was a very different story. I’m not tugging at your heart strings – it was far better than my paper round – but people do have the wrong idea.
I have a strange fixation on Helena Bonham Carter.
That sounds like the wrong word. I’m drawn to her. She’s gorgeous and exceptionally talented in a very unique way. She’s a quiet, lovely lady when you meet her, but roll the cameras and she turns into this berserk psycho witch. You have to remind yourself to stay in character, because you can’t believe you’re watching this.
I confess to buying everything a 13-year-old boy could possibly want.
As a kid who was used to getting 20p on a Sunday for the car boot sale, being given a few hundred quid was ‘wow’. I bought a laptop, a few skateboards, a nice stereo. I’m a gadget man, so an iPod. Other than that, cars. They’re nice gifts. I bought my brother a BMW and my mum a Ford Focus, which she loves.
An American once tried to adopt me.
It was the most disturbing fan mail I received. He was very serious. It wasn’t just a letter. He sent a binder of official documents that he’d filled out for me, so I just had to sign, change my name to Draco, then divorce my parents and go over to America to live with him.
It’s strange to be back on the shelf after ten years.
I’m much more nervous in auditions now than I was at 11. You take a lot of hits before you get something good. The first few were heartbreaking. I thought, ‘I can’t do this.’ They are cut-throat in America. Before you’ve even started, someone’s playing on the BlackBerry. You’re reading your lines, physically convulsing, and they just say ‘Thank you’. That means ‘Get lost’. I did 19 auditions and got the 20th, for the film The Apparition.
Let’s be honest: we weren’t picked for Harry Potter for our acting ability – it was because we looked like the characters as they’d been written.
We started out as rank amateurs, and we’ll be lucky if we’ve learnt something over the past ten years. It’s a question of what we do with that now, where we go from here.
Note: The article was also published in the print issue.