Thanks to Rotae, who did a fabulous job reporting for Feltbeats this weekend at Supanova Adelaide, we now have Part 1 of Tom Felton’s Q&A from Sunday.
What was your favourite scene in Harry Potter to do?Tom: I have very fond memories of young Daniel and I blowing up half the bathroom in Half-Blood Prince. It’s kind of hard to imagine, but without shattering the illusion too much, when we did most of our spells with the wands throughout the years… nothing happened. It was done afterwards, so it was kind of anti-climactic to shout, “Expelliarmus!” or whatever it is, and for nothing to happen. So on this particular occasion, they’d rigged the entire bathroom with these small explosives called squibs, that every time we did the spell, another part of a toilet or a sink, would explode and water would come flying out of it. So it was very satisfying! I enjoyed that one.We wanted to see whether you could reenact your favourite line in Harry Potter in an Australian accent.Tom: Wow. Where do I start? How do you say it? (Australian accent) “Scaired Pottah”? No, I don’t know! Was that at all accurate? [Rotae: not bad actually!] That’s about as good as it’s going to get, I fear. It would have been interesting if Draco had been from the Land of Oz.Which character, or actor from Harry Potter for that matter, would you be most scared to have a duel with?Tom: To have a duel with? Uh… good question! Daniel took it pretty seriously, so I’m not sure about that. He, uh… Alan Rickman, I suppose is probably the overriding answer to that! He was scary at the best of times, let alone with a wand in his hands. I’m not sure how good I would have been taking on him! (laughs)Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses, or a horse-sized duck? [Rotae: this was asked at almost every panel, and the audience groaned when it came up, LOL]Tom: Is there a right answer to this? Really? It’s pure preference? I’ll take the 100 duck-sized horses?Why?Tom: Uh… because that one was slightly more memorable than the second one? What was that? A horse-sized duck? Yeah… they both sound pretty terrifying! I don’t think I’d fancy my chances with either! But thanks for the question.If you could be anywhere, then where would you be? Would you be in Hawaii, because that would be time well spent!Tom: Very good! She managed to get three song titles in there, I think. Adelaide’s pretty good! I’ve been hearing some slightly negative comments from the people who live in Adelaide about Adelaide, and I’m happy to beg to differ! Because it seems like a pretty awesome place to be! You certainly have better weather than what we have at home right now. I’d be happy to stay right here! (laughs)In at least four of your films other than Harry Potter, your characters have either been murdered or killed. Do you like playing characters that get killed? Is it memorable?Tom: Very much so! It’s very memorable, yeah! I especially said to my agent, “I only want characters that die in dramatic fashion”. It seems to be a weird trend, but you are right, yeah! I think all of them that I’ve done since Potter have – and all the ones that are about to come out – I think I die in. All in different ways as well! From drowning, to being electrocuted by monkeys… yeah, it varies!I’ve asked Alfie [Enoch] and Chris [Rankin] this question, and they’ve both given me different answers, when you were filming the first one, and the second one, and J.K. Rowling was still writing the other ones, did you get any input into what your character was? And when you read the books, did you ever get her to sign them?Tom: I didn’t have much interaction with Jo for a long time, to be honest with you. I certainly wasn’t someone who was basing what I would do on the books; I was certainly more script-based – at first, anyway. Chris Columbus, I think, was quite keen for us – for me especially – to go from what we had in the scripts, rather than sort of, to read too far ahead into the books. We kind of focused on one stage at a time, I think. But obviously as the plots thickened, it became very hard not to read ahead, and not to see what was going to come. Half-Blood Prince especially. I promised myself I’d do a chapter a week, and then as more and more people told me how interesting it got, I found myself shooting through it, and heavily looking forward to doing it.I never actually got books signed by Jo… but she wrote me an incredibly nice letter after the sixth film, and oddly it went to my old address, to where my friend lives. And he opened it, and said, “You’ve got some letter from a guy called Jo”. He had no idea what her handwriting was like, or her famous signature – he’s a bit of a Potter ignoramus, shall we say – so I picked it up not having a clue, and of course there’s a lovely crest on the envelope of her own wax seal (very typically of Jo Rowling). So yeah, that sits in a frame – pride and joy – in my office.MC: Hermione has sent a young Harry Potter through the time-twister [sic], and he’s here now to ask a question of you! [Rotae: this is the very young man who has been photographed on stage with Tom, in his Harry Potter costume]Tom: Come and join me on stage, my little man! I want people to see you – this is just too good! Just don’t threaten me with that wand! Can we get a round of applause for our young Harry? [Applause] What was your question?What is your favourite spell?Tom: I’m a big fan of the Expelliarmus… it’s a pretty negative spell, isn’t it? It’s not very positive… do you have a favourite spell?Avada Kedavra!Tom: (a beat) And on that note, I’ll say goodbye! (laughs) That’s the scary Harry Potter! His evil twin.If you weren’t Draco, what other character would you be and why?Tom: I would struggle to envision really, any other character. I originally auditioned for Harry, and for Ron, so those two I happily excluded. And Hermione, Hagrid, I think I’d do well. I think I’d have to stick to the dark side to be honest with you. I have visions of 30 years time, of them remaking the films, and me hopefully coming back as Lucius. I figure that would be pretty cool.I was wondering, what would your dream line-up be for a music festival? The top three bands that you would choose.Tom: God, that is a question. I haven’t really been to many! It’s something that’s always on my wish-list; to go to more live music acts. I had a great time at Hyde Park last year watching Paul McCartney, he’s one of the greats, and he can certainly list off a few hits. Jack Johnson; I had a good time viewing him. The Cat Empire actually, are a great Aussie band, funnily enough! Who I’ve never seen live, but I have a few live albums, so I know they rock hard, live. So hopefully I can go and see them one day.Everyone here knows you’ve spent so much time in your life filming the Harry Potter movies, are there any funny on-set moments that you can share with us?Tom: There’s loads! I’m not sure how many I could share… try and be appropriate really. No, to be honest with you, we were incredibly professional, which sounds kind of boring, but there wasn’t too much foolery going on often on the set. Daniel was the one who could get away with it to be honest with you. The rest of us were too scared to step out of line, I think. Apparently – I didn’t know this – but apparently Fred and George did a bit of swapping over in their time. This is something that I learned from Chris [Rankin] and Alfie [Enoch]’s panel actually; even I’m still learning. But yeah, it was pretty tame. I seem to recall some phone languages being changed to Arabic a few times, but that’s pretty tame, I think. I don’t think anything too hardcore was done.What did you have to do to get your role of Draco Malfoy?Tom: Jump through many hoops! Some on fire. It was kind of strange, really… it wasn’t like an audition process like they usually do. It was thousands upon thousands of kids coming in because they were passionate about the books, about the stories, of which I was not one, I’m ashamed to say. I had not read the books and was not knowledgeable of what the films were going to be about or what my character was going to be. So they just kind of lined us all up – a bit like this room today, oddly enough – where Chris Columbus, the guy who directed the first two films, would just go around and interact with you and see how you talked, and how you reacted to someone sticking a camera in front of your face. And it wasn’t so much learning lines, or learning scenes, but just how you reacted, and how you interacted with other children of that kind of age. So yeah. They dyed my hair lots of colours! They dyed my hair very dark brown for the first three Harry auditions, ginger for Ron, obviously, and finally bleached it blond; and kept it blond for the next 11 years. It was good.What is your dream role for a character?Tom: Ever? Well, I always have the answer James Bond for this really. Actually, someone messaged me the other day, there’s a website in England called Paddy Power, which is our online gambling website – sports betting – and on miscellaneous bets, there’s odds on the next James Bond… and I’m 40:1! Which I was really happy about! I thought my odds were way higher than that! So that would be pretty cool. If not that, a Bond villain would be good.If you were going to come to a convention, like this one, what would you come dressed up as?Tom: That’s a good one! Something with a helmet! I don’t know! I’ve seen a couple of good Voldemorts in my time… that would be pretty fun. I guess it would be kind of a bit boring to say Draco, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t mind, almost, an excuse to get the Slytherin robes back on and slick the old hair back one day. Maybe next year I’ll do that!
Stay tuned to Feltbeats.com for Part 2 coming soon!