Thanks to Amanda Aayusya of Total Film Indonesia magazine, we have this great translation of an interview with Tom Felton where he discusses his childhood, filming Harry Potter, and his family and lovely wife in the epilogue scene.
Below is an excerpt, click below to read the full interview.
There’s a scene at Malfoy Manor where Draco seems unwilling to unravel Harry’s secret identity…
Yeah, it was fantastic.
It must have been complex to shoot…
Yeah, it was great! Because, again, it’s not actually answered in the book specifically why he does it. It never even says, you know, if he’s looking for a stroke of redemption so he does this. He just does it. And it’s the same with David – we did it several ways, so I don’t know which way it’s gong to end up. But generally the idea was that he doesn’t even know it himself, he doesn’t even realize it himself, what he’s doing. He just knows somewhere deep down he doesn’t want to give up or he doesn’t want to kill Harry right then and there. I think it’s almost against his will. As hard as he would want to be, he would want to be like his dad, as much as he could, but he can’t; he has too much of his mother inside him. The idea being he chooses not to recognize him but at that moment it’s very hard to tell whether he’s choosing to or [not]. This is an interpretative thing, whether you choose to think that he knows or he doesn’t. I’m endlessly intrigued… I know we spent a day and a half, about this far away from each other’s faces… and it’s very hard not to laugh!
Isn’t their story continued in Part 2 when they met at the station?
It’s quite left to interpretations. There are never actually answers in the last book. There’s always been a thought, there was never a conversation between Harry and Draco to say thanks for helping each other out or a nod or a handshake or anything for that matter. It’s just a stare and that’s supposed to say it all. So it’s nice, I think, the fact that they don’t say anything in the end. It’s left to the readers’ minds.
Dan raved about his Epilogue family. He sounds so proud!
(laughs) He embarrassed me by how paternal he was. He really struck up a bond within four or five minutes… and he was asking them, “Do you need a drink? Do you need to go to the toilet?” and holding their hands to the toilet… good Lord.
And how about yours?
Great fun! Young Bertie, I believe, is the young guy we had. It’s a lot of fun when they were bringing them in for the first few times… so they brought in three or four and asked if I could go and sit and chat with them for ten minutes. Obviously you’re not really asking them if they can act but whether they would just… having them react with the camera in front of their face and with all the people around them. So it’s more about one person sticking a camera in front of their face and me just kind of talk to them about school and stuff. And I feared that it was going to be really easy because I enjoy talking to children of that age, I find it really interesting what they’re into… but I find it really bizarre because he was sitting on the same couch where I was sitting ten years ago, being asked the questions, because when you audition they’re just throwing questions at you, to see what you say so I was kind of a little bit stuck with him and didn’t know what to ask him, or what to say. Luckily, he was a talker. It was kind of strange. I felt like I’ve grown up before my time, really, to see… to be looking back and thinking, “God, that was me 10 years ago.”
And your lovely wife…
Yes, we were very blessed with this. It was sprung on me completely. The director and the producers asked whether my girlfriend would do it – she’s been working on the films over the last four so they’re very familiar with her. They had to twist her arm for quite a bit. She’s a bit camera shy, to say the least, so she wasn’t too keen on it but I actually warmed to the idea and thought we could have a lot of fun. She was great with kids so she got on very well with our young Scorpius. We had a lot of fun, actually. It was 3 days of giggles. A chance for her to see how I look like 20 years on… needless to say the years were not kind to me.
She looked lovely…
Yeah. The women look great. The lads not so much…
If you could rewrite that ending, would you?
(laughs) I wouldn’t touch a page. I have never even thought about it. I think if you were given all the time in the world, you still probably couldn’t have come up with something even half as good. So I dare not touch a classic.
But wasn’t he treated sort of unfairly?
Damn right! He doesn’t even get any girlfriend… what’s up with that?! (laughs) We’ve actually talked about this as well – Daniel and I have said that Harry and Draco are like two sides of the same coin. But Harry has all these fantastic influences – Dumbledore, Hagrid, his great friends – whereas Draco just has the worst of the worst. Certainly the worst parents and Auntie Bellatrix is pretty mad. And Voldemort, again, is not the nicest soul in the world. So, yeah, Christmas was a real drag for Draco, as you can imagine, it wasn’t much fun for him. I guess he’s kind of a victim of his circumstances. He wasn’t born evil, he’s been thrust into this horribly world unwillingly.
What do you focus on when you try to play Draco?
I think trying to make him villainous doesn’t really work too well. There needs to be something, I suppose, effortless about his villainy, if you will, that doesn’t seem forced or too rehearsed. Generally, it was nice to have Jason [Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy] as something to model yourself around because he does it exceptionally well. I remember after the second film, with him coming along, it became a lot easier for me to play a horrible villain because he’s the nicest guy in the world, charming, and he can turn very quickly when they start rolling cameras. It’s quite scary.
Well obviously you cracked it, winning Best Villain…
(laughs) Yeah, bless you, yeah…
What’s the most villainous thing you’ve ever done in real life, then?
Oh, Christ… um, I don’t know, I’m not the most villainous person in the world, it must be said. I may have run the odd red light in my car. I’ve certainly never mown anyone down or anything like that. No, I hate to say, it’s going to sound childish, but it would probably be about forgetting putting on a seatbelt or something like that.