Tom Felton: Behind the Mask of Malfoy
Interview by Amanda Aayusya, with the assistance of Misha (Feltbeats.com).
First of all, let’s take a trip down memory lane. What do you remember from your audition for the Harry Potter movies? What did you have to do?
I remember going up to Leavesden Studios and meeting Chris Columbus with loads of other kids. He used to just talk to us and throw questions to see how we react. I remember in one of the early call backs we were running lines and he was holding an egg (supposed to be a dragon’s egg but represented by a chicken’s!). He then deliberately dropped the egg to see how I reacted! He was great fun and made you feel very at ease.
In the past, you mentioned that you tried for the role of Harry Potter, but got the role of Draco Malfoy instead. There must be some kind of emotion involved in that. How did you feel about getting the role of Draco Malfoy?
At the time of going for the different parts, unlike most I wasn’t already a fan of the books so it took me a while to establish the different characters. I am so happy with playing Draco and also think Harry Potter couldn’t have been cast better, or the rest of the cast for that fact! Personally though, if I could play any character it would be Draco! So I consider myself very lucky!
I was interested with something you said in a recent interview with Feltbeats.com; that you felt like Draco was your character. After playing Draco in six HP movies, just how well do you know Draco? How has Draco’s character evolved since the beginning?
Draco has evolved a little slower than young Potter, but in the latest film he really takes a leap into manhood. His early years consisted of mostly childish name calling, but in the latest film he really steps it up a gear. He is slowly becoming a man.
Although this might sound like a silly question, but I’ll ask it anyway. Have you read Book 7 in its entirety? What did you think of the Epilogue: 19 Years Later in the book? Harry, Ron, Hermione and even Draco have their own families. How do you imagine Draco’s life 19 years after the end of the story?
Of all the scenes, this is the one I look forward to filming the most! I can’t wait to see Draco, Harry (etc.) as men! I think Draco will look very much like his father – probably with a long ponytail and a silver cane!
One of my favorite scenes in the Half-Blood Prince book is the scene where Harry and Draco were involved in an ‘accidental’ duel in the bathroom and Draco was badly injured thanks to the Sectumsempra spell. A lot of fans liked that scene and consider it iconic and we hope that it isn’t changed in the movie. Will the fans be disappointed with that scene in the upcoming movie?
I’ve only seen bits of it but I know that filming it was intense! What starts as a duel turns into a full-on wand fight! I can’t say too much but it’s very intense. There’s years of tension between Harry and Draco and it is certainly released in the fight – expect an epic ruck!
What was it like to film that scene with Daniel Radcliffe? As far as the fans can tell, there are no hard feelings between the actors who play Harry and Draco, so how did you and Daniel summon the intense emotions needed for that scene?
Dan’s great – ever a professional and great fun to work with! It’s funny that one minute we’re talking about a who should be in the England cricket team then 5 minutes later we’re trying to rip each other’s heads off in a bathroom. I think we bounce off each other’s energy, making it much easier to get the scenes as intense as they should be… and no hard feelings! We have a great relationship on and off screen, and I can definitely see myself working with him again in the future.
In the movies, you get to play as Jason Isaac’s and Helen McRory’s son, as well as Helena Bonham Carter’s nephew. Is it intimidating to be around them? Or do you feel comfortable around them, as if they’re your own family?
It is amazing to have these great English actors around you! Very intimidating at first but they are very nice and made me feel at ease very quickly. They are all great fun to work with, especially Helena Bonham Carter.
Let’s take another trip down memory lane. Your first movie was The Borrowers, which was recently shown in one of the cable channels in Indonesia. Do you remember anything from there? Jim Broadbent and Mark Williams, who are playing in Harry Potter, were in it as well. Did they recognize you on the set of Harry Potter?
Mark and Jim both remembered me and it was great to see them again – they are both extremely talented guys! I had a great time filming The Borrowers and it was a fantastic first film to do.
Afterwards, you played in Anna and the King. The story of this movie happens in the country we now call Thailand. Did you have to travel to South East Asia to film that movie? If yes, where did you go to and what do you remember from this experience?
For the movie, I went to Malaysia with my mum for 4 months. I was so young I unfortunately don’t remember much of it though!
One of my memories, however, is riding an elephant! I was so happy about it and couldn’t wait to tell my friends back at school. My mum is always reminiscing about her experiences so I’ve learned a lot about my experiences through her. Apparently I wouldn’t eat any of the food they gave me on set as it was so different from what I was used to in London, so she had to go to the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) she found 20 minutes away from set in a taxi everyday to get me a meal!
[Continue to Part 3]
Credits and disclaimers: This interview was conducted with Tom Felton via e-mail exclusively for FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia, issue 18, July 2009. Copying or using the whole interview without permission is strictly prohibited. Pages scanned from FiRST Movie Magazine Indonesia and are not for commercial use. Images used in the article are copyrighted by Warner Bros., Lost Tribe Productions Ltd., and ITV. Do not hotlink and/or use without permission. FiRST thanks Misha of Feltbeats.com for her help in this interview.