Harry Potter: Interview with Tom Felton
Tom Felton speaks with the ease of those who have been under the scrutiny of the media for a very long time. But his case is a strange one; he has been in this position since he was twelve. It is amazing that he has not become tired of speaking about Harry Potter after ten years of not only playing Potter’s nemesis, Draco Malfoy, but also being interviewed, quizzed and bothered about it.
”It was always good fun”, he says, when asked if playing such a dark character from such an early age ever posed a challenge, “What twelve year old wouldn’t want to play an evil wizard? I’m pretty sure it’s in every kid out there, I’ve always enjoyed it. I’d rather play a character that was really, really different to me as to someone who is quite close to my character. And Draco is really, really different.”
“It’s weird when you take out the wizard part and in the real world and people call you Draco, I find that bizarre. But it’s cool, I’ve learned to deal with that over the years. If young children boo me, that makes my day. I must’ve done something good if these kids are terrified.”
Felton’s story is a happy one; at 23 he is world famous and can probably take his pick of characters now he is free from the Potter franchise. But the end to Draco’s story in the last movie is different and Felton can’t help but sympathize with his character of ten years.
“Draco really is the sad story of the whole franchise because he doesn’t have any options or choices, he has to do what he’s told or he’ll be killed for it, which isn’t very nice. Harry and Ron have options, they can choose what they want to do. Draco is the exact opposite, he has parents and a big family but they’re the worst family you could possibly imagine, I feel very sorry for young Draco. It’s a very sad story.”
Felton arrived in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday to promote the movie and had hundreds of screaming and crying fans waiting for him at the red carpet in Sugar Loaf, where select fans were able to greet him and watch the last movie for the first time. And although he has been Draco Malfoy for a while, the fans’ passion for the books and the movies still puzzle him.
“I don’t really understand it, to be deadly honest! Obviously I understand that Harry Potter is such a thing of escapism and a lot of children and a lot of people have grown up escaping in these books and in the films, where their normal lives don’t matter and it’s this new magical kingdom. And I understand that I represent a portion of that magical kingdom, so people might get emotional, but I wish I had the same amount of passion for something.
“Because these kids, they are absolutely obsessed, which is fantastic and brilliant! I wish I was that obsessed about another book or a film, it’s a marvelous thing to behold. These kids have come out of it inspired.”
And was it difficult to say goodbye to the people he had been working with since he was twelve? He says he didn’t even cry.
“It’s weird, we’re not really like friends, we’re like a working family. And families always go off and do their own thing for a bit but we’re always going to have those experiences that we went through together so it doesn’t matter how many years go past I think we will always consider ourselves a family and a tight group of friends, I hope.
“We haven’t actually said goodbye yet, who is there to say goodbye to? I saw Daniel last week, so there’s no point in saying goodbye if we’re going to see each other sooner or later. So there’s no goodbyes, just farewells.”
Felton might be saying goodbye to Draco but – although there have been rumours he is actually starting a rap career, which he denied in good humour – he doesn’t seem inclined to say goodbye to playing bad guys. In his upcoming movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he also plays a villain – a villain even worse than Draco.
“ If you play a character that’s so strong and so different from yourself you can just throw yourself into it and know what you’re doing it’s right because whatever feels unnatural is right, so I find it a lot more fun. It is challenging at times but ultimately more rewarding, I think.”
But being in Harry Potter has been Felton’s defining role; is he scared people will only ever remember him as Draco and not for any of the things he does next?
“No, I hope to be remembered always as Draco, we’re very proud of what we’ve done. I hope to be remembered by other things as well, other memorable characters I do over the years but I hope to be scaring children for the rest of my life. I’ll be very happy if I do.”
Picture:Getty ImagesTagged in: Draco Malfoy, harry potter, Tom Felton
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