It’s pretty safe to say that the Harry Potter franchise changed the lives of those involved with it. The golden trio basically grew up on set of the franchise, and that goes for their same-aged Slytherin rival Draco Malfoy too. Tom Felton has now explained how he landed the role of Draco Malfoy as a “snotty” kid, beating out tons of hopeful youths, and it’s so perfectly simple it almost feels like fate.
Tom Felton just might be the biggest Potterheads among the Harry Potter stars, still very much in love with the franchise he was such a big part of. Apparently it wasn’t always that way, though, as Felton admits he had no clue about the magical world of Harry Potter before getting cast in the role of Draco Malfoy.
In an interview with The Guardian, Tom Felton explains that he feels he got the role because he shared some traits with his on screen counterpart Draco Malfoy. Since he wasn’t one of the kids who came to casting full of excitement about their favorite books becoming a film and possibly getting the chance to be a part of it, he feels he came off as uncaring and arrogant, much befitting of Draco. Here it is in his own words:
I was also one of the only ones who had no idea what Harry Potter was at the time. Anyone could try out for it, so many excited kids went along who loved the books deeply. I reckon I got the part because I was nonchalant and had no idea what anyone was on about. Wizards in cupboards under the stairs? And with three older brothers, you learn to be confident quickly. I think Chris Columbus, the director, recognized this slight disinterest and arrogance in me, which he thought could work for Malfoy.
While that might be a bummer for all the kids who actually read Harry Potter and wanted, with all their heart, to embody someone like Draco, Tom Felton was excellent in the role. In fact, many would say that the Harry Potter franchise is pretty much perfectly cast and the actors had become interchangeable with their parts for some time.
In the same interview, Tom Felton admits that he didn’t have to jump through the same hoops as the other kids auditioning. Here is what he says about his hiring process, exactly:
I didn’t have to do 10 pages of dialogue to audition. All I did was turn up as a snotty kid who looked right and I got the part.
The Harry Potter cast members are certainly their own people now and lead much different lives, that doesn’t stop Tom Felton, in particular, from hanging on to his Harry Potter heritage strongly, posting throwbacks and even new interactions with the magical world of Harry Potter. It’s pretty hard to spot that arrogant, disinterested kid in him these days.
Tom Felton mentions Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films, seeing Draco Malfoy in him. Columbus, unlike the later Harry Potter directors, had the unique responsibility of bringing the world of Harry Potter from the books onto screens for the very first time, setting the precedent for later films. This, of course, includes almost the entire cast, which pretty much stayed the same through the rest of the films. Luckily, he got it right a lot of the time, and especially with Felton.
That arrogant kid Tom Felton was and that led to Draco Malfoy has transformed both on screen and in real life. Even though Felton has moved on to acting in other projects, it’s obvious in his social media posts that Draco Malfoy is very much alive in his heart and he wouldn’t want anyone else playing him.
All this talk of a young Draco Malfoy being reflected in Felton’s youth has got me itching for a Harry Potter movie marathon. Luckily, Harry Potter fans can binge all 8 of the franchise films (along with the first 2 Fantastic Beasts films) with an HBO Max subscription.