So a few weeks ago, whilst you were probably fantasizing about the evening of pancake gluttony awaiting you and making half-hearted Lenten promises to give up all things addictive, fattening or chocolate covered, HeyUGuys met up with a certain infamous Slytherin who goes by the name of Tom Felton in the Muggle world.
Here’s the interview,
HeyUGuys: You’ve grown up with the Harry Potter books and films since you were 12 years old, what does it feel like now that it’s almost over?
Tom Felton: It’s a bizarre feeling. I’d love to come up with a really good answer for that! But firstly it doesn’t really feel like we’ve finished because we still have stuff to look forward to and the end is still quite a while away. Then the other half of me felt very strange when I was thanked for my services for the last 10 years and told ‘see you later!’ It’s a kind of emptiness as well as a huge sense of anticipation. This is what we’ve all been looking forward to the last 5 or 6 years. This one final movie without question is the one we think will be the best and we’re very excited to be ending on such a high.
HeyUGuys: Is it all about the premiere this summer then?
Tom: Yeah in a lot of ways it is. I heard on the radio yesterday actually that they’re planning this Trafalgar Square/Leicester Square collaboration premiere and I’m very excited that we’re going to be the guinea pigs, if you will, testing it out and being the first ones to actually do that! Hopefully it’ll become a more regular thing after that. I envisioned us abseiling down the Odeon or helicopter in! Bungee jump off into the crowd! So what’s actually planned is a little less dramatic but it should be a lot safer.
HeyUGuys: You weren’t an unknown actor before starting the Harry Potter saga, we remember you in The Borrowers (“squished, might get squished”) so what’s next?
Tom: (laughs) Oh wow that’s just brought it all back to me! Well as we’ve just mentioned it was weird to begin with when the Harry Potter folk were like ‘see you later.’ I thought to myself, ‘well, what do I do now then?’ I went on holiday briefly to Italy but we had to cut the trip short to head over to Vancouver to shoot Rise of the Planet of the Apes which is the prequel to Planet of the Apes. It came literally out of nowhere. They wanted me to play somebody rather unpleasant so I thought great that’s nothing too different from what I’ve been doing! Although it is a world away from the world of Hogwarts. It was great fun, 5 weeks in Vancouver with James Franco as the lead and it was amazing working with him, he’s an incredibly talented guy. Horribly good-looking! Also The Apparition, will be coming out in October as well which is another horror/thriller we did with Ashley Greene from the Twilight films. She’s beautiful and also incredibly talented so it was really nice to get the chance to work with her.
HeyUGuys: In the films you and Harry are meant to be schoolyard enemies but how do you and Daniel Radcliffe get on in real life?
Tom: We don’t get on at all. We’re method…I’ve hate him now for 7 years. We haven’t spoken for maybe 9 years now, I think… (laughs) I had you going for a second there didn’t I? No, we are incredibly good friends! I think one of the things which fans forget is that we spend most of the day as Tom and Daniel chatting about cricket and all sorts of nonsense. Only 5% of the day is spent as Potter and Malfoy! Hopefully our love for each other outweighs our hatred for one another on screen.
HeyUGuys: Did you and the cast ever consider commemorating your time together on set, maybe a Lord of The Rings style tattoo?
Tom: It’s funny you should mention that, I was the one who instigated the thought. I said a lightning bolt on the left buttock would be very apt and when we got to the premiere we could all just get them out and moon the paparazzi! No, unfortunately it didn’t go down. I genuinely wanted to get a little Slytherin snake. We had rings and at one point we were considering heating the rings up and branding ourselves as the Slytherin boys, and needless to say that idea didn’t last long. It would have been a nice idea and I would have been up for a small lightning bolt somewhere! (HeyUGuys said there’s still time!) Well said! There is still time, maybe I can coerce a few of the cast into it.
HeyUGuys: Is it fun being bad?
Tom: 100%. It’s so much better than being good like the rest of them. I get to be the exact opposite of what I am in real life. I’ll be talking about cricket one minute and the next I get to be this real arsehole! For lack of a better word. But that’s more in the previous years, in the last few films I’ve really enjoyed having the chance to show the story of how bullies usually have the worst backgrounds of all. Certainly with their parents and definitely with Draco we see he has awful parental influences and that really is the reason why he is who he is. In the last two films we actually see him step away from that background and his parents’ burden because he’s realizing that maybe he’s not cut out for the evil lifestyle.
HeyUGuys: Are you fitting in any pancakes today between interviews?
Tom: Oh! Don’t! (laughs) I’m really angry about Pancake Day. I make pancakes probably bi–weekly. I’m a pancake fiend! And I’m an expert, now I’m not trying to toot my own trumpet but toot toot, I happen to make a great pancake and I can flip them and all sorts! But today is the day that’s really made for me and it’s a day for me to shine! I’m not a culinary master but today’s the day I get to go up to all my friends and say ‘ look love, back off, let me show you how it’s done.’ And I can’t do it tonight because unfortunately I have previous engagements.
HeyUGuys: Are you giving up anything for lent?
Tom: It’s 40 days and 40 nights right? What can I live without for that long… Maybe I can give up pancakes but I doubt it somehow.
HeyUGuys: Does playing a villain ever attract negative attention from very serious or agitated fans?
Tom: Most certainly! I’ve witnessed it a few times, especially across the pond. The Americans seem to take it more literally than anyone I think. I’ve upset a few minors and reduced a few 6 year olds to tears. We also get quite a lot of kids visiting the set and they’re always like ‘DANIEL!! Emma! Rupert!!’ and then they cower away from me. I always seem to push it a bit too far! I say to them ‘Hi, I’m Tom, I’m a really nice guy, I’m not evil’ but they just see me and think no thanks. No handshake, nothing. I’ve been boo’d and hissed too. But I take it as a compliment you know? I consider it as good as applause!
HeyUGuys: Have the film tours taken you anywhere particularly amazing?
Tom: Yeah! So many places and we always get such an amazingly warm welcome. I mean, I’d never been to Mexico before and we got there and it was just astonishing the welcome we received. It’s fantastic not only to get to see the country but to have the chance to thank all the thousands of people who support us and who you never even really knew were following you.
HeyUGuys: What’s your favourite Harry Potter book?
Tom: Chamber of Secrets. I don’t know why, the name maybe? I’m drawn in by that book. Gilderoy Lockhart is the funniest character in the books in my opinion and there’s something about the basilisk, this huge deadly snake, which is just really cool.
HeyUGuys: Is it your favourite of the films too?
Tom: I’m a tart. Every film has just got better and better so right now it’s the Half–Blood Prince but as soon as Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is released it’ll be that! Because they just get better, not just through FX but in terms of storyline and it gets more adult which suits me.
HeyUGuys: Have any of the big actors and actresses you’ve worked with over the years given you any memorable advice?
Tom: All of them, literally every single one. So much sticks out but Helena Bonham Carter is definitely somebody who I learned a lot from. She’s a quirky but lovely lovely woman, she’s quiet and delicate then the camera rolls and she transforms into this berserk and frightening character! Sometimes people couldn’t help but give her a little ripple of applause after her take because it was so incredible. She gave me some great advice to do the opposite of what your character’s doing. So if you’re character’s crying, tell yourself that you can’t cry. That way nothing you do is forced and it can come naturally. That was really inspiring advice but to be honest every single one of the actors has given me literally something to walk away with. Not just the adults either, I’ve learned so much from Daniel, Rupert and Emma.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is released on Blu-ray today!