Tom "Draco" Felton Spills the Beans!
In a previous blog entry, I revealed that I sometimes like to hug a cardboard cut-out of a certain boy wizard. So it should come as no surprise that I almost fell out of my chair when I heard that Scholastic was going to have the opportunity to interview Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies!
I wasn't going to be doing the interview myself, but I was given the chance to submit some questions — and Tom Felton even said that one of MY questions was something he had never been asked before! When I heard about that, I couldn't have been more pleased with myself than if I were Percy Weasley!
Here was my question:
You've posted some music videos on YouTube where you play the guitar and sing. Are those all original songs, and how long have you been writing and performing?
And here's what Tom said:
I won't lie. This is the first time an interviewer has asked me about that. A friend of mine, a good musical friend of mine, moved away about a year and a half ago, and she was always very keen to hear new music. And we just figured the best way to do that was to put it onto YouTube — under an alias, obviously. But it didn't stay hidden very long, and now it's very much sort of in the public domain. So it was never really intended to be an advertising spin by any means, but yeah, they are original songs and obviously not sort of developed by any means but just sort of a little early draft, if you will. Just a bit of fun! But it seems to have a positive response, so I'm enjoying it.
Awesome, right? Well, I thought so, anyway . . .
Want more of the interview? Keep reading, below! But this is just part of the interview — keep an eye out for more tidbits in the Scholastic magazines that you sometimes get at school (like Scope, Action, and Junior Scholastic), PLUS on the web in Scholastic News Online's special section just for entertainment news!
Now, without further ado . . . here's Draco!
Scholastic: What's your opinion of Draco?
Tom: Not a very pleasant one, I assure you. I figure, I think of him as a misled only child who's been slightly bullied into his state of mind, if you will. But in long short, he is a nasty bit of work. A bit of a slimy, troublesome character who's not really up for any good and certainly the benefit of anyone else.
Scholastic: Well, my next question was going to be, "Do you think
people misunderstand him?" But I guess you already answered that.
Tom: Well, I suppose, "yes" would be the answer. By the same token, he doesn't do a great job of trying to convince otherwise, does he?
Scholastic: Do your fans ever sort of treat you like Draco? Like a bad boy?
Tom: That's happened, yes, it has happened. Especially with the younger generation — sort of 6 or 7 down, age-wise. They can get rather off put by seeing my face. They seem to associate me with something rather negative, which I can only take as a compliment ,really, I suppose.
Scholastic: Is there any one story or encounter that you remember that involved a fan approaching you as the bad guy?
Tom: Some people take it very seriously how I was making Harry's life not pleasant at school, and they would plead with me not to pick on him. But I don't know if they were taking it to the next level or whether they were actually confused whether it was real life or film — something along those lines. That was a little bit shocking, to be fair. I tried to reassure them that nothing was real, and me and Daniel were quite good friends, but it didn’t seem to sink in with them.
Scholastic: You're a big fishing fan. This might sound weird, but are there any similarities between acting and fishing?
Tom: You know what, I never thought so until you asked that question. Patience. Patience is required heavily in fishing and much the same with the film set. Obviously, some days it doesn't go as fast as you would have hoped or you would have expected. But it's all about keeping the energy and keeping the — not only patience — but just to enjoy every minute of it. Because sometimes it can be quite easy to sort of slump back if you have an hour or two to wait and it's important to make the most of the time with the cast and crew while you're still there.
Scholastic: Are there any Draco Malfoy moments from the books that you're disappointed weren't included in the movie?
Tom: No, I wouldn't think so. I mean, I remember reading the book before and thinking, "Oh, lord! This'll be fun! I was especially looking forward to the pool in the bathroom and being able to stamp on young Potter's face on the Hogwarts Express. I was always looking forward to the things of a physical nature. But they all got included, so no let-downs there.
Scholastic: Do you guys have any on-set rituals or traditions when you're filming?
Tom: I wouldn't go as far as any rituals, but I might go as far as to say a cup of tea doesn't really hurt. Right before we get the event proceedings, so to speak. Maybe a cup of tea, maybe a biscuit or two to go with it if it's a Friday. But other than that, no, we certainly don't get in a circle and chant or anything like that.
Scholastic: That's why we Americans adore you Brits!
Tom: Why is that? A cup of tea?
Scholastic: It's so civilized!
Tom: Oh, very much so. We always sort of talk around in the middle of break — we're talking about politics and all the rest of it . . . I'm only joking — far from it! We're quite primitive. We've got our polystyrene cups outside, that sort of thing.
Scholastic: What's the best thing about filming a movie?
Tom: The bond between the cast and crew is always a good one. Each day you're subconsciously getting closer and closer, but you don't realize it until it's time to say goodbye and you think, "Oh, wow. It was only a few weeks ago that I didn't know this person."
Scholastic: Do you have an all-time favorite book that you've read?
Tom: At the moment I'm reading The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, and for some reason that question sort of blanked my mind on all other types of literature. But as a child I was amazingly fond of Rudyard Kipling and Roald Dahl . . . Nowadays I wouldn't dare to single it down to one to be fair. We'll go with Shakespeare, how's that?
— Karen, STACKS Staffer
Photos: Courtesy of Warner Bros.