18 Fascinating Details Tom Felton Revealed About Playing Draco Malfoy, His Relationships With His "Harry Potter" Castmates, And His Post-Potter Career In His New Memoir, "Beyond The Wand"

    Tom Felton said there were rumors that he and Emma Watson were more than friends. "I don’t think I was ever in love with Emma, but I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else," he said.

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    Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, Tom Felton's memoir, came out earlier this week. In the book, Felton writes about his experience playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and detailed what his life has been like since hanging up his Hogwarts robes.

    The cover of Tom's memoir which feature a hand using a brush to touch up his makeup and another set of hands adjusting his tie

    Here are 18 details Felton revealed in Beyond the Wand, from his close friendship with Emma Watson to what it was like being known as the "Broomstick Prick":

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    1. Felton revealed that he became an actor because his "mum had a piece of glass in her foot." Felton said that as a child, he often jumped from interest to interest and was ready to quit acting when his drama coach told his mother that she should take him to London to find an agent. Meanwhile, Tom's mother had recently gotten surgery to remove a piece of glass that had gotten stuck in her foot, and she had some time off of work. She agreed to take him to London, where he got an agent.

    A pre-teen Tom smiling at an event

    A few weeks later, Felton earned his first role in a commercial where he had to play a child on a cross-country road trip with his grandfather. The commercial marked his first time going to America. While filming in Times Square, Felton recalled that a group of people started cheering for him. He assumed that their cheers were because they thought he was famous. “Turns out that with my angelic little face, my beanie, and my puffa jacket, they thought I was Macaulay Culkin in full Home Alone garb, or maybe his little brother.”

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    2. Felton said that he first learned about the Harry Potter books at school. "One day [the teacher] chose some book about a boy wizard living under the stairs," he wrote. "Truth to tell, it wouldn’t much have mattered what he was reading, I would have had the same reaction, which was: give it a rest, mate! A boy wizard? Not my cup of tea." By the time his agent asked him to audition for the first movie, Felton said that he had little recollection of the books. "I think I was perhaps the only kid at the whole audition who had no idea what [the books] were or how much they meant to people," he wrote. "I’d certainly long forgotten those after-lunch story sessions about the boy wizard.”

    Someone with gloved hands carefully placing an edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone next to a wand

    During one audition session, the actors were all left in a room to mingle with each other while the filmmakers observed. Felton wrote that when "a young, curious girl" approached him to ask what the boom microphone was, he "might have sneered a little." It turns out that the young girl was Emma Watson, who would go on to play Hermione Granger in the films. "I don’t know if anybody overheard our little exchange, but if they did, they’d definitely have seen a little Slytherin in me."

    3. After several rounds of auditions, Felton said that he "started to entertain the idea that perhaps it would be pretty cool to play this Harry Potter kid." Weeks went by without hearing anything. During a family camping trip in France, Felton's mother showed him a newspaper article that said the film had been cast, and he said he "felt a twinge of disappointment." He later was approached by the filmmakers to play Draco Malfoy, who he described as "the bad guy." He learned that the filmmakers were looking for actors who embodied their characters. "While I like to think Draco and I were not exactly alike, there was surely something about my general nonchalance that caught the eye."

    From left to right, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint posing for photographers

    4. At the first table read for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Felton said that he thought he was "much too cool for school." He added that while he was surrounded by "acting royalty" with the adult actors in the franchise, he didn't know who many of them were. However, there was one exception: He was familiar with Alan Rickman from his role as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. "To be in the same room as the Sheriff himself was enough to penetrate even my veneer of schoolboy cockiness," he wrote.

    Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham

    5. In the book, Felton discussed working with Rickman, who played Severus Snape in the films. He said that Rickman could be quite intimidating on set. "Although by this point I’d spent years on set with him, I was still rather wary of the man," he wrote. Felton recalled that Rickman insisted that Snape would wear "extremely long, flowing robes." While filming a scene, Felton said he kept accidentally stepping on the back of Rickman's long cloak. In response, Rickman allegedly whipped around and said, "Don’t step on my fucking cloak."

    Despite this, Felton said Rickman was “far from the terrifying figure I’d always assumed he must be." Early in the series, Felton said that he had been given a shorter director's chair than some of the adult actors. Rickman reportedly took issue with this, and told a director that Tom needed a chair of equal height. "Alan wanted a younger cast member to be treated like an equal to these leading lights." Felton wrote that he believes people like Alan were "one of the main reasons that we kids didn’t grow up to be assholes. We grew up watching them treat everybody on set with kindness, patience, and respect."

    Felton also credited Rickman with being incredibly generous, and said that he frequently granted set visits to children's charities. "If anyone understood what a child wanted from a trip to the Harry Potter set, it was him," Felton wrote. "He understood that while they might like to meet Alan Rickman, they'd much rather meet Severus Snape. Whenever he was introduced to young visitors, he gave them the full Snape experience...it was a lovely thing to watch."

    Tom and Alan side-by-side during a group photo at an event

    6. Felton said that bleaching his hair to achieve Draco's icy blonde color was "agony." Before he had even won the role of Draco, Felton said that he was asked to bleach his hair so the filmmakers could see how Draco's signature style looked on him. He said the process "initially took six or seven rounds" and felt like "fire ants nibbling at [his] scalp." Throughout the duration of filming the series, Felton said he had his roots dyed about every nine days.

    Tom, who is a brunette, with the infamous blond hair

    7. At the premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Felton said that a young child approached him and called him "a real dick." While he said he was initially shocked, his grandpa told him that "this was a good thing. … If a 5-year-old has that kind of visceral reaction to my performance, it meant I must have done something right." As he settled into playing Draco, Felton said he learned that "it was important to not spoil the magic" and would often play along with fans, even though he would sometimes seem rude. "There’s some gratification in knowing that my performance crystallized people’s notion of the character, even if it meant they occasionally mistook fantasy for reality."

    8. Draco's personality also seeped into Felton's real life. Felton said that he still attended regular school when he was not filming. "With my bleached hair and my regular absences from the classroom, it was not cool to be Draco. … I was the Broomstick Prick," he wrote. He recalled that he "overcompensated" and often skipped class or needed to "get the last word" with his teachers.

    9. Although Felton said he and Emma Watson are close friends now, the pair's relationship "did not start well." Watson was 9 years old while filming the first movie, while Felton was 12. Felton recalled that Watson invited him to a dance performance she had planned in her dressing room, where he and his on-set friends "sniggered" at her. Watson was “visibly upset by our thoughtless reaction.”

    Emma and Tom at a red carpet event

    Felton said he soon realized that being on set was different for Watson. She was several years younger than most of her castmates, she was one of the only girls and had to deal with their "boy humor," and she "was never afforded a normal childhood," adding that in many ways, she "was treated like an adult from the day she was cast." Years later, Lisa Tomblin, who was in charge of hair on several Harry Potter films, told Felton that Watson, who was 12 at the time, had a crush on him. Felton said he “dismissed it,” but the pair soon grew closer as friends. “I became very defensive of her, whenever she needed defending.”

    Rupert, Emma, and Tom from left to right pose for a photo

    Felton said that there were rumors that there was “something more to [their] relationship than [he] was letting on,” and recalled that his girlfriend at the time could sense the bond he had with Watson. "I don’t think I was ever in love with Emma, but I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else." Watson, who wrote the book's foreword, said that she and Felton are "soulmates," adding, "We’ve always had each other’s backs. I know we always will.”

    10. Felton said that having so many young actors on set often led to disruptions while filming. "All it takes is for somebody to say the wrong thing or to catch your eye in a certain way, and it doesn't matter how many stern words you receive, or how many legendary actors you are working with, it's almost impossible not to dissolve into fits of laughter each time the cameras start to turn," he wrote.

    In order to combat these disruptions, director Chris Columbus allegedly instituted a "red card" system. Any time someone "disturbed a take," they were issued a red card, which meant they had to donate ten pounds. At the end of the shoot, all of the collected money would go to charity. Felton said that Rupert Grint was "one of the worst offenders" when it came to disruptions. "I believe he put in over $2,500 during the first two films alone, such was his inability to control himself when the giggles hit."

    Tom posing with Rupert Grint, whose wearing an 'I heart Tom Felton shirt underneath a blazer' on the red carpet

    11. Felton said that while he and Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, "kept their distance at first," they soon realized that they were quite similar and became friends as they started filming the later movies. "I would say Harry and Draco are two sides of the same coin, and I see myself and Daniel in a similar way," Felton wrote. He also noted that Radcliffe had an immense amount of pressure while playing the title role. "He was the Boy Who Lived, after all, but he was also the boy who would never live a normal life."

    Daniel and Tom side-by-side in a group photo

    Felton said that he admired the way Radcliffe wanted to learn about his craft and become a better actor through the duration of filming the series. "I learned more from watching and acting alongside him than I did from any of the adults," he wrote. In fact, Felton said that he owes a lot of Draco's character development in the later films to things he learned from watching Radcliffe.

    12. Various members of Felton's family served as his on-set chaperones during the duration of filming the movies. Felton's grandfather served as his chaperone while filming the first two films. When Chris Columbus met his grandfather, he told him that he "looked like a wizard" and asked him if he wanted a cameo in the movie, which he accepted.

    Tom's grandfather making a cameo

    By the time filming began for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Felton’s brother Chris became his on-set chaperone. Felton said that while it was a fun experience, Chris was "quite comfortably the worst chaperone in the history of filmmaking." After filming, Felton said that they would spend all night fishing. He added that "Chris was also not beyond 'acquiring' the occasional memento from the set." While Felton said Chris wasn't the sole thief, the alleged thievery was so common that by the later films, there were spontaneous car checks when people left the studio to make sure they weren’t stealing important props.

    Tom sitting next to his brother

    13. Felton reflected on working with Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the films. He said that Coltrane “was a joker, but he was also…the person who allowed the jokes to happen to him, and his reactions were priceless.” Felton said that Coltrane actually reminded him a lot of Hagrid, “the big friendly giant who never lost sight of what was important in life.”

    Hagrid carrying an unconscious Malfoy

    14. Felton said that his "Malfoy family became almost as close as my Muggle family," and even revealed that he calls Jason Isaacs, who portrayed Draco's father Lucius, Dad. Felton wrote that Jason was amazing at immediately switching from his real-life personality to his Lucius Malfoy persona. “Even now I get goosebumps when I remember Jason’s transformations.”

    Lucius speaking to a nervous Malfoy

    Felton also detailed his experience working with Helen McCrory, who played Draco’s mother Narcissa. “I learned that she was soft-natured at heart,” he wrote. “I soon found myself comfortable enough to ask her all sorts of questions about life, love, and everything in between, and she was always free with her time and advice without ever talking down to me.”

    15. When filming on the series wrapped in December 2010, Felton said that he "made a supreme effort to keep a lid on my emotions," but said that by the time he got to his car, he was bawling. "We’d spent half of our life thinking that the end was nowhere in sight, but it crept up quickly on us all," he wrote. Felton also noted that he had become close with not only his fellow actors, but many of the crew members. "It was a melancholy thought, knowing that I would not be seeing many of these people so regularly, or even ever again, not out of choice but out of life moving on."

    16. After Harry Potter ended, Felton was approached to star in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was the first time he had been given a role without auditioning. When that ended, he said that he considered leaving acting. "If I had been left to my own devices, it might well have been my last film," he wrote. "I lacked the drive to assert myself and fulfill the potential that, according to Jason [Isaacs] and others, I’d shown toward the end of the Potter project." His then-girlfriend Jade, who he met while she was working as a stunt coordinator on Harry Potter, helped him audition for new roles. Felton eventually realized that life in Los Angeles wasn't good for him. "There’s no doubt that LA made me feel particularly lonely and disassociated from myself."

    Tom and Jade on the red carpet

    Felton said that he began spending a lot of time at Barney's Beanery, an LA dive bar, where he felt a sense of normalcy. "During my mid-to-late twenties I spent more hours, more nights, than I care to remember at Barney’s," he wrote. He said he began to drink more frequently. "It came to the point where I would think nothing of having a drink while I was working." One day, he said his manager told him they were having a big meeting about a role. When he arrived, he realized the meeting had "nothing to do with some spectacular, career-defining acting job," and instead was an "intervention."

    17. Immediately after the meeting, Felton said he was taken to rehab. He wrote that he escaped after 48 hours and ended up back at Barney's. Following his escape, Felton said he realized that he "lost [his] way and [he] needed to find it again." He broke up with Jade and went to a second rehab facility. "The few weeks I spent re-connecting with myself were some of the best and most important of my life, although I definitely didn’t appreciate that at the time."

    18. Felton wrote that he has never re-read the Harry Potter books or re-watched the movies. "I’m saving them for the moment I look forward to most in my future," he wrote. "One day sharing these stories — books first, then the films — with my own little Muggles."

    Tom, with his arms crossed, proudly wearing a Slytherin scarf around his neck

    Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard is available now.

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