December 5, 2001 came out Harry Potter at the Sorcerer’s Stone in our cinemas. The first of eight films that will allow the main actors of this now legendary saga to enter the history of modern cinema. This is the case of Tom Felton, who has since played roles in films Planet of the Apes origins, Secretly or the series First Murder and Flash. And if the British actor was so appreciated for his role of Draco Malfoy, it was simply because he was the perfect candidate.
a legendary saga
Based on the books by JK Rowling, the Harry Potter films allowed fans of the saga to experience the condensed, cinematic adventures of Harry, Hermione, Ron and the rest of the characters. Eight films in total for a franchise that has become cult, the actors have gone down in history. But after a decade spent together, growing up on film sets, with a life orchestrated around this very special role, the return to traditional life can be complicated. Some change cinematographic register, while others abandon cinema, career choices that alternate from one actor to another.
And in the case of Tom Felton, the interpreter of the character of Draco Malfoy, the end of Harry Potter allowed him to experiment with other styles of film. Between 2001 and 2011, the British actor lends his features to the rival of the heroic Harry Potter. House of Slytherin, white hair, evocative surname, Draco adopts the nonchalant, even contemptuous attitude of his elders. Throughout the saga (or almost), he will therefore chain disparaging remarks and sharp peaks aimed at the main trio. And if Felton was so convincing in this role, it’s simply because he was the perfect actor to play Draco Malfoy on our screens.
a perfect role
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Felton dwelt on his early auditions:
“I was also one of the few who had no idea what Harry Potter was at the time. Anyone could take essays, and so there were a lot of young enthusiasts who deeply loved the books. I think I got the part because I was nonchalant and had no idea what people were talking about. Wizards in the cupboards under the stairs? And with three older brothers, you quickly learn to be confident. I think Chris Columbus, the director, recognized that slight disinterest and arrogance in me, which he thought might work for Malfoy.“.
With his nonchalance, this certain lack of interest in the frankness and his natural arrogance, Felton had all the necessary elements for a good Malfoy. And throughout the decade required for the release of the 8 films, the British actor has continued to prove it. A long period of his life, but also of his career, during which the spectators were able to see him grow, mature, while appreciating the changes operating for his character of heart. A double life, that of an actor from a famous franchise and a child, then a teenager, who has to juggle between rehearsals, scenes and lessons, which is not easy every day:
“My schedules were set so that I could stay in school with weeks on and weeks off“, explains Felton.”Rupert [Grint]Emma [Watson] and Daniel [Radcliffe], meanwhile, have been there non-stop for 10 years. I continued as if nothing had happened. I would get a gag or comment from my buddies once in a while, but honestly, no one bothered. Some people really have a hard time accepting the idea that I wasn’t that special, popular kid, but I was walking around with dyed hair and playing an evil wizard. It wasn’t cool. Did me a disservice with the girls.”
Alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, Tom Felton has become one of the stars of the big screen. A saga that rocked millions of childhoods around the world, before seeing them grow over the films. It’s hard not to remember the salty lines of an insolent and arrogant Draco Malfoy who does not hesitate to present himself as a true rival of Harry Potter.