You’d think being in a major franchise would result in lots of opportunities in Hollywood. Not so much for Tom Felton, who was in the Harry Potter cast as Draco Malfoy. After the Harry Potter movies, Felton got auditions, but struggled to get himself taken seriously.
“Life after Potter was a wakeup call,” he tells The Guardian. “First of all, I was confronted by the fact that I wasn’t that good at acting. Auditioning as a 12-year-old is one thing – more or less making sure you don’t look down the lens or forget lines – but as an adult it is very different.”
He goes to explain that he had to do the LA “circuit”, getting scripts, doing multiple auditions, and constantly chasing parts. This means being up on accents, voice-work and the sort, not something he necessarily had to worry about since he was the same character in eight fantasy movies straight. Despite being a key villain in the adventure movie franchise, he found a stigma followed him.
“There were a lot of nos,” he remembers, “and before I’d even said a word I could often see they were thinking: ‘Don’t have him, he’s the Potter kid.’ Harry Potter got me in the room, but often it was a huge disadvantage and I had to prove myself. Which I am so grateful for now.”
Since doing Harry Potter, Felton has taken on a variety of roles, from thriller movies like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, to drama movies such as Belle. He, like many of his Potter peers such Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, has had a varied career across stage and screen that’s largely worked against being boxed in by family movies.
By the sounds of it, he’s glad to have ben forced to go for less obvious opportunities. Sometimes Hollywood isn’t completely terrible! Have a look at our guide to the best kids movies for more heartwarming tales.