It turns out that playing a bad guy in one of the most popular cinematic franchises isn’t all it cracked up to be. In a recent interview, Harry Potter star Tom Felton opened up about what it was like playing the villain Draco Malfoy in the fantasy movies. He revealed that his big wizarding role didn’t really do him any favours when it came to his social life.
The Harry Potter movies are some of the most beloved and well-known flicks in existence, and as such, all the characters in the story have become familiar faces over the years. In the 2001 movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Felton first appeared in the magical series as the snotty and smug-faced Slytherin Draco Malfoy. He would go on to appear in the rest of the seven movies in the franchise as a regular antagonist.
On paper, being a recurring face in Harry Potter sounds like a dream. However, Felton recently told The Guardian that he found the role frustrating as a kid. On top of having to miss school socials to be on set, the star also revealed that in reality, playing an evil wizard “wasn’t cool” and didn’t do him any favours when it came to the ladies.
“Some people really struggle with the idea that I wasn’t this special, popular kid,” Felton said, “but I was walking around with dyed hair and played an evil wizard. It wasn’t cool. It did me no favours with the girls.”
Felton also explained how this childhood view also came about due to the fact that he wasn’t so attached to the character, to begin with. The star shared how he had never read the books before his audition for the Philosopher’s Stone, and how his “nonchalant” attitude to the Wizarding World may be the reason he was cast as Draco in the first place.
“I reckon I got the part because I was nonchalant,” Felton explained. “And had no idea what anyone was on about. Wizards in cupboards under the stairs? And with three older brothers, you learn to be confident quickly. I think Chris Columbus, the director, recognised this slight disinterest and arrogance in me, which he thought could work for Malfoy.”
At the end of the day, Felton made the perfect Draco, and we are happy that he stuck it out for all eight of the Harry Potter movies. If you are after more magic, be sure to check out our guide to Fantastic Beasts 4.