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Tom Felton thought Gary Oldman was a cleaner on Harry Potter movies

Gary Oldman may be one of the most celebrated British actors of his generation, but his young Harry Potter co-star didn't know that

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black in Harry Potter

Gary Oldman is one of the finest British actors working today. He has starred in some of the best movies of all time and has even won an Oscar for his work, but when he worked on Harry Potter, his co-star Tom Felton didn’t recognise him at all.

Oldman first appeared in the wizarding world in the third Harry Potter movie, the brilliant Prisoner of Azkaban. There, he plays the Harry Potter character Sirius Black and becomes an integral part of the fantasy movie series from there on out.

The franchise is full of big name stars, but for Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the family movies, Gary Oldman could have been a cleaner for all he knew. In his new memoir, Felton revealed he had no idea who Oldman was when he was out of character.

“There were certain actors on the set who you’d never really recognize out of character, even though they were absolute legends. They just looked — and I mean this in the nicest possible way — like slightly scruffy older men,” Felton said. “I was on set one day when I saw another slightly scruffy older bloke wearing an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt. I’d occasionally seen him around and I thought he was one of the cleaning staff,” Felton continued.

Noting the shiny floors of the Hogwarts set one day, Felton complimented the ‘cleaner’ on his work. “He turned around to see if I was talking to someone behind him, gave me a slightly odd frown, and said nothing,” Felton explained. “He seemed to be showing family and friends around. Bit weird, for one of the cleaning staff. I had a horrible feeling I might have made a faux pas,” he added.

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When Felton asked someone who he had just been speaking to, he realised his mistake. “I wanted to apologise — not that he’d really have given a monkey’s — but in the end I took the easier route of totally ignoring my mistake and pretending I’d known who he was all along,” Felton admitted.

The best way to deal with any problem, I’d say. If you need more from the world of Harry Potter, check out our guide to the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date. Or, for more wizards and witches, here’s our list of the best fantasy series of all time.