Seleciones with Tom Felton
Selecciones. Interview with Tom Felton. July 2009.
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He doesn’t look like the personification of evil when we see him entering the studio in the east of London, to give us an interview and pose for pictures. “Sorry, I’m just finishing up my McDonald’s soda”, he excuses himself, Tom Felton, best known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. “I don’t look good, do I?”.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the latest movie of the saga, the young 21 year old stops being the bully of the previous movies and becomes an ally of the diabolical Lord Voldemort.
“Voldemort assigns Draco de mission of killing Dumbledore, and that’s a central part of the plot” says Tom. “Draco has been a smug jerk and he’s been jealous of Harry, who is the star kid. Now he steps up and has the chance to stand out, even if it is on the dark side”.
Tom enjoys the rise of his character: “It’s the first movie in which I intervene from start to end. You kind of feel sorry for Draco because he’s just a kid, and his father is in prison now, and he has this inner struggle because of the task he has to achieve. And this time he shows more vulnerability. Not only does he call Harry and idiot, he actually breaks his nose.
“Filming that scene was very fun. Daniel was lying on the floor and I had my foot on his face, without touching him, really. Twice I felt tempted to touching his face, but poor thing, I didn’t do it”.
It’s obvious that he likes to play a villain. “I can act like a real jerk. How can I not enjoy it? Is very fun to scare children. The other day I got interviewed in front of a crowd of 12 year olds and they just stared at me without speaking. When there’s kids in the studio they all run and hug Dan, but I don’t get any of that”.
Being evil has its disadvantages. “I get letters that say ‘Stop being evil to Harry or we’ll go to Hogwarts and kick your butt. Some fans are so weird. One changed his name legally to Lucius Malfoy and wanted to adopt me”.
But it seems that women like the bad boys. “There’s a lot of attention around me, not from grown women but from young girls all around the world. I like to think it’s just a physical attraction and that they’re not into Draco’s personality”.
And even though he smiles with certain malice when he describes his alter ego, it’s outstanding how centered and charming this young man is. “As an actor, I love to do things that have nothing to do with my personality. Sometimes I catch myself acting like Draco, but not when it comes to magic. It’s more like when I’m driving. For instance, my girlfriend Jade lives in the north of London and I live south. So I’m behind the wheel all the time. The crossing of the streets 9th and Leatherhead can be deadly”.
Tom grew in the country side of Surrey Hills, and recently purchased a house with his brother, Chris. His parents are divorced, but moth live 15 miles away from that house. “I got lucky because I was 12 when I started filming the first movie”, says Tom. “I had a lot of friends who were not interested in what I was doing in London. But I didn’t change schools. I was well rounded”.
The Half-blood prince with its dramatic death scenes and romances between some characters is a film for young adults, because that’s what the main actors are. Tom is surprised and happy of how well his co-stars have done so far: “I thought Dan would become smug, but it’s not like that at all. You go to his house and he’s just like any other kid”.
Between Harry Potter movies, Tom has given himself the time to star in two different independent horror films: The Disappeared, which came out in 2008 and 13 Hours, which will be released soon. “I play good guys in both movies, which is harder because I have to convince myself that it’s ok to play myself”.
He just released his first album, In Good Hands, through iTunes, after a video of him playing the guitar reached over 1 million views on youtube. “I made this video for a friend of mine that lives in another country, but I used a fake name. People found it anyway”, he says. “It had an overwhelming response, even though to me it’s just a hobby”.
Tom looks forward to the future, but since he’s already working on The deathly hallows, which will be split into two different movies, that will introduce him to a new chapter of his life. “Everybody loves the idea of trying different things, so hopefully, I can have a brilliant career. But now, when I got to the studio I’m scared to think that the end is near” he confesses.
“We’re used to having four month breaks and go back to work and seeing each other all the time. It’s like leaving school, or worse: our teenage years were filmed. It’s been an adventure”.
Five Facts about Tom that are not so scary.
1. He and his brother Chris bought a house just before the realty crisis. “It getting hard for us”.
2. He used to be very good at fishing.
3. He got his wisdom teeth out recently and he says it hurt. And a lot.
4. He’s a frequent user of Twitter.
5. The song Time Well Spent of his debut album talks about an unforgettable day he spent with his girlfriend.