Ministry of Gossip Q&A: Harry Potter's Tom Felton
With this week's DVD release of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince," we move another step closer to the final curtain falling on the boy wizard phenomenon.
With the recent distraction of Robert Pattinson and his dreamy, fang-laden "Twilight" gang, let me remind you that the "Potter" franchise now spans 12 years, millions and millions of dollars, and the triumphant literary and cultural ascent of J.K. Rowling, and has made stars out of several charming young adults (including Mr. Pattinson, who played Cedric Diggory in "The Goblet of Fire").
One such star is Tom Felton, a major antagonist and archenemy of Daniel Radcliffe's Harry. Felton, 22, spoke with me about his role as an increasingly vicious and vacant Draco Malfoy, the final two films currently in production, his admiration of tatted-up Megan Fox and more.
Read on for the full Q&A.
Matt Donnelly: "Deathly Hallows" parts one and two are currently filming. Is anyone getting sentimental yet?
Tom Felton: It's a 14-month shoot, everyone is really keeping their heads down and working, there's no time to get sentimental too early. You know, it's the end so everyone wants to make sure it's the absolute finest. It's going to be a bittersweet thing. It's like finishing [college].
TF: I came into the film horribly nervous. Our director, David Yates, had terrific confidence in me. I had some one-on-one readings with Michael Gambon and Alan Rickman, which made me even more nervous! Draco's quite solemn in this film, so I spent most of my free time on set staring at walls. Usually in between takes we'd talk about what movie we saw last night. I had to practice feeling despondent from everyone else.
MD: What's the first thing you'll do after the final films wrap?
TF: I'll certainly stop dyeing my hair blond.
MD: Are you following the "Twilight" phenomenon? That's another young group of actors suddenly exposed to worldwide media attention. Any advice for them?
TF: I confess, I'm not the biggest [fan] of "Twilight," but I came along due to my girlfriend. She's fanatical about the books; I didn't hear from her for two weeks when she was reading them. But Rob and everyone else are fantastic. They don't need any advice from us.
MD: Speaking of your girlfriend, Jade, I know you're both quite young, but it's Hollywood. Any plans to make a bigger commitment?
TF: [Laughs] That's a serious question! I would confess, we're well and truly head over heels, but no. I'm in New York now and looking around for unique Christmas gifts for her.
MD: You have some very funny and devout fans. One of them asked about tattoos and piercings -- do you have or want any?
TF: Never had a piercing, never had a tattoo. I don't think they look good on anyone other than Megan Fox. ... I once wanted to get my eyebrow pierced; my brother got it done and in a drunken night ripped it out. He's got a hole there now.
MD: Up next for you is a cameo in Russell Brand's "Get Him to the Greek." How did that come about?
TF: Jonah Hill came down to [the "Deathly Hallows"] set three or for months ago -- and I'm a massive Jonah Hill fan; I milked every minute. The next day, someone got in contact and asked if I wanted to come down to London for the last bits and pieces of their shoot. I thought someone was winding me up. I was incredibly nervous, not being on another film set for the past 10 years.
MD: What does your part involve?
TF: Without saying too much, there's a couple of brilliantly awkward things that only Jonah can do. To say there were some humorous Harry Potter innuendos would be a start. Also, I'm so used to stop-start shoots with like 30 minutes in between. With these guys, they roll a thousand feet of film and improv so much.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photos: Tom Felton contemplates the dark side, top, as Draco Malfoy in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince," and brings his blond hair to a Dec. 6 promotional event in London to mark the launch of the film on DVD and Blu-Ray. Credit: Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., top; Leon Neal / AFP / Getty Images, right.
Plus we just got a brand new address on Facebook -- you can find us easily at facebook.com/ministryofgossip.