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Tom Felton

The actor behind Draco Malfoy talks about reprising his role as the junior villain in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

In Half-Blood Prince, Malfoy struggles to live up to his bad-boy image.

Photograph: Jaap Buitendjik

For almost half his life, Tom Felton has been playing one of pop culture’s most infamous villains: greasy junior fascist Draco Malfoy. Time Out Kids first spoke with the 22-year-old Brit last fall, when Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was originally slated for release, before the studio bumped it to a coveted summer opening.

While Felton spoke at length about the film, we discovered much more about his personal life via his recently opened Twitter account. Felton’s frequent, playful tweets often mention his girlfriend, Jade, and his dog, Timber. Between auditions and photo shoots, the 6'1" natural brunet plays guitar and sings numbers he’s composed himself. Guilty pleasures include fast food, bath bombs from Lush (“I shouldn’t really admit that...lol”), and the Mac Store: “I bought my mum an iPod, and she didn’t realize you can recharge the battery. She gave it to the charity shop as a dead iPod, bless her.”

Fame appears to be treating him well, and he takes getting recognized in stride: “Schoolkids were shouting 'Expelliarmus’ at me and running away laughing. This kid was trying to duel me. No magic outside Hogwarts, so had to decline.” Regardless, his life sounds downright magical.

Do you enjoy playing the bad boy?
TF Very much so. It’s always more fun to play the bad guy. I like to think that I’m a relatively nice guy in real life, so I can bottle up any anger that I do have and release it by means of this spiteful character.

Do kids on the street ever give you nasty looks?
TF [Laughs] On the set, the younger kids are quite keen to meet Draco. Then, when they see me, they think, Wait a minute, this guy is not to be trusted! And they cower behind their parents’ legs. I can only take that in a good way.

Tell us about how Draco’s character develops in this film.
TF In previous years, Draco’s been two-dimensional—just an annoying, slimy git. Now he plays a more crucial role in young Harry’s life. He wants to be a Harry for the dark guys, but he’s not built of the same material—he doesn’t have Harry’s courage.

He’s also not that bad of a guy. He doesn’t want to do what he does. He’s just a vulnerable child who’s been given an impossible task.

Do you think you’ll be typecast as a villain?
TF It’s nothing that I worry about because we’re all so young, we’ve barely even started. The concept of being typecast at 18 or 19 is ridiculous really. I’d love to broaden my horizons, but I would happily take the villain role again.

How would you feel about becoming an international heartthrob like Potter alum Robert Pattinson [of Twilight]?
TF I’m not sure how I would cope with having girls scream at me everywhere I go. I’m keen to keep my private life to myself and be able to go wherever I want without causing a commotion. Although...thinking on it, I’m sure I’d cope just fine! I think any guy you’d ask wouldn’t say no to becoming an international heartthrob.

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