They called for a break, and Gambon magicked up a cigarette from out of his beard. He and I were often to be found outside the stage door, having ‘a breath of fresh air’, as we referred to it. There would be painters and plasterers and chippies and sparks, and among them all would be me and Dumbledore having a crafty cigarette.
From Borrower to wizard, Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame saw him catapulted into the limelight aged just twelve when he landed the iconic role of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.
Speaking with candour and his own trademark humour, Tom shares his experience of growing up on screen and as part of the wizarding world for the very first time. He tells all about his big break, what filming was really like and the lasting friendships he made during ten years as part of the franchise, as well as the highs and lows of fame and the reality of navigating adult life after filming finished.
Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.
I never intended to listen to that book.
First because I don’t often read no fiction and second because Tom Felton’s name didn’t ring any bell.
I kept seeing bookstagrammers loving the book so I looked into it and… realize that in fact, Tom Felton was Draco Malfoy!
I knew the names of the actors playing Harry, Ron and Hermione but not Draco.
As Harry Potter was the book that got me into reading in English again (I was too impatient to wait for the translation in French) and given that I visited the Harry Potter studio this summer, it seemed like fate.
What I got was something totally unexpected!
I had NO IDEA of what a great guy Tom Felton was!!
Candid, self-deprecating, still able to be amazed by what happened to him, humble, down to earth despite his extraordinary experience and giving his time to many charities.
I truly liked his brand of humor and his typically British narration, interlaced with “mate” , “my most winning smile”, “knob head” etc.
From his childhood with three older brothers, some up to no good but all protective, to the beaches of Malibu and back to London, we follow Tom in his tribulations.
Starting as a very young age in commercials that had him and his mom flown to New York where he stole Cauley Mc Culkin’s fans for a few hours, he nearly fell into acting by fate or random.
For a very very long time Tom didn’t choose to have a career in acting. He simply followed the flow. And enjoyed the process.
He also had the chance to live a normal teenage life between filming. Stating clearly that he certainly didn’t have the pressure Emma, Daniel and Rupert had.
He did some stint that could have been damaging for his career as Draco but fortunately, all was well in the end.
I loved learning more about his family, brothers and his very cool and protective mom. And I enjoyed immensely listening to him talk about the actors and directors who made Harry Potter’s movies what they are now.
Never had he a bad word for them but always did he give us their quirks and personalities, their acting process… it truly was fascinating and very interesting to listen to some of what happened backstage to make the movies happen.
Also, Tom Felton touched and moved me.
Because he also gives us his naked truth. With candor he is talking about his genetic heritage making him prone to depression. About his need to be close to his family. To have a normal conversation with “real” people. To help others and give back what has been given to him on one of his most somber days.
After listening to this, Tom Felton seems someone I’d love to know in real life. To go fishing with or go help distract sick children or simply, to go for a swim in the ocean.
Tom Felton is funny, often the jokester but he also is feeling everything. He is strong and fragile at the same time. Flawed, like everyone of us. Real. And quite far from Draco Malfoy’s arrogance and sneer at the beginning of the series.
And of course, him narrating his own story was the cherry on top.
Truly, if you are a Potter fan, give that book a chance. I bet you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for reading!