Interview: 'Harry Potter's Tom Felton On Life After Hogwarts, Including Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes

Draco's Dilemma: 'Now I've Got To Prove I Can Do Something Else'

“I’m worried that in 20 years, my kids are going to see it and shout ‘Dad, you were just an arsehole, what were you doing?’ and I’ll have to explain to them ‘No, no, it’s okay’.”

“Most people have got some crappy home video documenting their childhood - we’ve got these blockbuster films, even though Draco couldn’t be further away from Tom."

Tom Felton is equally far away in LA, but is happily reflecting on his place in cinematic history, as the white-faced whinger whose bullying antics at Hogwarts took a sinister turn in the later instalments of Harry Potter.

“It’s a bit too soon to put it all into perspective, if I ever will. It’s a bit strange but great that we have these films now as a product of our hard work, and we can look back on them and cherish the years when we made the films.”

What’s for sure is that Felton, like his fellow Hogwarts alumni, is at a crossroads in his life, both professionally and personally. At the ripe old age of 23, he’s keen to avoid the pitfalls of typecasting that such recognition brings.

“It’s a mixed bag, because it gets you through the door to meet people, but they’re often sceptical and don’t believe you can do anything else. It’s great when you do get to do something else, because then they have to rethink their preconceptions.”

Felton will have his chance this week, with the release of The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, the critically-praised ‘performance-capture’ blockbuster (something technical to do with how the apes are able to mimic human moves) from director Rupert Wyatt, also starring Andy Serkis, James Franco and Freida Pinto.

“I was nervous about what was going to come next, and then things started happening, like Planet of the Apes,” explains Felton, who plays scientific sidekick Dodge Landon, in what will undoubtedly spawn another blockbuster franchise.

It all sounds very organised and disciplined, a world away from the career road stumbled along by other child stars like Macaulay Culkin and Lindsay Lohan – so how have the Potter crew all unfailingly managed to stay on the rails, an unlikely statistical achievement when you consider the numbers of unruly teenagers involved, and a decade of all the temptations offered by pots of cash?

Felton can merely offer this by way of explanation: “The only answer I can give you is that we were all blessed with nice families and friends, and the crews that we worked with were exceptionally down to earth, so no one really had the opportunity to get above their station.

“Plus, we were led by example. Daniel was the leader of the ship, in how professional and friendly he was to everyone, so that was the norm. You hear these shocking stories about American divas throwing a fit because their moccaccino is cold or something, and we would NEVER have been allowed to get away with that.”

If Felton has learned the art of good manners during his Potter days, he’s also been inspired by the veteran acting talent surrounding him.

“If I had to choose one category for the future, I’d basically be a villain. If I could have half the career that Alan Rickman (Snape) or Ralph Fiennes (can't be named) that have made out being great British villains, I’d be very happy.

“I’ve had some training, put it that way.”



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