Harry Potter's Tom Felton 'Ashamed' Of How He Treated Emma Watson On Set Of First Film

The Draco Malfoy actor has said it's still "painful" to recall one particular incident of being a "s***ty boy" to his younger co-star.
Tom Felton at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio tour earlier this year
Tom Felton at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio tour earlier this year
Mike Marsland via Getty Images

Harry Potter star Tom Felton has spoken of his “shame” over the way he and his castmates treated Emma Watson on the set of the first film.

Tom played Draco Malfoy in all eight instalments of the Harry Potter franchise, and admitted that in the early years of the series, the Gyryffindor/Slytherin divide spilled over into the real world.

I suppose we thought we were a bit cooler,” the actor wrote in his new memoir Beyond The Wand: The Magic And Mayhem Of Growing Up A Wizard.

“We’d spend our free time together listening to rap music – Wu-Tang, Biggie, 2Pac.”

Tom went on to recall an incident in which a nine-year-old Emma – the only girl in the film’s main principal cast, who is three years his junior – had invited her co-stars to watch her perform a dance routine in her dressing room.

Emma Watson
Emma Watson
Taylor Hill via Getty Images

“We were predictably dismissive,” he wrote. “We sniggered our way down to Emma’s show, and the sniggers grew louder as she danced.

“We were just being shitty boys, largely out of awkwardness and because we thought taking the piss was cool, but Emma was visibly upset by our thoughtless reaction. I did feel like a bit of a dick, and rightly so.”

Eventually, Tom apologised to Emma for his behaviour, and they “moved on”, although he says he still feels pangs of shame when he thinks of the incident.

He said: “It was just a stupid, teenage act of thoughtlessness, the sort of thing that happens every day. So why does that moment stick in my memory? Why is it so painful for me to recall?

“The answer, I think, is that I’ve grown to understand with the passing of the years that of all of us, Emma had the most to deal with, the most difficult situation to negotiate, and from the earliest age.”

Emma Watson and Tom Felton in 2003
Emma Watson and Tom Felton in 2003
Brian Rasic via Getty Images

“The last thing she needed,” he added. “In an environment that should have been – and normally was – safe and friendly and familial, was Josh [Gerdman, who played Goyle] and me laughing at her dance.

“That’s why I feel ashamed by the memory of our behaviour. And that’s why I’m glad that our friendship did not founder on the rocks of my insensitivity, but became something deeper. A touchstone for both of our lives.”

During the recent Harry Potter reunion, Emma disclosed that she used to have a crush on Tom, which he has since confirmed was a mutual feeling, although they were never more than friends.

That isn’t to say that there’s never been a spark between us,” he wrote elsewhere in his book. “There most definitely has, only at different times.”


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