Starring in an internationally beloved film franchise could be a heavy weight for young actors, but Harry Potter’s Tom Felton isn’t burdened by it.
Tom Felton says he doesn’t feel burdened by his Harry Potter fame, though he does know to be cautious on social media. Along with fellow then-unknowns Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, Felton was catapulted into international fame when he was cast as sneering Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series. Outside of the core Golden Trio, Malfoy is arguably the most prominent character within the franchise’s younger cast, and Felton played him throughout all eight movies. Since then, he’s taken on parts on The Flash and in movies like A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting.
2021 is a big year for the Harry Potter franchise. November held the 20th anniversary of the very first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and everyone involved has been getting a little retrospective. In fact, HBO Max is staging a massive Harry Potter reunion with several members of the cast, including Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will arrive on streaming on January 1 and take viewers back through the franchise’s legacy. Felton is one of the many cast members participating in the event, which isn’t too surprising considering his enduring love for the series.
Felton recently reflected on his Harry Potter-induced fame in an interview with Square Mile. The actor considered whether he feels at all burdened by the immense pressure and attention that comes from starring in a hit international franchise. The answer, it turns out, is no, though Felton did acknowledge that the lack of social media years ago helped. Felton said:
“It’s a very common question. How do you shake off the burden of being part of these things? Honestly? I’ve never, ever felt that this is a weight to carry.
“It can really affect you. I try to do as best as I can, really. We don’t really have too many examples – bearing in mind that when we did it, 20 years ago, obviously there was no social media. There wasn’t anything at all. To suddenly be in this world now where you can type in God knows what… I banned my mum from Googling me.”
Out of everyone in the Harry Potter franchise, Felton remains the most involved by far. Earlier this year, he held watch parties on his Instagram as he rewatched The Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time, and he made sure to document a recent reunion he had with various Weasleys. When looking at things with all that in mind, it makes sense that Felton might not see his Harry Potter fame as a bad thing. He still holds plenty of affection for the series and for Malfoy, and that can help ease any stresses that come from being in the public eye.
Of course, as Felton also pointed out, he and his younger Harry Potter co-stars had the advantage of filming most of the movies in an age where social media wasn’t as prevalent. Being bombarded with fan messages and online vitriol at all times can be damaging, and one only has to look towards the stars of another major franchise, Star Wars, to see how harmful it can be (those like Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran have stepped away from various social media sites in recent years). Luckily, Felton has found a way to be content with his fame. Or, he at least has a good way of coping with it if he ever isn’t content.