Skip to main content

While actor Tom Felton does not play a nice character, many Harry Potter fans enjoy Felton’s performance as the smug and vicious Draco Malfoy. Draco is just as wicked in the books, but Felton himself would not have known that before playing the role. It would be any kid’s dream to be in the Harry Potter movies, but Felton says that he had very little interest in the novels before being cast in the movie. 

Actor Tom Felton played Draco Malfoy in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

Actor Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, attends A Celebration of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
Tom Felton | Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

In the Harry Potter movies, Draco is introduced as a rival to Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). Draco comes from the wealthy Malfoy family and is placed in the Slytherin house. Throughout the franchise, Draco bullies Harry and his friends but often backs down at any challenge to his power. 

Draco seems malicious, but his father Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) is even worse. Lucius is a death eater and loyal servant to Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Eventually, Draco does become a friend to Harry, but the two are at odds for most of the series. Felton plays the role of Draco very well, making the spoiled brat a character that fans love to hate. 

Tom Felton had no interest in the books before being cast as Draco Malfoy

When the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out in 1997, millions of kids all around the world fell in love with these characters and the world. Plenty of kids who loved the novels wanted to join the movies. 

Felton auditioned for the role of Draco, but he had very little interest in the books. In an interview with The Guardian, Felton said that his lack of interest may have helped him land the part. 

“I was also one of the only ones who had no idea what Harry Potter was at the time,” Felton said. “Anyone could try out for it, so many excited kids went along who loved the books deeply…I reckon I got the part because I was nonchalant and had no idea what anyone was on about. Wizards in cupboards under the stairs? And with three older brothers, you learn to be confident quickly. I think Chris Columbus, the director, recognized this slight disinterest and arrogance in me, which he thought could work for Malfoy.”

This would make sense as this type of personality fits perfectly for Draco. Draco is a character that stands out and Felton stood out amongst a sea of kids who loved Harry Potter

Felton did not have the same level of commitment as other ‘Harry Potter’ actors


‘Fantastic Beasts 3’: Eddie Redmayne Shares What He’s Learned from His Wizarding World Role

Felton appeared in every movie, but he never had the high amount of screen time that other actors like Radcliffe, Emma Watson, or Rupert Grint would have. Felton told The Guardian that he was able to balance his school schedule with filming the Harry Potter movies. However, he was frustrated with how the reputation of Draco would often follow him off-screen. 

“My schedules were fixed in a way I could stay at school with weeks on and weeks off,” Felton explained. “Rupert [Grint], Emma [Watson] and Daniel [Radcliffe], meanwhile, were there non-stop for 10 years. I carried on as normal. I’d get the occasional gag or comment from my mates, but honestly nobody was bothered. Some people really struggle with the idea that I wasn’t this special, popular kid, but I was walking around with dyed hair and played an evil wizard. It wasn’t cool. It did me no favors with the girls.”

The Harry Potter collection is currently streaming on HBO Max.