Tom Felton Recalls One Truth About Filming Harry Potter And Why He Doesn’t Share Those Stories With Young Fans

Tom Felton belongs to one of the most beloved film franchises of all time, appearing as Draco Malfoy throughout the Harry Potter series’ full run. He’s also generally enthusiastic about the fandom, and is even fine with the responsibility of being a part of the series, saying earlier this year he never “felt this is a weight to carry.” However, early on when he was still feeling out his role within the franchise, he recalls sharing one truth about filming, and how he quickly learned it was more important to be an ambassador for the Wizarding World and bring the magic for the fans. 

Speaking as part of a longer profile over at Square Mile, the actor spoke out about attending his first big fan event and how it really helped him to understand what appearing in Harry Potter meant--and what the franchise legacy has continued to mean to Tom Felton as stuff like the 20th Anniversary Special helps it live on. During his first ever San Diego Comic-Con panel, a young fan asked him about what it was like riding a broom. At first, he told the truth… and  it didn’t go over  quite how he expected. 

I remember after the first couple of films, there was the Comic Con in San Diego… We were doing a Q & A with thousands of Potter fans. This little seven year old walks up. We lower the mic. She’s like, [he adopts a childish falsetto]:‘What is it like to fly a broom?’ ‘Sorry, love? What’s it like to fly a broom? Painful! Horrible! You sit on this metal pole and they blow wind in your hair.'

At this point, attending San Diego Comic-Con is a rite of passage for many celebrities from varying fandoms. However, the first time a celebrity goes, he or she may not know exactly what to expect, and other popular fandom names like Star Wars' Adam Driver have spoken about snafus before. In Tom Felton’s case, the answer to riding a broom in the Harry Potter universe is that it’s exhausting and not particularly fun. But he realized he couldn’t tell that to a 7-year-old expecting a magical answer. So, he improvised. 

And her face is just going – [the adult Felton widens his eyes in alarm]. So I quickly realized: ‘It’s one of the greatest experiences in your life! How old are you? You’re nine. You’ve got two more years and you’ll find out for yourself.’

In the time since, Felton says he continues to be an ambassador and keep the magic up. Sometimes, parents even ask him to push a little Hogwarts lore on to kids, with Felton also telling the outlet:

I’ve had many a parent use that as ammunition: ‘Tell them they won’t get into Hogwarts unless they do their homework!’

There may be a little white lie or two involved in Tom Felton’s job, but that’s part of making sure the magic of Harry Potter lives on. In fact, however, interest in the franchise is still very high, as evidenced by a new Fantastic Beasts movie coming out and set to release later this year and the popularity of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion special, Return to Hogwarts, which drove HBO Max subscriptions this winter. 

Felton himself has a slew of projects coming up and some other ones, like the recent #1 Netflix movie The Forgotten Battle hitting streaming recently, but I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind seeing him pick up a wand again. In fact, I'm very positive even Tom Felton wouldn't mind playing Draco Malfoy one more time. We'll just have to wait and see if it happens.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.