“The Disappeared,” a UK horror film directed by Johnny Kevorkian which premieres in August, is Tom Felton’s first non-Potter film since he began playing bully Draco Malfoy seven years ago in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.” Felton Fans all over the world are excited about this new film, as evidenced by e-mails and messages to Feltbeats.com and discussions on the Feltbeats.com forum.
So, Feltbeats.com sat down (via e-mail) with the Director last week to discuss Tom’s role and the film in general.
Feltbeats.com: Tell us what inspired you to create this movie and how did the idea for the plot came about?
Johnny Kevorkian: Really the inspiration for “The Disappeared” came after a long frustrating period of attempting to set up numerous film projects here in the UK. Where each time the funding continually collapsed for one reason or another, it was tough then to put funding together for a movie in the UK, it still is now! We had optioned a script from another writer at the time and because it took too long to find the money to make the film, the option period lapsed and so we lost the script and were left with nothing to work with. So we (being myself and my writing and producing partner Neil Murphy) decided to write our own screenplay, at least we could spend as long as we wanted to get the film made and the script would still be ours! Horror was a subject I have always been fascinated by as well as being able to make it cheaply and quickly.
FB: How long did it take to write?
JK: All in all the script took around two months to write – we were so keen to get going and making it that we didn’t want to spend months or years writing a script. There were further drafts later on.
FB: Tom Felton plays Simon in the movie. Please describe the character for us. What is he like and what are his motivations?
JK: Tom plays Simon Pryor who is a youth that lives on a London Housing Estate. He has a younger sister named Sophie (who is played by the wonderful Georgia Groome – who was in London To Brighton and most recently starred in Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging) and he lives with his mum. He has grown up on the estate like Matthew (Harry Treadaway) and they are best friends. They went to school together have known each other practically since they were kids. Both Simon and Matt have been raised in decent homes, despite their family problems and so have learned about respect and being decent kids. He’s not a violent type and has never been mixed up in any of the local estate gangs; I would say that he’s mischievous and probably been in trouble but for stupid things that teens do, like drinking and smoking. But overall he is a decent person and he looks out for his family and friends. As we say here, he’s just a lad. For example, he cares for what happens to Matt after he has come out of the hospital and he looks out for him.
His real passion is working with cars and it’s a real passion for him. His uncle has set him up with a job at the local car wrecking yard and he loves being around cars.
FB: Some fans have thought Simon might be a little rude or insensitive due to his “wack shack” comment to Matt (which is in the movie trailer).
JK: Sometimes he can be a little insensitive and act stupidly but its not malicious or deliberate, as he does so towards Matt in the car wrecking yard. (More later about this).
The “wack shack” [comment] was one I had never heard before but it is lingo for the mental hospital. Again it’s keeping the dialogue naturalistic and as you would expect these characters to be speaking to each other.
FB: If you hadn’t heard “wack shack” before, who thought of it?
JK: I think Tom came to me with the suggestion. I think he may have heard it somewhere before.
FB: How does Simon compare to Draco Malfoy and did Tom bring any of Draco into this new role?
JK: I think that Draco and Simon have little in common… though I’m sure even Draco has a sensitive side to him! Simon’s character really portrays a more realistic character – you will see Tom in a totally new light when you see “The Disappeared,” a Tom you have never seen before.
FB: How did Tom’s experience with the Harry Potter movies impact his role in your movie?
JK: I think what Tom brings to the role of Simon from the Harry Potter series really is the experience of years of acting from a young age and being a truly professional actor, this really worked in the films favour.
FB: What is Tom’s biggest scene in the movie?
JK: One of the bigger scenes which features Tom was the car wrecking yard scene. It was a long scene with lots of scripted dialogue which we had to cover in just a morning. Normally you would have around a day and a half at least to cover the scene – we had three hours to nail it in.
The scene’s description was Simon and Matt sitting in a wrecked Porche car in the yard. The scene starts with the two characters joking about and laughing and then Simon pisses Matt off after he jokes about his mental state (goes back to the “wack shack” [comment]). Simon doesn’t believe Matt when he tells him that he can hear his brother and Matt storms off and they fall out for a while in the film over this.
FB: How did Tom prepare for this scene and how did it turn out?
JK: Prior to filming [the car wrecking yard] scene we had spent three tough days in caves shooting all of the cavern scenes. The cave scenes were hard scenes to film and very physically demanding, and both Tom and Harry were involved. So, after spending three days in the caves, Tom and Harry both came to the car wrecking yard scene to shoot the heavy, involved dialogue scenes. As we had three hours to shoot, Tom did his lines continuously, no errors – it was fantastic. There’s a true professional for you!
On Monday, August 18th, Feltbeats.com will publish the second half of our interview with “The Disappeared” Director Johnny Kevorkian. In it, we ask for more details about the filming process with Tom and what he was like to work with, what fans can to do help spread the word about the film, and such burning questions as, “Was Tom asked to grow his nails long for the film?”
So stay tuned for next week! Same Felt time, same Felt channel!