You’re heading to Australia to appear at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo. Is this your first trip Down Under?
It is, my very first trip. I actually feel a bit nervous. The reason I’m anxious is my brother went there four years ago for a month of travelling and he never came back. He absolutely loves it so much that that’s his new home now. So my fear is that I’ll never come back, I’m gonna be a full-on resident of Melbourne or Brisbane.
You already have a lot of fan interaction on Twitter.
A publicist said to me ages ago, “You should do it”. I was reluctant – I don’t do Facebook, I don’t do online media social network things … Then I got Twitter on my iPhone and the rest is history, I think I’m 4000 tweets down now. It’s quite sad really, isn’t it? (Laughs.)
Some say the world’s entire under-30 population must hate you, given your role as Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films for the past decade.
True! Definitely! I’m far from always welcomed. I was presenting an award two years ago for the Children’s BAFTAs and every single person there booed and hissed me. I didn’t know whether to walk off stage … But I came to realise that it was quite a compliment and I must be doing something right as Draco if people are booing me. And quite a few kids in the street have been, let’s just say, reluctant to go anywhere near me.
How long did you wait after your final scene to get rid of the blond hair?
They were fairly quick to say, “Go for it, mate, get it out of your hair”. Actually, what they were trying to say was, “Good luck trying to get it out of your hair”. It actually took me about six months to get rid of it, because whatever colour you try to dye over it, the blond just seems to come back in.
How did you react when “cut” was called on your last day of shooting on The Deathly Hallows?
Well, I foresaw me blubbing. There’s something about that last day where if you hang around and spend a few hours hugging people, you really, really get upset. So my theory was: say goodbye to everyone I needed to say goodbye to before, then as soon as they said, “You’re wrapped, thank you for your services”, I was pretty much out of the set, in the car and on the way home … before I could blub.
You didn’t have much time to sit around bemoaning your unemployment once Potter wrapped, did you?
I was very lucky. It was a real mixture of emotions when it finished, because there was the real scary side of things – “Oh right, now what do I do? Do I go back to my paper round or do I persist with this?” So my girlfriend and I took a little break and halfway through that break I got a phone call to try out for Rise of the Apes.
Rise of the Apes has a great cast – James Franco, Freida Pinto and Andy Serkis. What did they make of you being part of the Potter phenomenon?
There was some heckling. Any opportunity to refer to something as a wand or a broom, people will jump on it. There have been a couple of moments where it has been genuinely funny, other times not so much. You learn to take that one on the chin.
You spent your downtime on Potter playing guitar – which seems to have paid off as you have a second career as a musician now.
It’s certainly turned into something I never imagined. I taught myself guitar and had many hours to practise – there were quite a few of us. Matt Lewis, who plays Neville, he’s a very accomplished guitarist. We had a few Beatles jam sessions.
And Daniel Radcliffe is a total music geek.
Oh my God, that’s the exact word for him – geek. You can play five seconds of a song from the 1950s and he’ll be like, “Oh yeah, that was Nat King Cole”. He has a phenomenal ear for these sorts of things. It’s great for me, because every morning I used to go into hair and make-up and there’d be some strange music blasting out of these little iPod speakers. He was a great source for new material.
What was the thinking behind starting your label, Six String Productions?
A lot of people have said, “Oh, you’ve given up acting, now you’re going into music”. That’s not my intention at all. Music’s always been a passion, I’ve recorded about 10 songs in my bedroom and put them online. An opportunity came along to put a bit of money behind it to try to improve the quality of the songs and then we got this idea of starting an independent record label to promote young people writing and making music on the cheap.
The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 opens July 14. What is in store for Draco?
There is a bit of redemption – I don’t think the crowd will be cheering him on, but he and Harry come to each other’s aid on more than one occasion.
Was Draco in it enough to keep you satisfied?
It’s a tough one, because it was 140 central cast members in this last film, so even if you get half a page of dialogue, consider yourself lucky! But there’s a lot more physical stuff for Draco to do with the big, final battle coming up – he has quite a role in that and that was a lot different for me.
What’s the biggest perk of being a Harry Potter star?
This is gonna sound really cheesy, but one of the greatest things we’ve been gifted with is we can go to children’s hospitals and places like that and really make their day without having to do anything. Especially Daniel – I’ve seen kids literally wet their pants in front of Daniel! I think it’s a priority that we abuse that and make the most of it.
Tom Felton appears at Supanova, Melbourne Showgrounds, April 8-10, $23.80 to $800, supanova.com.au
Brisbane’s Supanova, RNA Showgrounds tomorrow-Sunday $18.80 to $800 supanova.com.au
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (Warner Bros Home Entertainment) out on DVD and Blu-ray on April 15.