With the release of the second-to-last Potter film, rumors are circulating about the big finale. Are there alternate endings? What about the reshoots? We asked actor Tom Felton to clear things up, and talk a little about growing up Malfoy.
We'd heard news of Epilogue reshoots happening this Christmas (apparently they needed to shoot a few scenes in the more controlled environment on set, as opposed to on location at King's Cross) and rumors of alternate endings flying around. So we asked the son of Slytherin himself — Tom Felton — what these rumors were all about. Find out what may or may not be included in the big finale, how Draco has changed, and what it's like growing up as the villain?
I just re-watched all of the movies this weekend and I realized that you have an emotional outburst in just about every movie. Which made me wonder: How do you think your emotional outbursts changed over the years?
I think for the first five years, it was really about establishing Draco as the worst snotty little child as they could. So I think the outbursts only got worse, and more and more childish. But saying that, in the last few years, and certainly in this film, we really see a different side to him. He's no longer the childish villain that he once thought he was.
What has Draco learned since Half Blood Prince?
He's learned that he's not cut out to be the villain that he once thought he was. He's certainly realized that his father isn't quite the greatest influence or role model that he once took him for. And I think he realizes that he's in a really horrible place now, he's terrified to be where he is. And I think he sympathizes with Harry a little bit and he wishes he could have helped him out earlier on.
What's it like playing remorseful Draco instead of mean Draco?
It's cool. It actually really nice, it's always nice to play something differently or find something new. It's always nice when a character has a journey or an arc like this. And in these last two films you really see him step out of his father's shadow and start to think for himself.
There's so much death in the Deathly Hallows, how do you think non-readers will react to these surprises?
It's hard to say really. As a huge fan myself, I loved it. I really thought that the story had evolved beautifully, it took it to a place that the films have never been before. We really see our three heroes in a completely new light. And everywhere that was safe before is no more. There's no Hogwarts, there's no Ministry, it's all very different. Although its a very scary scene throughout the film, I think it's still very enjoyable. I don't think they'll be too terrified by it all.
What did you think of the Deathly hallows when you read it, did you read it before the script?
Of course — it's very hard not to read it when it tells you what you'll be doing for the next two years. I read it very quickly, and I loved it. It's such a hard series of books to end, and she did it so beautifully. Especially with the Epilogue, 19 years on, that stuff is fantastic. I thought it was finished beautifully.
What's it like growing up as a villain in the public's eyes, and how do you think the public will react to you and Draco now that the Potter franchise is coming to a close?
Well if you're 7 or younger, then you don't have any time or any love for young Draco, unfortunately. I've been booed and hissed pretty much everywhere in the world thanks to the youngsters of the world. The older ones, not so much hate, people love to hate someone I think. Or they love to boo someone. I guess I filled that void for a few years. The last couple of years people have started to say that "maybe he's not so bad after all," it's a mix response from crowds.
So what do you think everyone is going to think of Draco when he's gone?
That he was a huge victim of circumstance. Hopefully they will feel very sorry for him because it certainly was none of his bidding. It's also a great demonstration of how kids follow their parents regardless [of whether] they're right or they're wrong. And Draco is a great example of that — he spent the first 6 or 7 years really thinking that his father was something quite special.
I read that the director shot multiple endings. How many endings did they end up shooting?
It wasn't alternative endings, I don't think — obviously I don't know. But as far as I know he just shot a few different, it wasn't endings, but variables that help the story along if they need it. It definitely doesn't have anything to do with changing anything in the book. It was whether we can add that detail in, or whether it confuses the whole storyline. It has more things to do about wand lore and whose wand belongs to whom, etc. But it wasn't so much an alternate ending.
To be fair, nothing is changed and nothing is improved, we take the book page for page. What David [Yates, the director] is referring to is a point, or another key point and seeing if it reads well on screen, or if it confuses the audience.
One thing I remember from the last Harry Potter press day was when Daniel Radcliffe, drinks the felix felicis or "pure luck" that moment is supposedly the most "Daniel like" moment of the entire Harry Potter franchise. I'm curious, is there any moment in any of the Harry Potter movies that was more you than Draco?
Oh most certainly not. I couldn't be more different, no there really isn't. The only time is when he fails to kill someone — because lord knows I wouldn't be capable of that. I think that's as about as far as our similarities go, I think.
Felix Felicis Scene:
What's the strangest bit of fan made slogan or t-shirt you've seen since working on Harry Potter?
There's the classic banner that we seem to see at every premiere. What is it, oh "Is that your wand or are you just excited to see me?" It's a Harry Potter lewd reference. But other than that it's all fairly tame, to be sure.