Unknowingly, Tom Felton acted as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter casting auditions.
Tom Felton gained career notoriety thanks to his role as Draco Malfoy in the eight Harry Potter films and we’ve seen him grow up (literally), along with other stars like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Fortunately, it was only possible to follow the actor’s trajectory thanks to a coincidence between him and his character – a characteristic that guaranteed him the coveted role.
Harry Potter actor Tom Felton has stated that he was only cast in his iconic role as antagonist because he didn’t care and didn’t know about the previous novels. In the film, Malfoy is a student at Hogwarts under Slytherin House and frequently appears as a bully to Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
Although considered one of the wealthiest families in the wizarding community, the Malfoys are generally despised for their prejudice towards non-wizards and their father’s association with the villainous Death Eaters. With a great performance to play a boy who didn’t care about people, Tom Felton’s lack of knowledge about JK Rowling’s work made all the difference in the tests.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, the 34-year-old actor reminisced about his audition process to land the role of Draco Malfoy. He revealed that he was not aware of JK Rowling’s books before he tried out for the role and believed he was cast as Malfoy for his “carefree” approach to the role.
“I was also one of the only ones who had no idea what Harry Potter was at the time. Anyone could try it, so many excited kids who loved the books deeply. I think I got the part because I was indifferent and had no idea what anyone was talking about. Sorcerers 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 believed could work for Malfoy.”
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Due to the success of Harry Potterit may be hard to believe that there is anyone who doesn’t know him, but let’s face it: the first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released a few years before the film adaptation was developed and, at the time, Tom Felton was only 12 years, was still in the early stages of his career.
Also, while Tom Felton was growing up in England, the first Harry Potter novel took some time to gain popularity, as many critics initially ignored the book, and it didn’t become a real success until 1998.
It’s worth mentioning that Draco Malfoy wasn’t the only role Tom Felton auditioned for in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The actor also signed up to play both the titular protagonist and Ron Weasley, losing the role to Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Tom Felton’s lack of “excitement” ultimately proved ideal for the Malfoy family boy.