Friday January 30th at 3:00pm 2500 people filed into the South Ballroom at the Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience 2015. They were there to participate in the panel featuring Tom Felton, better known to most as Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies.
Tom Felton comes across as a really great guy. When asked why he always seems to play evil or unliked characters he jokingly said he that is how he really is, and he just acts when he isn’t on screen.
The following questions were answered during the panel. While they were not personally asked by me, they lined up with the questions asked by members in the meta post.
How do you really feel about being sorted into Gryffindor (on the Pottermore website)?
I called JK up and said it must have been a glitch in the system. But she said I was sorted into Gryffindor because that is what I am.
Earlier in the day while taking photos with fans, a certain fan asked him to wear a Gryffindor scarf since that was his house. Relating this in the panel he said:
I very begrudingly wore a Gryffindor scarf for a photo op.
His general sentiment was that he would have preferred Slytherin.
Do you agree with JKR’s view expressed in interviews, that all the girls who are deeply attracted to Draco (as opposed to the actor) are way wrong and shouldn’t be?
Although he does have some redeeming qualities in the later films, he is still a slimy git.
How much input into the personality of your character did you have from JKR?
I picked her brain over the years to try and better understand his character.
In light of Draco Malfoy’s early characterization as a one-dimensional bully, if you’ve read J.K. Rowling’s updated information about Draco, what are your thoughts on Draco’s development into an almost reclusive figure, who eschews his parents’ Muggle-hating values, collects Dark Arts [artifacts], and develops a fascination with Alchemy? As Draco’s actor, does this surprise you?
I really enjoyed the background coming out on Pottermore.
I realized he really didn’t fit into the normal Malfoy family. So later in his life he got to reinvent what it meant to be a Malfoy.
From here are some questions which I thought were interesting or otherwise noteworthy.
In a special feature on Chamber of Secrets you mentioned being Draco hasn’t helped you get girls. How was that changed now that the films are done?
I actually met my girlfriend of 7 years in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. She was an extra, a Gryffindor (laughter from the crowd) At the end of the last film, when you see me with a wife and son, Jade got to play my wife. That is not really my son.
In case this isn’t clear, Jade, his girlfriend of 7 years whom he met on the set, played his wife in the epilogue scene where Harry sees Draco with his wife and son.
What are some of your favorite moments from being on the Harry Potter set all those years?
The robes they had us wear had really deep pockets. So I used to stuff candy and sodas and Redbulls in there. By the end of the day I’d get to wardrobe and he would find all this chocolate in the pockets. Eventually they decided to sew up the pockets on all the robes, probably because of me.
I actually used to give Redbull to ten-year-olds. I got told off on that too.
Michael Gambon hid cigarettes in his beard.
What is your favorite film from the series?
When I was a kid it was Chamber of Secrets. Now I would say Half-Blood Prince is my favorite.
What did you do to first prepare for the role for Draco?
I don’t have anything close to direct quotes, but I’ll relate the story he told. When he went to audition he hadn’t read any of the books. It was an open audition so there were hundreds of kids there. Chris Columbus (director) was walking down the line asking kids what their favorite part of the books were. It wasn’t until Chris asking the boy next to him that he realized he didn’t have an answer. And he heard the boy say how great is was going to be to see Gringotts.
So when Chris turned to me I said something like: “Those Gringotts, definitely. I can’t wait to see them fly. I love me some Gringotts.” He just looked at me, and I think he decided I would make a good Draco.
When asked about current or future projects Tom Felton said that he has a documentary coming out about super fans and conventions. He said it would air on the BBC in April of 2015, and hopefully in the United States sometime after that.