Tom Felton Talks About Reading, Collecting, and Being Draco
By Marie Morreale and Scholastic Student Reporter Lindsay Guastafeste
Entertainment Editor Marie Morreale caught up with Tom and talked to him about being recognized, what he likes to do for fun, and more.
Read the following interview to learn more about Tom and what he's been up to since we last saw him.
Marie: Do you remember what your favorite books were when you were a little kid?
Tom: Well, to be honest with you, I know this probably isn t a good thing to say, but there was this horror book that I had by R.L. Stine called The Snowman. I really loved that book when I was about 8 or 9 or so. I rented that book out from the library and I never gave it back. It was too good. I was very impressed with that book. I didn t read any of the other ones, but just that book alone, for some reason I couldn t put it down. I used to have all the Goosebumps books as a kid too.
Marie: I understand that you really enjoy fishing.
Tom: Yeah, this is true.
Marie: Any particular types of fish that you like to go for?
Tom: Yeah, only carp fish. That s what I go for, nothing else.
Marie: And why is that?
Tom: Because they are the most beautiful fish, and you don't need to eat them. You can just put them back and catch them again. It's a less brutal sport as opposed to eating your catch.
Marie: Have you ever been in any tournaments?
Tom: Yeah, we held a junior carp tournament on the St. Lawrence River in New York last August. I hosted that along with a couple of other people. My brother actually thought of the idea and then I pursued it with the Chamber of Commerce in New York. That was good fun. We had a good time.
Marie: Did you participate in it?
Tom: Yeah, I helped out with the teaching class. There were barbecues and parties that I went to. I went to see every angler on the bank to see how they were doing, to try to give them a few tips or whatever. But yeah, we had a lot of fun. It was definitely a good time and we're definitely going to do it again next year.
Marie: Do you remember how much the winning fish weighed? Is that how they win the competition?
Tom: Well, there are two main prizesone for the biggest fish and a prize for the total amount of fish caught, weight -wise. The biggest fish caught was 30 pounds. But usually you get a lot of 20-pounders.
Marie: What's the heaviest fish that you've ever caught?
Tom: It was 37 pounds. That was from the St. Lawrence, from the first time we came two years ago with my brother. That was a fine specimen.
Marie: What kind of math are you studying in school right now?
Tom: I m doing my mock GCSE's at the moment; that s a lot of equations and trigonometry.
Marie: Do you like math?
Tom: It can be fun. If a challenge arises that needs mathematics to solve it, I like to be able to know how to do it. I do find solving some things entertaining.
Marie: What GCSE's are you studying for right now?
Tom: I'm studying English, math, geography, physics, business studies, religious studies, information technology, biology, chemistry, French, and design technology.
Marie: That's a huge list! And you're studying for these while you're making Harry Potter 3. How are you doing that?
Tom: Well, I'm doing my exams now and it hasn't been too bad so far.
Marie: What happens once you take the exams?
Tom: You can finish school as soon as you finish the GCSE's.
Marie: And does that mean you go on to university?
Tom: If you choose to, yeah.
Marie: Do you want to do that?
Tom: Yes. I want to take a few years out, maybe make a couple of more films or whatever. I plan to go to college in Southampton, a fishery studies college. Again, my brother was down there about two years ago and he said it was great, so I'm looking forward to that.
Marie: What would you study exactly?
Tom: The actual course is called fishery studies, and you study general aquatics and fishery management.
Marie: And what would that prepare you to do if you chose fishery as a career?
Tom: It's not so much for a career choice. It's just general knowledge about fishing itself. It's learning about the whole environment. I'd like to know about some of the things that they teach down there, like building a lake. If I ever wanted to build a lake, I'd like to know how to do it. So that's the sort of place where they can tell you how to move fish safely without killing them. It's a big world.
Marie: Are you very interested in the environment?
Tom: Yeah. I'm generally more and more in my comfort zone in the wild. The only time I can really relax is up a tree or somewhere outside. I love being outside.
Marie: What's the best place you ve been to on holiday?
Tom: My favorite holiday spot has to be New York, on the St. Lawrence River. Without a doubt that area there is perfect for me. Very, very spacious. It's nice.
Marie: How did you first find out about that area?
Tom: It was my brother's 21st birthday and my mom promised him that she would pay for him to go fishing somewhere with me. He chose to go to the St. Lawrence. We went with the St. Lawrence Experience, which is run by Joe Babbitt, who is a close friend now. We went out there for 10 days and we had the best week of our lives, and we've been going back since. We've been back three times now.
Marie: This coming summer, besides Harry Potter, there are some other great movies coming out. Are there any movies that you feel are a must see?
Tom: I don't go to the cinema much. It's shocking to say, but the cinema is quite a while away from me, and I haven't got a car yet. So I'm working on it. As soon as I get my car I think I'll be going to the cinema more. Since I don't go very often, there are no films that are a must see at the moment. I usually wait till they come out on DVD.
Marie: Any other movies scheduled besides Harry Potter right now?
Tom: No. We're looking forward to doing the fourth one, and we're going to be starting that in a couple months or so. Other than that, nothing yet.
Marie: What's been the biggest change in your life since the Harry Potter movies? Your best personal experience or worst or most embarrassing experience.
Tom: Nothing's really changed since the Harry Potter films came along. I'd have to just say that working with other people, it's a different world from school. If you're put on a set with a lot of people, it's just nice to see everyone working together.
Marie: Do you find that your friends now are more people you've met through the film, or are your closest friends still people that you've gone to school with?
Tom: Well, my closest friends are still the ones that I went to school with, but it's nice to go to work, at the studios, and have people there that you're willing to talk to and have a good conversation with.
Marie: When kids see you, do they immediately react to you as Malfoy, or do they say, 'He's Tom the actor."
Tom: Malfoy would have to be it. They always brand you before they actually meet you.
Marie: Are they nasty to you?
Tom: No, they just sort of run away and hide behind the corner, shield themselves behind someone's legs.
Marie: What color is your hair naturally?
Marie: But they're still able to totally recognize you?
Tom: I don't have it anymore, because my hair is a lot shorter, but I've been approached. I haven't been out very much.
Marie: What's the funniest thing that has happened to you when someone has approached you?
Tom: It would probably have to be the children that get told that they're going to meet Malfoy and get excited about it, and then when I do actually come they sort of run away and hide. You feel that they're being really ungrateful, but they're not, they're genuinely frightened. I suppose you have to take it in good humor.
Marie: What are your favorite subjects in school?
Tom: I like geography. I like to know where places are. And lunch. Lunch is a good one. That's about it really. I like physics. I think it is the best science out of all three of them, because generally it's more useful. You learn about speed and velocity and time, and that's all clever stuff.
Marie: Who is your favorite character from all of the Harry Potter books?
Tom: Probably Lucius, Draco's dad. I think he's a great character cause he's just . . . . everything that Draco wants to be. He's just horrible, really. He's disgusting. That's why I like him.
Marie: Are you looking forward to the time where you play a good guy?
Tom: No. Well, I don't know. I suppose for now I'm happy with sticking to what he is. But after the Potter legacy is over I look forward to playing a good guy, or someone different anyway; someone not so spiteful.
Marie: Do you have any pets?
Tom: I used to have some fish, some nice little carp, but they got too big for the tank. I don't have any pets now.
Marie: In Harry Potter, do you have scenes with the owls?
Tom: I've never had a scene with the owls, but I've gone to see them. They're all right, as long as you don't grab them.
Marie: What's the best book that you've read in the past six months?
Tom: There are a couple of carp fishing books I've been reading. I'm very interested in that line of books, because I think they write very well, carp anglers, about the general environment.
Marie: What do you do to relax?
Tom: I like to read. I like to fish. Fishing is always a way of relaxing.
Marie: Do you like to shop?
Tom: Yeah, I do actually. I'm obsessed with shopping. I'll get these urges to buy, like to shop for stuff on the Internet. I search for all kinds of weird gizmos I could get.
Marie: What's the last thing that you went searching for?
Tom: The last thing I bought was a just a bike. It's a very nice one though; it's a Kona. It's a nice bike, my pride and joy.
Marie: Is there a book that you would like to see made into a movie, and if so is there a character you'd like to play in it?
Tom: There is, actually. The Darren Shan series (Cirque du Freak). Have you heard of it? I think those would make great films, and I'd love to play any character in it. I'd love to play Darren, who is the main character. If they ever made that into a film, I could see myself doing that.
Marie: Do you collect anything?
Tom: No, I don't suppose I'm so much a collector sort of person. I have a lot of fishing tackle.
Marie: If you were on a deserted island, what three things would you have to bring with you?
Tom: Fishing rod and reel, someone to talk tolike Beyoncé. A nice pop star would do you nice on one of those deserted islands. A genie. Yeah, a genie in a lamp would do the trick beautifully.
Want to read more about Tom Felton? Read a previous interview with Tom from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.