A fantastic autobiography from actor Tom Felton, aka Draco Malfoy. This is a very entertaining book! Not only is it a treasure trove of anecdotes for fans of the Harry Potter movies and fans of the iconic actors who starred in them, it tells you what it’s like to be on a film set and explores the effects of fame on children and young adults.
With a humble and humorous tone, Tom Felton (born in 1987) describes his family background, how he got into acting, being Draco Malfoy (including how some people can’t separate the horrible character of Draco from the real-life nice guy Tom), the influence of the distinguished British actors on him, his friendships made during the filming (particularly Emma Watson, who wrote the foreword to this book), some minor brushes with the law, what he’s learnt from his mistakes and how he struggled with mental health and alcohol issues. There are also cameos from a hilarious millipede and an inappropriately-behaved baboon (never work with children or animals!) Tom is the youngest of four brothers and I liked how he took the opportunity to both embarrass and praise them. The book is also a tribute to some HP actors who have passed away: Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Helen McCrory, Richard Harris and Rik Mayall. There are also special mentions for Jason Isaacs, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes (spoiler alert: he has a nose!), plus praise for the director Chris Columbus, stunt actor David Holmes and for J K Rowling herself. I appreciated his mentions of the author, because if this book were in other hands, she might have been airbrushed out of the story.
There is a fun selection of photos included, showing Tom at various ages and with his family, dog, actors, etc. While this book doesn’t have absolutely everything you might want to know about being involved in the Harry Potter films, it has enough. It’s Tom’s own experience and what happened afterwards. In summary, a ‘wizard’ read.
Published by Ebury, 2022.