Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton says he was cast for his iconic rival role because he didn’t care and wasn’t aware of the novels prior. Acting as a brutish foil to the titular character, Malfoy is a student of Hogwarts under the Slytherin house who frequently appears as a bully to Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger with the help of his cohorts Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. Though considered one of the wealthier families in the Wizarding community, the Malfoys are generally looked down upon for their bigotry towards non-wizards and his father’s membership with the villainous Death Eaters.
Felton starred in all eight of the original Harry Potter films as Malfoy, receiving rave reviews alongside his other young co-stars for his believable performance and growth throughout the franchise. Malfoy’s story would come to an end in the original Harry Potter films as he and his family fled the climactic battle between Voldemort and Harry at Hogwarts and he would go on to have a wife and son named Scorpius, who he sends to Hogwarts to join the descendants of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny in the future. Despite his rave performance in the role, it appears it was actually Felton’s lack of interest in it all together that netted him the coveted part of Draco in the Harry Potter films. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Tom Felton recalled his auditioning process to land the part of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. The 34-year-old star revealed he wasn’t aware of J.K. Rowling’s novels prior to trying out for the role and believed he was cast as Malfoy for his “nonchalant” approach to the role.
The Harry Potter novels, it’s understandable they would’ve flown under Felton’s radar at the time of his auditioning for Malfoy. The first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released only a few years prior to the film adaptation’s development and Felton, only 12 at the time, was still in the early stages of his career, having only starred in a handful of titles beforehand, including the John Goodman-led adaptation of The Borrowers. Additionally, while Felton grew up in England, the first Harry Potter novel took some time to gain popularity in America as many reviewers initially ignored the book, with it only becoming a true success in 1998. Interestingly, Draco Malfoy wasn’t the only role Felton auditioned for with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, having also read for both the titular protagonist and Ron Weasley, though would lose both to Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint. Felton’s lack of care would ultimately prove for the better with his landing the Draco Malfoy role given he scored rave reviews from critics and it would properly launch the star’s career, which has since included roles in everything from Rise of the Planet of the Apes to The CW’s The Flash series. Audiences can revisit Felton’s tenure as Malfoy with the entire Harry Potter saga streaming on HBO Max now.