Former ‘Harry Potter’ star’s new show is out of this world
Harry Potter follows Tom Felton everywhere — even to outer space.
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The actor, who famously played Draco Malfoy in the “Potter” movies, is now starring in “Origin,” premiering Nov. 14 on YouTube Premium.
One of his “Origin” co-stars is Natalia Tena — aka “Tonks” in the “Potter” films — so it’s a reunion … sort of.
“Everyone is talking about this as a ‘reunion’ ” says Felton, 31. “But [because of the large cast], we never saw each other once on set [on the “Potter” movies] in over 10 years. So we only knew each other from promotional work, every time we’d do a Harry Potter event.”
The 10-episode “Origin” follows a group of people from different backgrounds as they awaken on a mysterious spaceship. The series was filmed in South Africa (Cape Town), though the English-born Felton has lived in LA for the past seven years.
“I basically re-started a new home there [in Cape Town]. I didn’t leave for five and a half months,” he says. “[The show] was a very unique story I hadn’t seen done before, told through the eyes of ten different nationalities.”
Flashbacks reveal each character’s lives before boarding the ship. Felton says the flashback for his character, Logan, makes the audience see him in a new light.
“You’re really building up an image that this guy’s a bit of an a-hole, but after watching [his] episode, I think people will re-evaluate how soft a guy he can be,” he says. Of course, thanks to his 10 years as sneering bully Draco Malfoy — Harry’s rival at Hogwarts — Felton is no stranger to playing “a bit of an a- hole.” He says he enjoys it.
“It’s fun, because they’re just bullied and broken and don’t know how to love,” he says of those types of characters. “Like [people] that lash out, they’re not doing it for any reason other than vulnerability, and this is their only way of asserting their authority.”
Between “Origin,” Harry Potter, CW’s “The Flash” and the 2011 movie “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Felton’s resume is packed with sci-fi and fantasy fare.
“I don’t think it’s anything I’ve specifically targeted, to be honest with you,” he says. “I’ve got a great interest in playing characters that are very different from myself. And it just so happens that a lot of these characters are in crazy worlds — fantasy worlds, sci-fi worlds, ape worlds, wizard schools. So it’s not something I think I target, but it’s definitely something I enjoy doing, getting to live in someone else’s skin.”
Even though it’s been seven years since he last played Draco Malfoy, Felton says he hasn’t noticed interest waning in the smash-hit franchise. If anything, it’s increased.
“It seems to be getting more popular as the years go on. There probably hasn’t been a day when [a fan hasn’t approached me about it],” he says.
But he says he has his former co-stars to commiserate with.
“I’ve been quite lucky, these past few months I’ve seen Daniel [Radcliffe], Emma [Watson], Matt [Lewis]. Bonnie [Wright] lives right around the corner from me and we both have dogs,” he says, referring to Willow, his new 12-week-old Labrador Retriever puppy. “So we can start a little club.”
Of course in the age of reboots, it’s not out of the question that the door is closed on Harry Potter. Various incarnations of the story are still continuing — a new film in the prequel series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” is out Nov. 16. But if a story or reboot returned the original characters, Felton says he would do it.
“Hell yeah, of course,” he says, “any opportunity to go back and do old Drakes!”
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