As adults, Tom Felton and Emma Watson are close friends, but the “Harry Potter” alum revealed it “did not start well” on set.
Felton was 12 years old when he was cast as Draco Malfoy in the franchise, and admitted that his relationship with then 9-year-old Watson at first involved mocking her. As Felton wrote in his memoir “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” via Insider, Watson “put together a little dance show” in her dressing room for the cast, while Felton and co-star Josh Herdman teased her.
“We sniggered our way down to Emma’s show, and the sniggers grew louder as she danced,” Felton wrote. “We were just being shitty boys, largely out of awkwardness and because we thought taking the piss was cool, but Emma was visibly upset by our thoughtless reaction. I did feel like a bit of a dick, and rightly so.”
Felton admitted that Watson had the “most to deal with” coming of age in the franchise. “The pressures she experienced went further than just having to deal with stupid boys,” Felton said. “She was in many ways treated like an adult from the day she was cast. It’s a phenomenon that can, I think, be more difficult for girls than for boys. They are unfairly sexualized in the media and beyond…the last thing she needed, in an environment that should have been — and normally was — safe and friendly and familial, was Josh and me laughing at her dance.”
Felton added, “That’s why I feel ashamed by the memory of our behavior. And that’s why I’m glad that our friendship did not founder on the rocks of my insensitivity.”
Watson later accepted Felton’s apology for indulging in a “stupid, teenage act of thoughtlessness, the sort of thing that happens every day.” Yet Felton wondered in his memoir, “So why does that moment stick in my memory? Why is it so painful for me to recall?”
Felton noted that their friendship became “a touchstone for both of our lives.” Watson called Felton her “soulmate” in a tribute included in his memoir, with Felton also detailing his “secret love” for Watson.
“I don’t think I was ever in love with Emma, but I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else,” Felton wrote.
According to Felton’s previous interview with The Independent, Watson also encouraged him to “tell the whole story and not just sort of cherry-pick the fluffy bits” for “Beyond the Magic.”
“Not just because it was cathartic for me, but also in the hope that sharing those parts of my story will help others that are maybe not going through the best time,” Felton said of his candid memoir.
Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.