The biopic, helmed by Sacha Gervasi, starred Hopkins as auteur Alfred Hitchcock alongside Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma Reville. The film centered on the events surrounding the making of “Psycho,” with Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jessica Biel, and Danny Huston also starring.
“Harry Potter” alum Felton auditioned for an undisclosed role and remembered his botched improv opposite screen legend Hopkins. “This was not my finest hour when it came to auditioning,” Felton said during the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “I got the sides very last minute. I knew I wasn’t right for the role.”
Felton explained, “I’ve never seen ‘Psycho’ — the film was about the making of ‘Psycho’ — I didn’t know anything particularly well, but I knew I wasn’t right for this.”
The British actor called his agent before the audition to say, “I really don’t think this is for me,” but he still went through with the casting call.
“They said, ‘Just go in as you always do. Just show your face, show you know the work, and trot on,'” Felton recalled.
Upon entering the room, Felton met with Anna Faris, who was also auditioning.
“I was whispered to by Anna Faris on the way to the auditions, ‘He’s in there.’ Who’s in there?” Felton said. “And I sat down across from Sir Anthony Hopkins and he knew straight away that I didn’t know what I was doing. He decided to go off book. He was like, ‘Let’s put the scene down. Let’s just test the water with the characters.’ And I proceeded to probably babble out the worst three minutes of improv in an awful American accent that anyone has ever seen.”
Felton said of Hopkins’ reaction, “He had a very graceful way of saying leave, which was, ‘Thanks very much for your time.’ I sheepishly tucked my tail and walked out that one.”
And that’s not Felton’s only Hollywood blunder with an Oscar-winning actor. In his memoir “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” Felton recently admitted to mistaking Gary Oldman for a janitor on the set of 2004’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”