Tom Felton Mistook Gary Oldman for a Janitor on ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’

"I cringed with embarrassment when I realized I'd mistaken him for the cleaner," Felton said.
Tom Felton, Gary Oldman
Tom Felton, Gary Oldman

Well, this might be Tom Felton’s “Darkest Hour.”

The “Harry Potter” alum admitted to assuming Oscar-winning co-star Gary Oldman was a janitor while on set for 2004’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Felton wrote in his memoir “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard” that Oldman was so “unassuming and down-to-earth” that it was easy to confuse him with being a member of the cleaning staff.

“There were certain actors on the set who you’d never really recognize out of character, even though they were absolute legends,” Felton penned, via Insider. “They just looked — and I mean this in the nicest possible way — like slightly scruffy older men.”

Felton compared Oldman to John Hurt and David Bradley as fellow actors who fit that description.

“I was on set one day when I saw another slightly scruffy older bloke wearing an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt,” Felton continued. “I’d occasionally seen him around and I thought he was one of the cleaning staff. What can I say? He just had that look.”

Felton told Oldman “top work, mate!” after squeaking his shoes on the freshly polished floor.

“He turned around to see if I was talking to someone behind him, gave me a slightly odd frown, and said nothing,” Felton said, before later seeing Oldman in the hair and makeup department.

“He seemed to be showing family and friends around,” Felton continued. “Bit weird, for one of the cleaning staff. I had a horrible feeling I might have made a faux pas, so when he’d left I asked someone, ‘Who is that?'”

It was only then that Felton was informed Oldman was joining the cast as Sirius Black in the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.”

“I cringed with embarrassment when I realized I’d mistaken him for the cleaner,” Felton wrote. “I wanted to apologize — not that he’d really have given a monkey’s — but in the end I took the easier route of totally ignoring my mistake and pretending I’d known who he was all along.”

Felton shared, “In my defense, for such a big star, he was hardly starry at all. He was unassuming and down-to-earth, likely to be seen making a cup of tea for everyone, rather than playing the room.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time a major star has been mistaken on set. Leslie Jordan previously told “Trailblazers” radio show (via Entertainment Weekly) that he assumed Lady Gaga was an extra while filming “American Horror Story: Roanoke.”

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.