“This is the seventeenth intervention”: Tom Felton Faced the Same Nightmare That Almost Doomed Robert Downey Jr.’s Career

Tom Felton had a similar history with addiction like Robert Downey Jr.

"This is the seventeenth intervention": Tom Felton Faced the Same Nightmare That Almost Doomed Robert Downey Jr.'s Career


  • Besides the main cast, Tom Felton is one of the most fan favorite characters of the Harry Potter franchise.
  • The actor had a dark phase in his life where he suffered from extreme alcohol addiction that almost destroyed his career.
  • However, similar to Robert Downey Jr., he also fought back hard after a letter from his lawyer hit him.
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Tom Felton attracted widespread attention for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. He is one of the most loved characters in the franchise. Besides his fame in the Wizarding World, the actor also had a dark phase in his life when he suffered from alcohol abuse. Felton wrote in his memoir how he had an extremely bad time with alcohol and was sent to rehab for it multiple times.

Tom Felton in Harry Potter
Tom Felton in Harry Potter

Although the 36-year-old actor enjoyed significant stardom, he wrote in his memoir about a phase of his life that he wants to forget. The actor reminds us of the Iron Man fame Robert Downey Jr. who also suffered a lot due to drugs at a young age. Fortunately, both the stars have a common ending where both the stars could come out of it victorious after a prolonged battle.

Also Read: “Draco is not Ken, he is Barbie”: Tom Felton Was “Pi**ed” About Not Getting A Callback From Margot Robbie For $1.43B Movie


Drinking became a habit for Tom Felton at a point

Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies

When Tom Felton‘s memoir titled Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard was released, several unheard details about his life were released. In the memoir, the Draco Malfoy fame wrote (via Entertainment Weekly) that drinking became a habit for him. He saw it as an escape from a situation and it went out of hand.

Tom Felton continued to write that there came a time when he could think of nothing while drinking during his work.

“It came to the point where I would think nothing of having a drink while I was working. I’d turn up unprepared, not the professional I wanted to be. The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom.”

Alan Rickman and Tom Felton
Alan Rickman and Tom Felton

Worried about his situation, Felton’s managers, lawyers, agents, and former girlfriend Jade Olivia arranged an intervention for him to convince the actor about going to rehab. Everyone there wrote a letter to Tom Felton. Although he wasn’t in a condition to hear them all, a specific letter from his lawyer hit him the hardest.


“My lawyer, whom I’d barely ever met face to face, spoke with quiet honesty. ‘Tom,’ he said, ‘I don’t know you very well, but you seem like a nice guy. All I want to tell you is that this is the seventeenth intervention I’ve been to in my career. Eleven of them are now dead. Don’t be the twelfth.'”

The words were effective enough to send the Rise of the Planet of the Apes actor to a rehab in Malibu. However, the road to recovery wasn’t a smooth joyride as he couldn’t live in the rehab for more than 24 hours. Later, he entered another rehab from where he was driven out for being found out in a woman’s room.

Also Read: Tom Felton Fell Into Depression and Alcoholism After Harry Potter Ended, Claimed “Something was not quite right with my life”

Tom Felton wants to normalize the importance of therapy

Tom Felton reflects about the Harry Potter cast reunion
Tom Felton in the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary documentary

Tom Felton’s story is undoubtedly inspirational as even after many struggles, he was able to get back on track. It took some time for the actor but eventually, he understood that he was not alone- “Just as we all experience physical ill-health at some stage in our lives, so we all experience mental ill-health too.” 


The English actor frankly stated that it’s not shameful to admit having mental health problems. He didn’t consider it any weakness and decided to write about it so that anyone else suffering from similar problems could get some help from it. He didn’t hesitate to admit that he had still not recovered completely.

“I’m no longer shy of putting my hands up and saying: I’m not okay. To this day I never know which version of myself I’m going to wake up to.”

Tom Felton made his fans aware of the fact that therapy is indeed a difficult first step but as responsible human beings, we should also normalize it. He didn’t intend to casualize the idea but doesn’t find anything wrong in speaking about how one feels.


Written by Subham Mandal

Articles Published: 1069

Subham Mandal is currently working as a content writer for FandomWire with an ardent interest in the world of pop culture. He has written more than 1000 articles on different spheres of modern pop culture and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He’s also an experienced student journalist having demonstrated work experience with the Times of India. He aspires to be a column writer in the future.