Tom Felton Thought He Didn’t Deserve to be in Harry Potter Before Giving the Best Scene of His Career With a Little Help From Dumbledore

Tom Felton fumbled in countless takes of a pivotal scene until Michael Gambon stepped up to aid him.

Tom Felton Thought He Didn't Deserve to be in Harry Potter Before Giving the Best Scene of His Career With a Little Help From Dumbledore

SUMMARY

  • Tom Felton shared how he kept forgetting the lines and Michael Gambon's pep talk helped him shoot the scenes in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince. 
  • Tom Felton shared how the veteran actor had a massive influence on the set of the Harry Potter films.
  • Felton opened up about how portraying Draco Malfoy did not make him the most popular kid in the school.
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As the Harry Potter franchise gets more and more renowned each year, each member of the cast gets more love and fame from the new fans who are watching the films for the first time. While the golden trio was loved, Tom Felton’s slick and arrogant portrayal of Draco Malfoy was equally loved. Felton’s Draco Malfoy played a crucial role in the downfall of The Dark Lord, Voldemort.

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Tom Felton
Tom Felton

However, while filming the sixth film of the franchise, that is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, he received a pep talk from the late Michael Gambon before shooting one of the most crucial scenes of the film. The scene happens to be the one where Gambon’s Dumbledore dies.

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Michael Gambon’s Pep Talk Helped Tom Felton To Shoot The Pivotal Harry Potter Scene

Out of the eight Harry Potter films, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince was the most unique, as it showcased and dealt with different characters, offering their unique perspective, easily making it a great film. In the film, Tom Felton’s Draco Malfoy played an important role as his path got more twisted. As fans have seen that the young boy loves to imitate his father’s evil personality, he is torn between good and evil, becoming one of the best gray characters of the franchise.

Moreover, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince is the most dramatic film, as it features the death of one of the beloved characters, Professor Dumbledore. The scene makes Potterheads sob uncontrollably, but it happens to have an important role in the story. As fans would remember in the Astronomy Tower when Malfoy corners Dumbledore, he struggles to land the killing blow, so Severus Snape steps in and chants the cursed spell to finish the job.

Tom Felton in the pivotal scene of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
Tom Felton in the pivotal scene of Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

Sadly, Michael Gambon left us on 27th September 2023. Tom Felton took to Instagram to share how the veteran actor had a massive influence on the set of the film. During the video, he shares how he kept forgetting the lines and fumbled in countless takes of the pivotal scene. As a result, Gambon asked for a break and gave a nod to the young actor to have a chat with him.

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“[Gambon] said ‘can we just stop for a second?’ after a few takes where, for the life of me, I could not remember my lines. He made it seem as if he needed a break. He gave me a friendly yet firm double side-nod. I presumed he wanted to have a stern word with me outside the studio.”

The Borrowers actor acknowledged that he was petrified and had doubts if he was “the right man for the job.” Gambon hushed Felton with his “with his cigarette-held hand,” and joked about buying a new Ferrari if he continued messing up the lines.

“Tom, do you have any idea how much they pay me to be here each day to play this Dumbledore? … Well, if you keep this up, I’ll be able to buy a new Ferrari by tomorrow.”

Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore
Michael Gambon as Professor Dumbledore

Tom Felton continued that he was unsure if Gambon was joking or being serious, but a wink and a cheeky smile like Dumbledore from him helped Felton to nail the scene.

“He did smirk slightly but, from where I was standing, I didn’t know if he was joking or not. At the peak of my wondering, he’d have a wink and a cheeky smile that only Dumbledore could do. We finished our cigarette. The next take recorded was the one used in the film.”

The actor concluded his story, by stating that all the love he received for being a part of one of the most crucial scenes was because of him.

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“Over the years, I’ve received many lovely comments about that scene and how Draco’s journey was flipped on its head just based on the few words I exchanged with Dumbledore. That was thank you to Michael.”

While Tom Felton’s Draco Malfoy remains his most iconic character, he did not have a great experience growing up playing the character.

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Tom Felton Struggled Growing Up While Playing Draco Malfoy

During an exclusive interview with The Guardian, the 36-year-old actor opened up about how portraying Draco Malfoy did not make him the most popular kid in the school. He mentions that unlike Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, who were on the set for 10 years, he continued to grow up like a normal kid. 

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“My schedules were fixed in a way I could stay at school with weeks on and weeks off,” Felton said. “Rupert [Grint], Emma [Watson] and Daniel [Radcliffe], meanwhile, were there non-stop for 10 years. I carried on as normal.”

Tom Felton in Harry Potter
Tom Felton in Harry Potter

He adds that none of his classmates would care enough that he was part of a multi-billion dollar franchise, and how some people are surprised when they learn about this fact.

“I’d get the occasional gag or comment from my mates, but honestly nobody was bothered. Some people really struggle with the idea that I wasn’t this special, popular kid, but I was walking around with dyed hair and played an evil wizard. It wasn’t cool. It did me no favours with the girls.”

Even though Tom Felton was not popular growing up, his portrayal of the school bully was a memorable one, something that the fans looked forward to in each sequel of the film, and it is something that one should be proud of.

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Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince can be streamed on

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Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 894

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.