Actor Felton, best known for his portrayal of bleached-blond antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, recounts his career in his charming debut memoir. Raised in the 1980s in the London suburb of Surrey, Felton’s first on-screen role, at age nine, was in the 1997 film The Borrowers; three years later, he earned the part of Draco. Felton recalls tender memories of support from his family, such as how his grandfather taught him how to perform the distinctive Draco sneer. Felton also reveals his struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy during his teenage years; later, after moving to L.A., he became disillusioned with the persona he’d cultivated, which made him feel lonely. Felton’s narrative is both self-deprecating (“I was born enthusiastic rather than talented”) and frank; he discusses the drinking problem he developed in his 20s and advocates for the destigmatization of mental health problems. He regards praise from fellow actors with a grain of salt, but treasures the written accolades he received from author J.K. Rowling. Felton weaves a seamless, sensitive narrative that will enchant Potterheads and fans of celebrity memoirs alike. Agent: Stephanie Thwaites, Curtis Brown. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
NAMED A BEST MEMOIR OF 2022 BY BARNES & NOBLE “[The] hook of Felton’s memoir is his perspective on living a one-in-a-billion experience. Yet “Beyond the Wand” is most insightful when Felton translates his tale into something more universal. Sure, the “boy who lived” was never Draco’s moniker — but considering his eventful existence, it suits Felton just fine.”—The Washington Post
"A surprisingly deep memoir from the actor who brought a memorable villain to the big screen."—Kirkus Reviews
"Missing Hogwarts? Tom Felton, who played white-haired villain Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, bas written about the magical moments on set and an adolescence within the pop culture phenomenon."—Parade
"Tom Felton has penned a brilliant memoir about growing up playing an iconic role in the series. . . [W]ith the type of honesty that comes with time and self-reflection, Felton also writes about his past struggles with alcohol and his time in rehab. It’s a beautiful memoir — with a forward by Emma Watson herself — that captures the heart, charm, and wittiness of the man beyond the wand."—Buzzfeed
"An honest, at times humorous, and entertaining memoir that movie buffs, especially Harry Potter fans, will enjoy."—Library Journal
"Beyond the Wand is so much more than fan service. With introspection and charm, Felton’s narrative captures the growing pains of adolescence."—BookPage
"Actor Felton, best known for his portrayal of bleached-blond antagonist Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, recounts his career in his charming debut memoir. . . Felton weaves a seamless, sensitive narrative that will enchant Potterheads and fans of celebrity memoirs alike."—Publishers Weekly
"[Beyond the Wand] is full of colorful Wizarding World lingo, referring to “aparrating” objects and his “muggle family,” making it fun for die-hard “Harry Potter” fans. . . It’s basically a wizarding world gold mine."—Deseret News
A memoir about the author's precocious acting career, which began at the tender age of 10. Felton says that he was just an average kid obsessed with football and fishing when his life changed after being cast as bad boy Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series. By the time of the Harry Potter auditions in 1999, Felton had already performed in prominent film roles: as Jim Broadbent's son in The Borrowers, and as Jodie Foster's son in Anna and the King. Then he auditioned, along with thousands of others, to play series protagonist Harry Potter, but his cockiness and nonchalance impressed director Chris Columbus, who thought he was a good choice to play Harry's adversary, Malfoy. The film franchise would catapult Felton and his costars to international superstardom, as Felton describes here. He tells illuminating stories about typical days on the Harry Potter set, the filming of complex scenes (particularly the series' famous flying Quidditch scenes), working with animals, and his relationships with peer costars Daniel Radcliff, Emily Watson, Robert Grint and the film's notable veteran actors (including Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman). He is especially forthcoming about his success, which he reflects as almost accidental, and a dark period following the Harry Potter years, when he battled addiction and spent time in rehab. VERDICT An honest, at times humorous, and entertaining memoir that movie buffs, especially Harry Potter fans, will enjoy.—Phillip Oliver
A star of the Harry Potter film franchise tells his story.
What made Draco Malfoy such a memorable movie villain was the feeling that there was more to him than viewers were able to see. It turns out the same goes for the actor who played him. Felton fills much of his memoir with charmingly told behind-the-scenes stories of what it was like filming the eight movies in the Harry Potter series. He recalls how he brushed off Emma Watson in their first meeting and how she once slapped him in the face. “I didn’t have the cojones to tell Emma that I hadn’t meant her to thwack me in the face, or that she nearly had me in tears,” he writes. The author’s anecdotes about his co-stars, from Daniel Radcliffe to Judi Dench, are similarly sweet and self-deprecating. However, as he fondly recalls his nonchalant reaction to his early career as a child actor and how his tightknit family kept him grounded, there is foreshadowing of potential problems, particularly when the Harry Potter films concluded. “I craved an escape from the version of myself I was becoming,” he explained. “I craved the old me. I craved authenticity.” Suddenly, Felton’s studied British charm and detached cool were replaced with the frenzied discomfort of a man struggling with very real demons. To his credit, the author is as unflinchingly forthcoming during this period as he is in the rest of his life. “Part of the reason that I took the decision to write these pages,” he writes, “is the hope that by sharing my experiences, I might be able to help someone else who is struggling….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.”
A surprisingly deep memoir from the actor who brought a memorable villain to the big screen.