Thursday, September 22, 2016

Where Are They Now: Tom Felton

Fifteen years ago, Tom Felton became a household name as the platinum-blond steely eyed Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. Like his co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, he grew up in front of the world and charmed fans over and over again. In celebration of the popular star's birthday today (September 22nd!), we're taking a brief look at his post-Potter career.

When the film series came to a conclusion on the big screen in 2011, one chapter closed but another one opened. Like some of his co-stars like Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe continued their work on-screen, Felton steadily pursued his interests within film.

The British native started with a big bang at the end of the Harry Potter franchise. In the massive reboot of Planet of the Apes in the James Franco led Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Felton played a zoo owner's devious son who liked to treat the apes cruelly. His ability to play the mischievous Malfoy served him well in the blockbuster flick.

After tackling a supporting role in such a momentous film, Felton stepped out of the larger spotlight and into the independent genre. He's made a name for himself within "smaller pictures" like From the Rough (2013) and Fangs of War 3D (2013).

One of his most familiar characters may be his role in the 1770s historical drama Belle. Directed by Amma Asante, the film centers on Dido Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a mixed race daughter in an aristocratic family in contention with abolishing slavery. Critics praised Felton's efforts for challenging himself as an actor and making a step in the right direction post-Potter. Felton expressed a special interest of working in the period-film genre, which he has made a consistent presence in:

Well, I’m a sucker for period pieces; I love the language and costume and all of the big things that come with it. I enjoy the language very much of the day, so speaking in a period of time was definitely good fun…It was great that we had an ethical coach to teach us how to embody the characters of 18th century England.

Throughout the past few years he continued to stretch his acting range by appearing in both television such as Labyrinth and film productions like In Secret, an adaptation of classic novel Thérèse Raquin starring other then emerging stars Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Issacs.

Being a member of such a phenomenon like Harry Potter is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. In 2015, he investigated the fans' devotion to popular culture franchises called Tom Felton Meets the Superfans. The experience reunited Felton with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and the series queen herself J.K. Rowling to discuss the world's obsession with the series. He met with superfans and attend one of the biggest international festivals known as Wizard World. The documentary impressed critics and fans with it's uplifting message of fiction's magical ability to affect peoples' lives.

Outside of the acting arena, music is another passion for Felton. In between acting gigs, he has released four EPs since 2008. He is also one of the founding owners of Six Strings Production which signs young musical artists often overlooked by the major record industry.
It's a hard industry to have a long career regardless of what films you've been in but fingers crossed I can continue in it. Whether it's acting, directing or writing, I want to be involved in the film industry for the rest of my life.
Recently, Felton has teamed up once again with Belle director Amma Asante in the 1940s historical drama A United Kingdom. Based on a true story the film explores the international racial divide when Prince Seretse Khama of Botswana became a center of controversy after marrying a white woman.. Though Felton's character is unknown at the time, the film was praised at Toronto Film Festival and looks to be a contender for Best Picture in the 2017 award show season.

Though fans already know Felton by his major role in the Harry Potter franchise, he'll stepping into the world of superheroes as a series regular on the The Flash. Making a dash to smaller screens and streaming devices, Felton will play Julian Dorn, a crime scene investigator who has his suspicions about Barry Allen. The series returns Oct. 4th on the CW Network.

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