From the magical moments on set as Draco Malfoy to the challenges of growing up in the spotlight, get a backstage pass into Tom Felton’s life on and off the big screen in this #1 New York Times bestseller.
Tom Felton’s adolescence was anything but ordinary. His early rise to fame in beloved films like The Borrowers catapulted him into the limelight, but nothing could prepare him for what was to come after he landed the iconic role of the Draco Malfoy, the bleached blonde villain of the Harry Potter movies. For the next ten years, he was at the center of a huge pop culture phenomenon and yet, in between filming, he would go back to being a normal teenager trying to fit into a normal school.
Speaking with great candor and his signature humor, Tom shares his experience growing up as part of the wizarding world while also trying to navigate the muggle world. He tells stories from his early days in the business like his first acting gig where he was mistaken for fellow blonde child actor Macaulay Culkin and his Harry Potter audition where, in a very Draco-like move, he fudged how well he knew the books the series was based on (not at all). He reflects on his experiences working with cinematic greats such as Alan Rickman, Sir Michael Gambon, Dame Maggie Smith, and Ralph Fiennes (including that awkward Voldemort hug). And, perhaps most poignantly, he discusses the lasting relationships he made over that decade of filming, including with Emma Watson, who started out as a pesky nine-year-old whom he mocked for not knowing what a boom mic was but who soon grew into one of his dearest friends. Then, of course, there are the highs and lows of fame and navigating life after such a momentous and life-changing experience.
Tom Felton’s Beyond the Wand is an entertaining, funny, and poignant must-read for any Harry Potter fan. Prepare to meet a real-life wizard.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
According to Harry Potter actor Tom Felton’s candid memoir, living out a fantasy can make your everyday life pretty unreal. Playing Harry’s nemesis Draco Malfoy in the Potter movies made Felton a star, but in addition to giving us fun glimpses behind the curtain of fame, Felton shows how stardom came dangerously close to ruining his life. Felton’s bond with his close-knit family helped ground him early on, though he delights in detailing his misadventures with his brother Chris, who took chaperoning young Tom less than completely seriously. But Felton also opens up about battling alcoholism in Hollywood later on and his multiple attempts at rehab. Along the way he shares fond memories of encounters with everyone from Judi Dench to the late Robbie Coltrane, and writes poignantly of his close friendship with fellow Harry Potter star Emma Watson. Felton’s self-deprecating humor kept us smiling, and his disarming honesty made us feel for his struggles, as he shows us that fame isn’t always as rosy as it may seem.
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.
The story of a child actor who turned into a real human. If you have the good luck to bump into Tom, you’ll join me in the view that his most amazing stories have yet to happen.
Such an excellent biography! Must read.
A warm thanks to Tom for sharing his life story with us and for reminding us what truly matters in life.
Fast, Fun Read
This book was purchased on a whim. While definitely a fan of Harry Potter, I’m not a frequent reader of biographies, nor do I engage in the fandom aside from a love of the books and a great appreciation for the films. All of the Potter info was fun to read, but I really enjoyed getting to know Tom a bit. He is humble and gracious. His struggles are relatable - they are not “huge” by Hollywood standards, but are the kind experienced by everyone. He is an ordinary guy that has had some extraordinary experiences. Worth the read!